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News Headlines for the month of
JUNE 2012

Buksh Foundation, TERI sign MoU for ‘Lighting a Million Lives’ project

Buksh Foundation and The Energy and Research Institute (TERI India) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for ‘Lighting a Million Lives’ project. The project aims to give energy impoverished communities across the country access to clean and reliable sources of lighting through solar technologies to improve their quality of life which also promises immense economic return to the communities affected along with a sustainable and cleaner life. Buksh Foundation CEO Ms Fiza Farhan said, “This collaborative project would help create female empowerment in rural areas, provide a sustainable energy alternative for impoverished communities, increase economic capacity of the rural areas and create literacy about the needs for environmentally friendly energy alternates and the benefits they provide. TERI DG Dr RK Pachauri said our aim was to build a strong cross border friendship that benefits the poorest people in both countries, as well as educates and develops the resources needed for the environment and energy sustainability. Under the terms of the project, a female micro-entrepreneur will be selected from each village and will be given a solar charging station with capacity for 50 solar lanterns. She will then either rent out these solar lanterns every evening at an affordable rate or will sell them to individual households as their needs arise. Through this initiative, Buksh Foundation hopes to provide individuals with the most basic facility of adequate lighting in their homes, without any pollution emission, at a nominal cost. Buksh Foundation hopes to reach out to 12,500 individuals spread over 400 villages across Punjab, as well as un-electrified areas of Sindh and Balochistan. This will grow to 5,000 villages by the end of 2017, the projected date for completion of the initiative by which time Buksh Foundation hopes to achieve its goal of lighting up the lives of a million people. The project aims to not only help fulfill the energy needs of the entire village but to also create a permanent source of income for the entrepreneur. The total cost of the project is estimated at $22 million.

Copyright Daily Times, 2012

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Import of power machines thriving

The import of power generating machines is thriving with fading hopes of an early end to persistent long power outages across the country especially in the rural areas. The province of Punjab is already in the grip of violent power riots whereas the situation in Karachi, the economic hub of the country, is comparatively better. Traders said around 70-80 per cent of imported generators were finding their way to the heavily-populated Punjab province. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the import of power generating machines rose to $72 million in May 2012 as compared to $50.58 million in April 2012, while it was just $54 million in May 2011. Total import bill of generators for the July-May 2011-2012 period rose to $951 million as compared to $919 million in the corresponding period of last fiscal year. Pakistan Machinery Merchants Group President Khurram Saigol told Dawn that imports may remain high till mid of July and much would depend on the duration of power load-shedding, however when monsoon season gets underway importers go slow down. He hoped that the load-shedding hours may come down by two to four hours especially in Punjab as a result of short-term measure following directive of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to resolve the energy crisis, but in the long-run the power outages will exist. He said the sale of generators in Karachi was quite dull as compared to Punjab where the intensity of load-shedding was more severe. He said only those traders of Karachi were doing a roaring business who were diverting their bulk of generators imports to Punjab and some other parts of the country. Khurram said buyers were taking costly ride despite increase in prices of generators on account of over eight per cent devaluation of the rupee against the dollar in the current fiscal year. “Bulk of power generating machines is arriving from China followed by US, Japan, UK etc.,” he added. He said he had urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to remove the 16 per cent sales tax on import of portable generators so that the prices could come down. “This will benefit the small household and cottage industry people especially during upcoming Ramazan,” he added.

Copyright Dawn, 2012

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Russian delegation briefed about TAPI, IP pipeline projects

Dr Asim Hussain, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Petroleum & Natural Resources, welcomed the interest shown by Russian Federation in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) and Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline projects and expressed confidence over the bilateral co-operation between Pakistan & Russian Federation. He said this while meeting the twelve-member Russian delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Y P Sentyurin, who called on him here on Thursday. Ejaz Chaudhry, Secretary Petroleum & Natural Resources, and senior officers of the Ministry were also present on the occasion. The Secretary Petroleum briefed the delegation on latest position of TAPI and IP pipeline projects, and emphasised on expanding the bilateral treaty framework of co-operation in oil and gas sector. The delegation was informed that the Ministry had extensively worked on Shale and Tight Gas policies that would be of interest to the Russian Government. Dr Hussain stated that Pakistan's approach towards meeting Energy requirements is of urgent nature and completion of mega gas projects including TAPI & IP is top priority. He further said that the in-principle decision of Russian Federation regarding co-operation in TAPI and IP projects is highly appreciated.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announces establishment of oil refinery

Chief Minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti has announced the establishment of oil refinery in southern districts of the province and increase the royalty of the hydel power generating districts by 100 per cent. In his winding up speech on provincial budget for financial year 2012-13, he said that the royalty of the oil and gas producing areas has been increased by 100 per cent and they instead of Rs 700 million will receive an amount of Rs 1.25 billion. He said that the share of the hydropower generating districts has also been districts by 100 per cent. He said that the province is producing 30,000 barrel oil per day and negotiations for its value-addition is in progress with federal government to establish an oil refinery in the southern districts of the province. The chief minister said that provincial is going to launch work on hydropower projects having capacity of generating 2150 Mega Watt electricity. He said that work on hydel projects with capacity of generating 56MW is already progress while work on 84MW Matalitan (Kalam) and 69MW Lawi projects will be launched shortly. He said that the feasibility studies of eight projects have been prepared, saying work on them will be started after the approval of their PC-I. Similarly, he said that the feasibility studies of 13 more hydel projects having the capacity of 826MW will be completed in a period of two years. He said that funds for these projects are available and they are part of the annual development programme of the provincial government. Regarding the payment of the outstanding amount in head of net profit on hydel power generation, the chief minister said that Rs 10 billion were paid with immediate effect and the procedure for the payment of remaining Rs 100 billion was in shape of annual instalment of Rs 25 billion. He said that payment to the province is continued as per agreed casual and so far the province had received an amount of Rs 60 billion and the remaining two instalments will be received in financial years 2012-13 and 2013-14. He said that for uncapping the amount of Rs 6 billion negotiations were in progress, but the political developments and problems in this regard. The chief minister said that consultancy regarding the establishment of oil and gas company has been completed, which will earn billions of rupees for the province. He said that after the increase in the royalty of the gas producing areas, the provincial government has also increase the royalty of the hydel projects located areas. The chief minister said that during last 60 years a total of 10 universities were established in KP, but the present government during last years set up nine universities in the province, which is a remarkable achievement. He said that the allocation of higher education has been increased from Rs 3 billion to Rs 5 billion. Regarding foreign assistance, he said for first time in the history of the province foreign assistance has registered a growth by 77 per cent. He said that the province this year has received a foreign assistance of Rs 23 billion out of which 84 per cent is grant and the remaining 16 per cent is loan. The chief minister appreciated the positive role of the opposition in the house and said that they will never push them to walls. He agreed with the proposal for maintaining financial discipline, however, he said that supplementary budget could not be attributed to deficit budget. He said that business community of the province is facing difficulties in getting credit. Therefore, he said that the provincial government will provide a long-term financing facility to the investors. The loan, he said will be issued on 7 per cent mark up in which 60 will be in shape of loan and remaining 40 per cent will be equity. In recovery, the businessmen will also be given a grace period of two years.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Rs 13.585 billion earmarked for Thar Coal projects

The Sindh government has earmarked Rs 13.585 billion in the fiscal budget 2012-13 for the development of Thar Coal projects with a view to overcome energy crisis in the country. During budget speech in Sindh Assembly, provincial Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah hoped development of Thar Coal projects would help overcome energy shortage in the country. He said the lack of infrastructure was the biggest challenge to the government to execute Thar Coal projects. He said the government, therefore, undertook mega-infrastructure projects to facilitate the investors, besides creating conducive environment for large-scale developments. "Thar Coal projects are at various stages of feasibilities and financial close, which will lead to installation of over 4000 MW by 2015-16," he informed the house. He said Government of Sindh and Global Mining Company (GMC) of China had signed an MoU in September 2011 for development of Thar Coal projects. "GMC intends to invest $1.5 billion on key infrastructure projects in Thar coalfield," said the Minister. He pointed out that a test burn at Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) project in one of the blocks of Thar coal filed had been successful in December 2011, which Dr Samar Mubarakmand had executed. Major schemes and infrastructure projects proposed in the next financial year include: Rs 654 million for Construction of Islamkot Airstrip, Development of GIS for Thar Coalfield Installation of Reverse Osmosis Plants across District Tharparkar, Mithi and Islamkot, he said. Murad Ali Shah said improvement and widening of road network from Karachi seaport to Thar, road from Wango More to Thar coalfield and Water Carrier from Nabisar to Thar coalfield with a capital outlay of Rs 5 billion has been proposed. In the budget, he said, the government has proposed to provide Rs one billion for village electrification programme, Rs 1.5 billion for provision of Sui Gas to towns and villages across Sindh and Rs 100 million allocated for solar powered water supply system. He said in 2011-12, the government had provided electricity to 642 villages in Sindh at a cost of Rs one billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Gas utilities to invest 73.128bn in infrastructure

KARACHI: For the fiscal year 2012/13, the government plans to increase crude oil production to 69,000 barrels per day (bpd), whereas gas production will be increased to 4,791mmcfd, official documents suggest on Thursday. Moreover, the gas utility companies have planned to invest Rs38.381 billion on transmission projects, Rs21.604 billion on distribution projects and Rs13.143 billion on other projects, bringing the total investment of Rs73.128 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. During 2011/12, the expected local crude oil production stands at 64,624bpd, while domestic gas production at well-head is expected to be 4,197mmcfd, it revealed. During the current fiscal year, the gas utility companies invested Rs1.420 billion on transmission projects, Rs7.065 billion on distribution projects and Rs3.596 billion on other projects, bringing the total investment to around Rs12.081 billion, it said. According to the framework for growth strategy for the energy sector of the Planning Commission, several measures are in the offing to enhance exploration and production (E&P) activities, including the Petroleum Policy 2012. “It is expected that consequent upon promulgation of the Petroleum (Exploration & Production) Policy 2012, exploration and production will increase considerably,” the document revealed. Besides, Tight Gas (Exploration & Production) Policy, 2011, to attract exploration companies to invest in tight gas fields, has been formulated and Low BTU Gas Pricing Policy, 2012 and Shale Gas Policy, 2012 are being formulated in order to exploit hydrocarbon to alleviate shortage of energy, it said. Gas will be supplied to approximately 391,705 new consumers and about 580 new towns and villages will be connected to the gas network, it said. According to the Planning Commission’s Annual Plan 2012-13, Pakistan’s primary energy supplies heavily depend upon the imported crude oil and petroleum products due to which the country’s oil import bill is around $13 billion, which is a huge burden on the economy. In order to curtail the oil import bill to a sustainable level and to cater to the energy needs of all sectors, the government is pursuing policies to attract private investment in the energy sector and to replace the imported furnace and diesel with alternative fuels in a sustainable manner at competitive prices with a greater reliance on indigenous resources. Moreover, initiatives such as import of piped gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as alternative fuels were taken. New initiatives include conversion of existing thermal power stations on indigenous / imported coal, operation and maintenance of public sector power projects through the private sector O&M contractors and implementation of upfront tariff. “The present energy scenario suggests that an affordable and sustainable energy roadmap for the country is essential to capitalize on the use of indigenous resources in the energy mix. Development of indigenous energy resources such as coal, hydro and alternative / renewable sources is critical for our country’s economic growth,” the document added.

The news

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Iran ready to finance IP gas pipeline: report

Iran is ready to finance a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline in Pakistan, which has been delayed for two years due to Western pressure, the Fars news agency said on Wednesday, quoting an "informed source." "Financial difficulties and obstruction by some Western countries have slowed down the construction of the pipeline on Pakistani soil," Fars said. "To speed up the progress, Iranian oil ministry officials have proposed that Iran is ready to invest in the construction of the pipeline inside Pakistan" in addition to the one inside Iran, it added. In 2010, Pakistan and Iran signed a deal under which Tehran would supply natural gas to its eastern neighbour from 2014, with sales to reach 750 million cubic feet (21 million cubic metres) to one billion cubic feet per day by mid-2015. The project envisaged a pipeline, 900 kilometres (560 miles) in length, be built from Assaluyeh in southern Iran to the border with Pakistan. Another 800-km (500-miles) pipeline is also needed inside Pakistan to receive gas from Iran''s South Pars field in the Gulf. While Iran has almost completed work on its side of the border, the plans in Pakistan have run into difficulty over reluctance by investors who fear they could be hit by sanctions. Pakistan insists the pipeline is vital to efforts in overcoming the energy crisis it faces, but the United States has expressed strong objections to the project. It is urging Islamabad to abandon it because of sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme. Pakistan, which produces just 80 percent of its own electricity needs, sees the $7.5 billion gas project as a partial answer to the crisis which has led to blackouts and has suffocated industry. Iran, which has the world''s second-largest gas reserves, is rapidly developing its production but can only export a small part of it due to lack of pipelines or liquefaction infrastructure.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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MOL discovers oil, gas in test well

MOL announced on Friday the discovery of oil and gas in one of its appraisal wells. The Hungary-based oil exploration company said that the Makori East-2 well would yield 4,106 barrels of oil per day and 14.8mmcfd of gas. Pakistan Oilfields Limited holds a pre-commercial working interest of 25 percent, data sent to Karachi Stock Exchange said on Friday. MOL, the operator of the Tal Block informed the bourse that hydrocarbons had been encountered in its Makori East-2 appraisal well, which has been drilled and is currently under testing phase. As a result of Drill Stem Test (DST) conducted at the Lockhart Formation, the well has tested 4,106bbls per day of oil (with an API gravity 37) and 14.8mmcfd of gas per day at 32/64-inch fixed choke sizes. The well has a flowing wellhead pressure of 4531 psi while Lumshiwal and Hungu formations have tested 794bbls per day of oil (with an API gravity 38) and 2.5mmcfd of gas per day at 32/64-inch fixed choke sizes at flowing wellhead pressure of 795psi. An Acid job is also planned in Lumshiwal and Hungu formations to stimulate these formations. The well is planned to produce simultaneously from Lockhat, Lumshiwal and Hungu formations and its actual flow rate may differ from the rates mentioned above. Production from the well is expected to commence from October 2012. The drill stem test (DST) is a procedure for isolating and testing surrounding geological formations through the drill stem. The test is a measurement of pressure behaviour at the drill stem and is a way to obtain important fluid sampling information and to establish the probability of commercial production. Experts say that actual production may differ significantly from the test results.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Engro plant interconnection with NTDC: Ecnec may approve Rs 22 billion project

The government is expected to approve Rs 22 billion project for interconnection of 1200 MW Engro power generation with National Transmission and Distribution Companies (NTDC) to add supply to the national grid, it is learnt. Sources said that a summary seeking approval of the project would be submitted to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on July 5, 2012 to be held with Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh in the chair. The Ecnec will discuss and approve more than 30 projects relating to energy, water, transport, communication, health and education sectors. The interconnection of 1200 MW Engro plant with the NTDC would be implemented in four years and funded by domestic and foreign sources. The foreign exchange component of the project has been estimated at Rs 15.05 billion and local component of Rs 7.250 billion with the government considering the project as a top priority as its early implementation would help reduce the electricity deficit. Sources said energy and water sector has been put on top of the agenda owing to prevailing electricity crisis in the country. The economic team on the directives of the political leadership has been pursuing all power sector projects and striving to arrange funding for their timely completion. According to sources in the Planning Commission, the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) would also meet on July 3, 2012 before the meeting of the Ecnec to approve various projects. The CDWP has already approved as many as 40 projects at a total cost of about Rs 22 billion in energy, water, communication, education and other sectors in its meeting held on June 18, 2012. In this meeting the CDWP recommended 21 projects costing Rs 49 billion to the Ecnec.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Government to provide 1,500 Biogas plants

Punjab government has launched a project costing Rs 75 million for providing 1500 family-sized biogas plants on the bases of partnership in rural areas of the Province. Official sources told Business Recorder Thursday that this step has been taken for bringing change in rural life style and to provide facility of energy to the rural population of the Province. Under the plan government was provide biogas drums with pipe and a stove free of cost while financial assistance amounting Rs 50, 000 were being provided to the farmers per plant and "Biogas Digester" with outlet and inlet would be prepared by farmers said sources. The project would be helpful in destroying the dung in a better way and rural population would get inexpensive electricity for their use while the used dung would be utilised in agriculture sector as a refined fertiliser. The agriculture sector is catering 85 percent requirements of industrial sector and playing instrumental role in fulfilling the requirements of raw material for the industrial sector sources said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Russian envoy meets Water and Power Minister Mukhtar

A six-member delegation of Russian Federation headed by State Secretary and Deputy Minister of the Energy Y.P Sentyurin called on the Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar here on Thursday and discussed various matters of mutual interest and co-operation in the energy sector. The meeting was also attended by Secretary Water and Power, Zafar Mehmood, Additional Secretary Hamid Ali Khan, CEO Genco holding Company, Naveed Ismail, Adviser energy import and senior officials. The Russian delegation expressed their interest to invest 500 million dollars in the CASA-1000 project for establishment of power transmission system from Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both sides expressed interest in modernisation and rehabilitation of Muzafargarh and Guddu thermal power plants and conversion of them to cheaper fuel like coal. Minister for Water and Power while welcoming the delegation appreciated the interest expressed by the Russain for co-operation in the water and power sector and offered them modernisation of existing hydroelectric plants, participation for the construction of 500 KV transmission line for import of 1000 MW from Iran to Pakistan and other projects like Tarbela 4th extension, coal, renewable energy, and transmission line projects. The Minister said that Russain companies have already developed various big projects in Pakistan and the people of Pakistan will be happy to their participation in the mega projects in water and power sector. He added that Pakistan is committed with long and stable co-operation with Russia. The Russain delegation also showed their interest for mutually beneficial co-operation in the power energy sector and discussed various projects for investment. Both, Pakistan and Russia agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding for co-operation in the energy sector and draft will be prepared from both sides in this regard for consideration.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Sindh possesses 50,000 megawatts power generation potential: SBI JUNE 28, 2012

Chairman Sindh Board of Investment (SBI), Muhammad Zubair Motiwala said that Sindh possesses considerable potential of (50,000 MW) electricity generation through wind energy in southern Sindh. The Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor is blessed with monthly average wind speeds exceeding 7-8 meters per second. Elaborating the incentives provided for investors in the renewable energy sector, he explained that land is available for renewable energy generation and to eligible investors on extremely attractive annual rentals US 16 cents per sq yard/annum for direct impact area (foot prints). He further instilled that upfront tariff of 14.67 cents/ KWH is also available for all those investors who are ready to complete projects in 18 month time. Zubair further said that government of Pakistan had made long term (20 year) agreements with the power purchaser through implementation agreement and sovereign guarantee with Wapda. He appraised the participants about the fiscal incentives through a zero tax/duty regime, where only contribution to national exchequer would be through a 7.5 percent withholding tax on dividends declared across the life of the project. Guaranteed attractive return of 17-18 percent on equity (ROE) is offered under the Nepra tariff guidelines.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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JDA signed with Oracle UK, SCEL: KESC to set up coal-based mine-mouth plant

Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) on Monday signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Sindh Coal Energy Limited (SCEL) and Oracle Coalfields PLC (Oracle) of UK which is engaged in coal exploration, mining and production, for establishing a coal-based power plant, reference to tapping the indigenous Thar coal reserves for power generation. The JDA defines the respective responsibilities of each party and marks another key milestone for KESC following the signing of an MOU with Oracle on 12th December 2009 for the Thar Coal Power Project - a venture that aims to develop a mine-mouth coal-powered generation facility at Block VI Thar Coal Fields having an initial capacity of 300 MW and potential upside of 1100 MW. According to KESC, at the signing ceremony, both parties expressed their commitment towards ensuring the successful implementation of the JDA and agreed to co-ordinate their efforts to promote and develop the project. The integrated arrangement, as stipulated by the JDA, will enable KESC to secure a long-term fuel supply from SCEL at competitive prices while SCEL will own and operate the mine which will be integrated with the KESC mine-mouth power plant. KESC aims at not only bridging the prevailing power demand-supply gap, but also has an objective towards translating this benefit into a lower tariff end-user tariff, as compared to power generation via the 3.7 times more expensive furnace oil. Sindh Coal Energy Ltd and Oracle have completed the coal-mine feasibility study and are in the process of carrying out an Environment and Social Impact Assessment whereas KESC is engaged in short-listing proposals received from leading international consulting firms for design of the power plant. KESC has already, earlier in the year, signed a JDA with Bright Eagle Enterprises (BEEGL), a Hong Kong based investment company sponsored by Chinese and Korean investors. This project aims at achieving the coal conversion of KESC's 1260MWs (210MW x 6) Bin Qasim Power Station to being coal-fired. The feasibility study for this project has been finalized by Knight Piesold. KESC is in the process of selecting the EPC contractors and simultaneously finalising arrangement for coal supply from Indonesia along with provision for indigenous Thar coal.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Power generation: Linde Pakistan approves investment plan

The board of directors of Linde Pakistan Limited (formerly BOC Pakistan Limited) has approved an investment plan of about Rs 556 million for a power generation of 4MW to be installed at Company's Port Qasim facility. According to a an information sent to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges, the decision was taken by the company's board of directors in its meeting held on Monday. The investment will be funded with a combination of company's internal resources and external borrowings, it added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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World Bank to provide aid for Dasu Hydel Project

Following the signing of an agreement with government of Pakistan for providing 840 million dollars for 1410MW Tarbela 4th Extension Project, the World Bank has also agreed to provide financial assistance for 4320MW Dasu Hydropower Project. It has also been agreed that the project will be constructed in phases after the 4500MW Diamer Basha Dam Project is initiated and financial plan finalised. This was stated by Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Shakil Durrani while presiding over a meeting here at Wapda House to discuss the report submitted by the International Panel of Experts. Wapda Member (Water), Secretary Wapda and General Managers concerned attended the meeting. Addressing the meeting, the Chairman said the International Financial Institutions were taken keen interest in providing funds for Wapda projects due to excellent Economic Internal Rate of Returns (EIRR) of those schemes. Dasu Hydropower Project is a part of least-cost energy generation plan, being executed by Wapda to harness indigenous hydropower resource of the country with a view to improve the ratio of hydel electricity in the national grid. The project is proposed to be constructed on the River Indus, seven kilometres upstream of Dasu village and 74 kilometres downstream of Diamer-Basha Dam Project. Site of the project is situated at Karakoram Highway, about 350 kilometres away from Islamabad. Wapda priority is to construct Diamer Basha Dam for which land acquisition has already started and 13 contracts for offices, colonies and roads awarded. Dasu Hydropower Project would follow the initiation of Diamer Basha Dam Project. Detailed engineering design, PC-I and tender documents of the project are likely to be completed in early 2013. Afterwards, the construction work on the project will commence. The World Bank is providing funds for preparation of detailed engineering design. On completion, the project will generate 21.3 billion units of electricity per annum. Completion of the project will also have positive impact on the existing hydel power stations including Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha and Chashma.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Balochistan to import electricity from Iran

Balochistan government is planning to purchase 1000 megawatt electricity from Iran to overcome the power shortage in Balochistan besides ensuring uninterrupted power supply to tube-wells in agriculture sector of the province. Balochistan Planning and Development department sources told APP here on Tuesday that work on solar energy project is also in progress which on completion would generate additional power for the province. "Gwadar deep water port is also being made operational besides organising the mines and mineral sector of the province on modern lines," they added. Referring to irrigation sector schemes, the sources said work on Kachi canal, small and medium dams projects is also in progress which on completion would bring over one million acres of barren land under cultivation across the province.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2012

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Ebad for alternative means to help overcome energy crisis

Sindh Governor, Dr Ishrat- ul- Ebad Khan, has called for finding alternative means to help overcome the prevailing energy crisis. He was speaking at the Governor House here on Thursday at the initiation ceremony of a plant under the auspices of Winergy. The plant at Bin Qasim, Landhi here can generate 200,000 cubic metres of bio gas daily. The Governor was of the view that this was first endeavour of its kind. Sindh Minister, Shoaib Ahmed Bukhari, and international consultant's S.M. Kazmi and Winergy's Chief Executive Officer Khurrum Irshad were also present on the occasion. Dr Ebad pointed out that in China bio-gas is being produced from the waste of 200,000 animals while in Karachi there is a capacity of producing bio-gas from the waste of 500,000 animals.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2012

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Import of solar PV panels: REAP welcomes government decision

The Renewable & Alternative Energy Association of Pakistan (REAP) has appreciated government for allowing import of solar PV panels and components on zero duty basis separately or altogether as one consignment. The REAP Chapter Council met with Eng. Faiz Muhammad Bhutta in the chair. The REAP has also appreciated the efforts of Alternate Energy Development Board for its efforts in this regard.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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First consignment of CFLs within 12 weeks: PEPCO

Taking unprecedented initiative to bridge supply and demand gap by implementing energy conservation policy during the ongoing energy crisis in the country, Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) carried out supply contract of 20 million Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) on cost insurance and place of destination (CIP) under the "National CFL Project - Prime Minister Energy Saver Programme" with M/s Philips Electrical Industries of Pakistan. Khalid Hussain Rai, Project Director PMU Pepco, and Asad S. Jaffer, Chairman and CEO Philips, signed the contract deed on Wednesday at Wapda House Lahore. The spokesman of Pepco said this project started on the directive of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani duly approved from Cabinet as well as ECNEC. Under the contract the first consignment of CFLs (Energy Savers) will be delivered to 36 warehouses all over the country within 12 weeks and free distribution of energy savers to consumers will start soon after the delivery. The total cost of this project (20 million CFLs) is Rs 2.8 billion and is being funded by ADB and AFD of France. Ministry of Water and Power will carry out overall project management and Pepco will act as project co-ordinator whereas Discos and KESC act as executors, he added. Dilating upon the features of the contract, the spokesman said that the cost of per energy saver is Rs 140 including the cost of insurance, freight charges to final destination, cost of containers along with inland transportation and port handling charges. The life of CFL is 10,000 hours with 2 years warranty whereas the market price of Philip CFL is Rs 189 with life of 8,000 hours and one year warranty only. The difference of price will save a substantial amount of Rs 980 million. It is pertinent to note that the project will help in reducing peak demand over 1000MW, an amount $1.84 billion will be saved while avoiding overall generation of 1600MW. The project will yield Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) thus revenue of about $32 million will be returned by 2018. It will also help in reducing consumers bill Rs 300 per bulb per annum. The electricity saved can be sold to higher tariff consumers generating additional revenue of approximately $29 million per year for Discos. The spokesman of Pepco further said that the contract of second phase of free distribution of 10 million energy savers (CFLs) is likely to be signed in the same month for which notification of award has been issued. The performance board has also been submitted by the M/s Beauty Shadow Company of Hong Kong.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Rs 888 million allocated for solar energy project

Balochistan government has allocated Rs 888 million for solar energy home project in its annual budget for 2012-13 under which around 300 villages in parts of the province would be electrified. Speaking during provincial assembly budget session here Monday, the provincial Finance Minister Mir Asim Kurd highlighted the sufferings caused by shortage of power and said the nature has endowed the province with immense opportunities for generation of solar, wind and geo-thermal energy. He said the provincial government has already set-up Balochistan Energy Company for promotion of renewable energy in the province. The Company has also been registered by Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan. He said the government currently spends Rs 3 billion on subsidy for around 15,600 tube wells in provincial agriculture sector and with exorbitant increase in power tariff the provincial government would hardly manage to continue subsidy for these tube-wells. He said the government has a plan to convert all these tube-wells to solar-energy run at a cost of Rs 5 billion. He said Balochistan Governor House, Chief Minister and Civil Secretariat would also be made equipped with solar energy system. The project would cast Rs 450 million. Besides, all divisional headquarters would also have solar energy lighted street systems at a cost of Rs one billion. He said Rs one billion has been set aside for installing wind masts at coastal belt of the province. These strives by the government would greatly help check increasing prices of petroleum prices, he added.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2012

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Chashma hydro power projects: Senate panel for increased allocation

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance has recommended that allocations for Chashma canal and hydro power projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa should be increased in budget for 2012-13. The Senate Standing Committee on Finance meeting chaired by Mrs Nasreen Jalil on Monday recommended that allocation for Chashma right left canal should be increased to Rs 6 billion for the next fiscal year with Rs 3 billion each by the Federal and Provincial government. The committee recommended that an amount of Rs 1 billion may be allocated for Kurram Tangi Dam in budget 2012-13. The meeting was informed that an amount of Rs 440 million was required during financial year 2011-12 but the government allocated only Rs 100 million for that purpose. This project will be delayed if appropriate amount is not made available for the projects whose completion would generate 85 MW power and would irrigate 366,000 acre land. The committee also recommended that an appropriate amount may be allocated for Munda Dam project in budget 2012-13.This project would generate 740 MW electricity and 100,000 acres land will be irrigated by this dam. Engineering, design and PC-1 of the dam have been completed. The Senate Standing Committee also recommended allocation of sufficient funds for acquisition of land for Suki Kinari Dam, Mansehra, which would generate 840MW electricity. The committee recommended that sufficient amount should be allocated for Dasu Dam. The completion of the project would produce 3500MW electricity so that the work on this project should be expedited.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Rs 13.585 billion earmarked for Thar Coal projects

The Sindh government has earmarked Rs 13.585 billion in the fiscal budget 2012-13 for the development of Thar Coal projects with a view to overcome energy crisis in the country. During budget speech in Sindh Assembly, provincial Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah hoped development of Thar Coal projects would help overcome energy shortage in the country. He said the lack of infrastructure was the biggest challenge to the government to execute Thar Coal projects. He said the government, therefore, undertook mega-infrastructure projects to facilitate the investors, besides creating conducive environment for large-scale developments. "Thar Coal projects are at various stages of feasibilities and financial close, which will lead to installation of over 4000 MW by 2015-16," he informed the house. He said Government of Sindh and Global Mining Company (GMC) of China had signed an MoU in September 2011 for development of Thar Coal projects. "GMC intends to invest $1.5 billion on key infrastructure projects in Thar coalfield," said the Minister. He pointed out that a test burn at Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) project in one of the blocks of Thar coal filed had been successful in December 2011, which Dr Samar Mubarakmand had executed. Major schemes and infrastructure projects proposed in the next financial year include: Rs 654 million for Construction of Islamkot Airstrip, Development of GIS for Thar Coalfield Installation of Reverse Osmosis Plants across District Tharparkar, Mithi and Islamkot, he said. Murad Ali Shah said improvement and widening of road network from Karachi seaport to Thar, road from Wango More to Thar coalfield and Water Carrier from Nabisar to Thar coalfield with a capital outlay of Rs 5 billion has been proposed. In the budget, he said, the government has proposed to provide Rs one billion for village electrification programme, Rs 1.5 billion for provision of Sui Gas to towns and villages across Sindh and Rs 100 million allocated for solar powered water supply system. He said in 2011-12, the government had provided electricity to 642 villages in Sindh at a cost of Rs one billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Punjab allocates Rs 10 billion to energy sector

The Punjab government has allocated Rs 10 billion in the budget 2012-13 to support accelerated implementation of the energy sector action plans. Provincial In charge Minister for Finance, Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, notified few hours before the budget announcement, said the energy sector of Punjab aims to utilise all available sources in the province to provide affordable energy and conservation of energy to maximise expansion of power generation capacity and infrastructure in the province through public private partnership. The sectoral initiatives included Renewable Energy Development Sector Investment Programme (REDSIP) construction of five hydro power stations, feasibility study for development of coal based power projects and industrial estate in Punjab and installation of solar tube wells. These five hydro power projects will be constructed at Marla (Sialkot), Chianwali (Gujranwala), Deg outfall (Sheikhupura), Pakpattan and Okara with cumulative installed potential of 25MW and annual generation of 140GWh. Out of these execution contracts under International Contract Bidding for Marla (7.64MW) and Pakpattan (2.82MW) have been awarded and the contracting joint ventures have started detailed designing to undertake these turnkey projects. Bids on Deg outfall (4.04MW) Chianwali (5.38MW) and Okara (4.16MW) are presently under evaluation for award during June-July 2012. The provincial government is undertaking detailed techno-economic feasibility of establishing dedicated coal-based power projects to meet energy requirements of various industrial estates in Punjab. Also, establishment of centre of excellence for renewable energy at University of Engineering & Technology Lahore has been proposed to research, field trials and production of solar-based tube wells for water supply and irrigation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Promoting green investments and sustainability: government urged to develop consensus among stakeholders

Former chairman of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Tariq Hameed on Saturday has urged government to evolve a broad-based consensus among all stakeholders to adopt new initiative in promoting green investments and sustainability in the country. He was addressing at a seminar on "Green economy -does it include you?" organised by Pakistan Engineering Congress in connection with the World Environment Day. Tariq has suggested that implementation of green economy policies should be undertaken through effective framework of participation by all stakeholders. Investment in sustainability through a broad range of green initiatives in research and education, conservation systems, new technology, educational projects and financial policies were also part of the recommendations. He said that pollution is the biggest problem of Pakistan. The water borne diseases are biggest killers here. He further said that in agriculture, the sewerage water is used as well as there is a problem of disposing of industrial waste water. The toxic water is also destroying our aquatic life, he said. President Pakistan Engineering Congress, Engineer Riaz Ahmad Khan said that green economy vehicle has four wheels green technology, natural resources such as eco-system, educated and healthy people and above all a social protection system that is fair and equitable. While giving the reference of FACES Pakistan, a non-profit organisation, Riaz said that the organisation did a commendable job for creating awareness among the masses by introducing a "Fan fitted Solar Cap" that propels the fan on exposure to sunlight. "Riaz said that it is the need of the hour that we should invest in hydel energy generation as well as in the development of alternate energy generation such as wind and solar. He said that issue of concern in Pakistan is that we have a negligible 5.31 per cent of its land as forest whereas in China it is 18.21 per cent and 23.68 per cent in India.

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Trans-regional economic projects: Zardari seeks Chinese investment

President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday called for greater Chinese investment in infrastructure development, particularly in mega energy projects, and proposed setting up of an Energy Fund for mega projects, including hydro-power projects. President Zardari, in his meeting with President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the SCO summit, called upon the Joint Energy Working Group of the two countries that held its second meeting last month in Islamabad, to find new ways in that regard. The two leaders discussed the whole gamut of bilateral relations to the recent developments taking place at the regional and international level. Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar quoted President Zardari as saying that Pakistan''s ultimate goal was closer economic integration with China. He called for Chinese investment in trans-regional economic projects, particularly in energy sector among Pakistan, Afghanistan and China and for raising the bilateral trade target of $15 billion by 2015. He said that the bilateral trade between the two countries was on an upward trajectory as in 2011 it increased to $10.6 billion from $8.6 billion in 2010 showing an increase of 22%. The President said that the opening of ICBC''s branches in Pakistan, the Currency Swap Agreement last December and the launching of PAK-SAT 1R Project in August 2011 were significant milestones in Pak-China bilateral relations. He called for stepping up the momentum generated by those landmark developments. He also assured the Chinese leader of Pakistan''s commitment to ensure safety and security of Chinese personnel working in Pakistan. The President said that maintaining strong relations with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan''s foreign policy, and added that all political parties, state institutions and the people of Pakistan considered China a trusted friend and a strong strategic ally. He said that the government was determined to take the relations in political, defence, security and economic spheres to "new heights" and his ninth visit to China was a manifestation of that policy. He said Pakistan People''s Party''s strong ties with the Communist Party of China dated back to the 1960s under the leadership of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The President appreciated China''s help in overcoming the Attabad lake problem in Gilgit-Baltistan. He said the widening and up-gradation of Karakoram Highway as well as realignment of the segment impacted by the Attabad Lake would further facilitate and enhance trade, and people-to-people contacts. He also welcomed China''s support for mega hydro projects and also for connectivity projects in Pakistan. The President also thanked the Chinese President for continued support to Pakistan''s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and in its efforts to fight international terrorism. He welcomed China''s principled stand in support of Pakistan in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden and for China''s recognition of Pakistan''s anti-terror efforts. "We are also grateful for China''s support in the aftermath of the Nato attacks on Pakistan''s border posts last November," he said. He said that Pakistan had worked closely in the UN Security Council''s reforms and the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), and appreciated China''s understanding of Pakistan''s strategic imperatives in that regard and support for its position. President Zardari said that Pakistan strongly opposed any attempts to undermine China''s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and reiterated Pakistan''s full support to China''s core issues, including its position on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang. The President said that Pakistan condemned the ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) and assured China of its fullest co-operation. Farhatullah Babar said the regional situation also came under discussion during the meeting. Zardari mentioned the initiatives taken to revive the dialogue process with India and put in place CBMs, like facilitating cross-LOC trade and travel facilitation. The initiation of the China-Pakistan-Afghanistan tripartite dialogue is an important step, he said, adding that Pakistan would continue to work closely with China for peace, stability and economic reconstruction in Afghanistan. The President said that Pakistan was trying to re-negotiate parameters of relationship with the US in the light of parliamentary recommendations. He said that Pakistan expected respect for its sovereignty and appreciation of its position on the red lines for participation in the war against terrorism. The President said that Pakistan would strive to maintain engagement with the US to repair the relationship while upholding sovereignty and national dignity. The Spokesperson said President Zardari also reiterated Pakistan''s case for full membership of the SCO. The President said that Pakistan was most suitably positioned in promoting regional trade and economic co-operation as envisaged in the Organisation''s charter. He said that Pakistan had been regularly participating in SCO summits in 2009, 2010 and 2011 at the highest level and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani participated in the meetings of SCO Council of Heads of Government during all these years. President Zardari welcomed the finalisation of rules for admitting new members by the SCO and expressed the hope that it would pave the way for Pakistan''s full membership of the organisation. Pakistan, he said, was keen on engaging with the financial and non-governmental sectors of SCO member states, particularly in the banking and business sectors, and also in the sectors of transport, energy, trade and development. He also recalled that Pakistan was the first country to apply for full membership of the SCO. Soon after the meeting, Pakistan and China signed a MoU for 2012-2020 for co-operation in Science, Technology and Space sciences. The MoU, signed by Ambassador Masood Khan and China''s Administrator for Science and Technology Organisation for their respective countries, was also witnessed by the two Presidents, the spokesperson said. Earlier on arrival at the Great Hall of the Peoples, the President was received by the Chinese President and accompanied to the dais where the national anthems of the two countries were played. Then President Zardari was presented a ceremonial guard of honour by the contingents of Chinese Army, Navy and Air Force. President Zardari will meet tonight Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in another bilateral meeting, followed by a dinner hosted by the vice President.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2012

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Senate panel makes proposal: PSDP allocations need to be diverted to energy projects

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Thursday suggested the government to divert entire allocations of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) towards energy related projects to resolve the growing problem of energy in the country, causing about Rs 500 billion losses to the economy. The Senator from both the ruling coalition and opposition said that the energy crisis is the biggest problem of the country and maximum resources from other heads are required to the directed toward this sector to accelerate on-going projects of power generation. Senator Tahir Mashahdi suggested to the government to increase the allocation for power sector from existing Rs 184 billion in the PSDP to Rs 600 billion for the next fiscal year to resolve the load shedding problem. The Finance Ministry opposed the proposal on grounds that it would be impossible to utilise such a huge amount in one year. Senators said that ongoing problem of load shedding has made it difficult for them to face the enraged voters. The committee agreed that the proposal of the senator to increase allocation for power sector would be taken up today (Friday) while reviewing PSDP for the next fiscal year. Opposition leaders in the Senator, Ishaq Dr submitted recommendation on behalf of all the opposition parties and recommended that the allocation of Rs 22 billion for the Peoples Works Programme-II should be reduced to Rs 1 billion and the savings of Rs 21 billion be allocated for the Energy Sector in order to minimise the on going load shedding. The opposition parties also recommends that the allocation of Rs 5 billion for the Peoples Works Programme-I should be reduced to Rs 1 billion and the savings of Rs 4 billion should be allocated for the Energy Sector to minimise the ongoing load shedding. The opposition recommends that the proposed increase in budget for the Presidency should be withdrawn and the same amount be allocated for the Higher Education, It proposed that perks and privileges for the former Presidents and Prime Ministers of Pakistan should be withdrawn. The opposition also recommends that the ongoing menace of circular debt may be brought to an end on urgent basis to deal with ongoing energy shortage. The opposition leaders also recommended that federal government should provincialise all DISCOs to rationalise the energy cost but the proposal was opposed by the Senator Haji Adeel of Awami National Party (ANP) who stated that his party would accept the proposal on condition if the government also provincialise the power generation by the provinces along with distribution companies. Dar recommended that a single "Energy Ministry" should be created by merging different Federal Ministries dealing with energy subject, to take fast track actions on on-going issues relating to energy. The federal government must take immediate measures to stop all grey traffic in the country to ensure the outstanding receipt of Rs 75 billion from M/s Etisalat on account of privatisation of PTCL. The income on account of Petroleum levy estimated for 2012-13 at Rs 120 billion should be reduced to Rs 70 billion to provide some relief to the consumers due to unjustified increase in petroleum products. The Senate recommends to the National Assembly that the Government may promote agriculture reforms to incentivise small farmers and rural women, encourage co-operative farming and distribute state land among landless peasants. The government has been asked to promote micro financing and venture financing as well as to set up small and medium enterprises and patronise domestic and agro based industry in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Coal gasification a solution to power problem: experts

Coal gasification offers one of the most versatile and clean ways to convert coal into electricity, hydrogen and other valuable energy products. These views were expressed by experts on Thursday while speaking at a workshop jointly organised by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) on coal gasification and its benefits to the industry. LCCI Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Mehar, General Manager SMEDA Alamghir Chaudhry, Engineer S A Khalid, Engineer Zahid Malik, Engineer Khalid Umer and Mohammad Shakeel were prominent among the speakers. They said the irony of the fact is that three decades ago, electricity was generated from hydel and non hydel resources with a proportion of 70:30. "Now the situation has totally reversed. It means that the country is relying too much on gas, oil and other sources to generate electricity. It has resulted in costly electricity which has wiped out competitive edge in international market and also pushed us to that stage where our future has become sceptical." Keeping in view the shortage of natural gas and high prices of oil, we are bound to explore alternative ways of producing energy. Though some experts suggest going for solar and wind energy but the installation cost of such projects are way too high, which makes it unviable in our case. Luckily, having abundant reserves of coal, which will not cost us dearly, we can utilise it for energy production. He said that according to reports 80,000 megawatts of electricity is being produced through underground coal gasification in different countries of the world including South Africa, Australia, China, Russia, Poland, Czech and Uzbekistan. But sadly, the government did not allocate funds in the federal budget 2012-13 for this project.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Wapda to construct 375 megawatts powerhouse at Warsak

The Pakistan Water & Power Development Authority (Wapda) has agreed in principle to construct another powerhouse of 375MW at Warsak in addition to the existing power station of about 250MW. Resultantly, the generation capacity of Warsak power station will rise to 525MW. The decision to this effect was made in a meeting presided over by Wapda Chairman, Shakil Durrani here at Wapda House. Wapda Member (Power), Muhammad Qasim Khan, Wapda Secretary, Muhammad Imtiaz Tajwar, representatives of the consultants for the project and other senior officers of Wapda attended the meeting. Claudio Vissa, team leader of the consultants - a joint venture of RSWI, Canada and DEC, Pakistan - told the meeting that with addition to the new underground powerhouse, the Warsak power station will contribute more than 1.6 billion units of electricity to the national grid against the present contribution of about 0.9 billion units. This will result additional financial gains of more than Rs 6 billion per annum, he added. Addressing the meeting, Wapda Chairman said that the new Warsak Hydropower Project is a component of the two-pronged strategy being implemented by Wapda on priority for optimal utilisation of the water resource. Besides constructing new hydropower projects, rehabilitation and upgradation of the old hydel power stations are also being carried out under the strategy to help inject low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid, he added. It is pertinent to mention that the existing Warsak Hydel Power Station is located on the River Kabul at 30 kilometers from Peshawar. The project was completed in two phases. In the first phase four units having cumulative generation capacity of 160MW were installed in 1960, while in the second phase, two more units of 83MW were added in 1981, raising the capacity of the power station to about 250MW. After completing about 50 years, the generating units of the power house have deteriorated despite extensive repair and maintenance due to heavy sediments in the water of River Kabul.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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Conergy wins 60-70 million euros for solar plant

German solar company Conergy has won 60-70 million euros ($74-87 million) in investments as part of an order from US-based alternative energy firm DACC Global to build a 50 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Pakistan. Conergy said on Monday the plant - to be the largest solar plant in Pakistan - would be built jointly with Hong Kong-based project developer Ensunt Holdings. Conergy will be in charge of the overall planning, engineering and design of the solar park. "This project is another step forward in our interesting project pipeline for 2012. It underlines the relevance of the Asian solar markets, their growth potential and further reflects Conergy''s excellent market access, global footprint and ambitions in Asia," Conergy Chief Executive Philip Comberg said. Total investments for the park are expected to reach about $170-190 million, Conergy said. The group was saved by hedge funds in early 2011 through a debt-for-equity swap, ending years of financing troubles for the company, once Germany''s largest solar player. It posted a loss after tax of 162 million euros in 2011. The solar sector has come under intense pressure from fierce competition from Asian rivals, overcapacity and falling government subsidies for solar power, driving some players out of business, including German groups such as Solon and Q-Cells.

Copyright Reuters, 2012

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Prime Minister announces Rs 50 million for Ormara solar energy project

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday announced Rs 50 million for solar system project in this budget for generating energy for people of Ormara area. He was speaking after performing the ground-breaking ceremony for the Cadet College Ormara - a project of the Pakistan Navy. The Prime Minister referred to his previous visit to Gwadar and said that the electricity arrangement for that area was in collaboration with Iran. He said that his effort is that in this budget there be a project for solar energy and for this he announced a sum of Rs 50 million so that electricity be provided in Ormara and that this would also be subsidised so that the people of the area should benefit from it. Prime Minister Gilani stated that through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) some 25,000 to 30,000 families can benefit in each of the districts and there are many districts in Makran Division. He said that it has also been decided that God forbid if one dies in that family then a compensation of Rs 100,000 would be given. Prime Minister said that arrangements would also be made for giving the health insurance for medical treatment through the BISP. Likewise, 'Rozgar Scheme' would also be prepared through this programme so that one member of every family be provided with job, he said adding that technical and skill training would also be made available in order to enable one to serve either within the country or abroad. Gilani said that through BISP some Rs 2.5 million to three million young students be provided free education besides arrangements for assistance and 'Waseela-i-Rozgar' in order to enable them to run their own businesses as well. He stated that after constitutional amendment the province of Balochistan was extended autonomy and its rights on the assets as well as royalty. The Prime Minister was confident that the pace of development in Baluchistan would enhance. On the occasion, the Prime Minister recalled some of the measures that have been taken by his government for the betterment of Balochistan and the people of the province. He said that on top of this is the `Aghaz-i-Haqooq-i-Balochistan' and that under this package Balochistan has been given 15 percent royalty in gas development surcharge and with this the province would be given Rs 120 billion for the next 12 years. In addition to this, 5.4 percent special quota in federal government jobs has been allocated. The Prime Minister said that the head office of Gwadar Port has been shifted from Karachi to Gwadar. He said that the 7th National Finance Commission is an important step of the present government and the share for Balochistan has been enhanced from 5.11 percent to 9.09 percent. Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said that he was convinced that due to continued efforts of the present government the day is not far off when there will be progress and development in Balochistan. He also congratulated Pakistan Navy specially the Naval Chief, Admiral Asif Sandila, for an important role for the development of the coastal areas. The Prime Minister assured that the federal government would ably play its role for the welfare and development in the coastal belt and every co-operation would also be made available to Pak Navy. He said that there is backwardness in this area where there is also unemployment. Gilani said that he had already given 5,000 jobs on behalf of the federal government to the graduates. He also announced jobs to 2,500 to 3,000 in the federal government as the remaining quota. The Prime Minister said that 35,000 graduates would be provided with jobs from the federal government. He said that due share would be extended in the Benazir Income support Programme. About development programme, Prime Minister Gilani said that the federal government has fully given its fund towards the Katchi Canal so that the project is completed in this financial year. He said that the entire fund would be made available in this financial year for the Gwadar-Retodero Road project. Prime Minister said that the federal government would provide fund this year through the Higher Education Commission in these areas so that colleges and universities be set up promptly. He said that our focus is fully towards education because those areas that do not have education or employment opportunities would tend to promote militancy and terrorism. Governor Balochistan, Nawaz Zulfiqar Magsi, Naval Chief, Admiral Asif Sandila, and ministers were also present on the occasion.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2012

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Store 12MAF water: 17 projects under way to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity: WAPDA

The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) is implementing on priority a least-cost energy generation plan to help reduce electricity shortfall and increase the ratio of low-cost hydel electricity in the national grid. Under the plan, 17 large projects are under construction / at detailed engineering stage, which will generate more than 20,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity and store about 12 million acre feet (MAF) of water. Wapda Chairman Shakil Durrani expressed these views while presiding over a progress review meeting at Wapda House. Members and general managers concerned also attended the meeting. While emphasising the importance of hydropower to meet the electricity needs in the country, the Chairman urged the project managers to complete these projects within stipulated time. It is pertinent to mention that the hydropower is the cheapest electricity generated through indigenous resource of water. The average tariff for hydel electricity is Rs 1.54 per unit as compared to the overall electricity tariff of about Rs 9 per unit. Earlier, the meeting was told that seven projects with cumulative capacity of more than 1500MW are under construction. Out of these, five projects of about 400MW will be completed in the current year, while the 969MW Neelum-Jhelum and the 106MW Golen Gol hydropower projects are progressing at a good pace. In addition, the 4,500MW Diamer Basha Dam with gross storage capacity of 8.1 MAF and the 84MW Kurram Tangi Dam with water storage capacity of 1.2 MAF have also been initiated. Besides, the 1410MW Tarbela fourth extension and the 7,100MW Bunji Hydropower Project will soon be available for initiating construction work, as detailed engineering designs of the two projects are almost complete. It was further told that six mega projects are currently in the stage of their detailed engineering designs, including the 740MW Munda Dam multipurpose project with storage capacity 1.3 MAF, the 4,320MW Dasu with storage capacity of 1.1 MAF, the 122MW Keyal Khwar and three other projects of 1,761MW. The meeting expressed satisfaction that the Greater Thal Canal, Khan Khwar hydropower and Mangla Dam Raising projects have been completed during the last couple of years, while Satpara Dam, Gomal Zam Dam and Jinnah Hydropower Project will be fully completed this year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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