14TH INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION FOR THE ENERGY INDUSTRY

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News Headlines for the month of
SEPTEMBER 2013

Chinese firms express interest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa hydel projects

Two Chinese firms, China-Beixin and Chen Qijin Roads and Bridges Company Ltd Xinjiang Beixin on Saturday expressed interest in taking up projects in hydel-power generation and construction of proposed Peshawar mass-transit and express ways in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Offer of investment in this regard was conveyed to Advisor to KP Chief Minister Rafaqatullah Babar in a meeting at the Pakhtunkhwa House. The joint delegation of these firms led by Zhang Lida were briefed in detail about investment opportunities in the province. They said that they would anytime take up construction of any hydel-power project costing up to $300 million while they would seriously consider investment in the proposed railways mass-transit scheme for Peshawar and the construction of double-lane expressway from M-1, at Swabi up-to Chakdara Malakand. The delegation also assured Rafaqatullah Babar that in view of the opportunities of investment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will also invite more investors from China particularly Urumqi. Babar also said on this occasion that while the provincial government was making every effort to help the investors they were seriously interested in quality of work and the time taken in its execution. In this regard they were handed out details about all the three avenues of investments and by upcoming Monday they will finalise details of the terms and conditions of the final agreement. The advisor to CM informed that he will take up these details with the concerned authorities to pave the way for starting physical work over it soon. It was also informed on this occasion that such investors can import machinery for execution of such development schemes without paying any custom duty. It is worth mentioning that just the other day another Chinese firm, China Water and Electric Corporation had separately offered investment in the hydel-power generation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They too had agreed in another meeting with Rafaqatullah Babar that they wanted to take up such projects, its design and construction as early and as much as possible. The KP government and such foreign investors are working on finalisation of the details of agreements in this regard. The construction of Peshawar Mass transit and Malakand were long due and the present provincial government is seriously working on it so that both of these mega-development projects are taken up in the larger interest of the people of the province at the earliest. The construction of Peshawar Mass transit and Malaknd were long due and the present provincial government is seriously working on it so that both of these mega-development projects are taken up in the larger interest of the people of the province at the earliest. It is worth-mentioning that 76 percent of the country's total hydel potential (or 45,861-megawatt) of 59,796-megawatt can be harnessed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. Alone KP is generating just 3,849MW of electricity from its operational hydropower projects, while projects under implementation have the potential to generate 9,482MW. The provincial government is carrying out work on as many as 28 such projects. Feasibility studies of 77 projects have been completed while raw sites with a potential for generating 8,930MW of electricity have also been identified. KP's Shydo had already developed a fast-track hydro development plan for 24 projects with a total capacity of 2,156MW with an investment outlay of Rs 350 billion. This plan includes three projects for 56MW as short-term, eight medium-term projects with a capacity of 600MW as and 13 long-term projects with generation capacity of 1,500MW.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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590 megawatts Mahl hydropower project: PPIB receives three bids

Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) has received three bids for 590MW Mahl Hydropower Project costing $1 billion, says a press release. PPIB has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from prospective investors through national and international media in June 2013. Initially six companies from South Korean, Chinese and Pakistani origin showed their interest in development of the 590MW Mahl Hydropower Project and finally three companies submitted firm proposals on Friday. The companies submitted proposals to the PPIB for the project to be located on dual boundary of Punjab (Rawalpindi) and AJK (Bagh) include M/s CWE Investment Corporation, China, M/s Sinohydro Group Limited, China and M/s Nishat Group Associates, Pakistan. The proposals were opened by the committee under the Secretary Water and Power, Managing Director PPIB Saif Ullah Chattha. The committee is mandated to oversee the development process of the project and its other members include representation from the Government of Punjab, Government of AJK, Ministry of Water and Power, NTDC and PPIB. The proposals, which were opened in the presence of bidding companies and media, will be evaluated based on the technical and financial credentials of the applicants within a month, and following the approval of the Board of PPIB highest ranked party will be offered Letter of Interest (LoI) for conducting feasibility study of the project. The work of the project can be started in December, 2016-17. The estimated cost of the project is $1 billion and besides providing jobs, and 3.6 billion units per annum of clean-reliable-affordable electricity into the national grid, the province and AJK will receive millions of rupees on account of water use charges during the term of project operations. The project will be implemented on Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis and will be transferred to Government of AJK after 25 years. Currently, PPIB is processing 14 run-of-the-river hydropower projects of 6,848MW cumulative power generation capacity in the private sector. These projects are at different phases of development and shall be commissioned as per specified timelines.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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'Solar systems to be provided on easy instalments'

Provincial Minister for Energy and Mines, Chaudhry Sher Ali has said that solar home solution systems would be provided to the public on easy instalments through banks for the prominent reduction in energy shortfall. He said that for the restoration of industrial and trade activities, speedy work is going on for the completion of energy projects. While talking to the delegations of Japanese Energy Company Nippa Tech and local company Nasak Technologies Pakistan on Thursday, the Minister said that interest of the local and international investors in energy sector is very positive and exemplary results are coming out. He said advertisements for open tenders would be published in newspapers in October 2013 and with crystal clear process with following rules and regulations, the energy projects would be allocated to the energy companies. He said, we are trying to provide best quality solar systems to the public through easy bank instalments, it will reduce electricity bills and the extra load on grid stations will also be reduced. He said we are trying to generate energy day and night and public should also cooperate with the government for stopping the wastage and theft of electricity and for this we can reduce the present energy shortfall we can also save extra energy. He said that the government of Punjab is starting the second phase of the Ujala Programme again in October 2013 and in this programme, solar lamps would be provided free of cost to the students. He said no compromise would be made on the quality of products by the energy companies. He said that we have selected hydel energy project sites and further progress also going on but we are depending on the solar energy and other alternative energy resources. He said this is making ensured the maximum co-operation and facilitation to the energy companies who wants to work in energy sector in Pakistan. He said this is our priority to overcome the energy crisis with best expertise and latest technology and maximum investment in energy sector with mutual exemplary co-operation. He said that completion of energy projects of solar, thermal, baggas and other alternative resources would be completed on time and with this we would be able to generate thousands of megawatts of electricity. In the meeting the members of Japanese and Pakistani companies introduced their performance in the field of solar, thermal systems and other relevant products. The President of Japanese company Khalid Raza and Professor of Kyoto University of Japan, Heroaki Nagayama and executive director of Nasak Technology Khalid Raza and other officers of the relevant departments were present on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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Chinese delegation calls on NTDC MD

Five-member delegation of China Southern Power Grid Company limited (CSG) under supervision of Wang Jiuling called on Managing Director Muhammad Zia-ur Rehman at Wapda House on Tuesday. It is pertinent to note that said visit of Chinese company is follow up visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held in July. Prime Minister had asked China to send their power sector experts to transfer their technical and professional prowess among Pakistani engineers. National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) MD Muhammad Zia-ur Rehman briefed about operations of NTDC, on-going projects and future expansion plan. In addition, he proposed that NTDC would like to benefit from experiences and technical expertise of CSG in terms of network optimisation, introduction to new technologies, improvement in algorithms of control system and capacity building of engineers and technicians. To achieve this objective, he proposed that in addition to training sessions, engineers of two companies may work together on projects, control systems and operation and maintenance (O&M) assignments.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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STFA to build $300 million wind plant

Turkish construction company STFA has signed agreements with Pakistan to build a 50 megawatt wind plant and power transmission lines worth $300 million, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday. STFA chief executive Mehmet Ali Neyzi said the estimated cost of the wind plant would be $100 million and another $200 million would be invested in the transmission lines.

Copyright Reuters, 2013

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Kyrgyzstan-Afghanistan route: Russia offers to export 5000 megawatts electricity

Russia has offered to export 5000MW electricity through Kyrgyzstan-Afghanistan route. A Russian delegation led by Deputy Minister for Energy comprised representatives of major energy companies here on Thursday called on Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal and discussed co-operation in energy sector. The delegation extended its co-operation in energy sector including import of electricity, LNG, natural gas, coal power production and oil and gas exploration. Russian investors offered 100 percent technical and financial solutions for the Jamshoro and Muzaffargarh power plants and also showed interest to invest in Gaddani Power Park. Russia is building hydro-power plants in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan including 3900MW project in Kyrgyzstan and looking for new markets to export cheap electricity. Russian delegation made an initial offer of 1000MW which would subsequently be increased to 5000MW and this electricity will be available throughout the year. Russian companies also showed interest in export of LNG and oil exploration in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Russian Deputy Minister for Energy said that he was encouraged with policies of the government and Russian investors are eager to invest in energy sector of Pakistan. He stressed the need for constituting a working group to tap the potential of energy co-operation between the two countries and offered co-operation in modernising existing thermal plants and shifting them into coal-fired technology. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal informed that there was a great potential between both the countries for co-operation." We welcome Russian investment in our energy sector. We are in the center of three major engines of growth which puts us at strategically important position," he added. South Asia, China and Central Asia represent a market of three billion people, he added. The minister urged Russian investors for taking advantage of this opportunity as Pakistan possesses rich resources and offers best incentive for foreign investors. Ahsan Iqbal said that the government believes in transparency and zero tolerance against corruption for socio-economic uplift of the country.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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Sindh CM invites joint venture Korean investment in roads, power projects

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has invited Korean investors for investment in roads and power projects as joint venture in the province and assured all required assistance to them by the provincial Government. This he said while talking to Korean Consul General Cheng Hee Lee, who called on him at the Chief Minister House here on Wednesday. Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that we have strong relations with the Republic of Korea and various Korean companies have completed their projects in the province by maintaining the standard and quality of work. Hyderabad- Mirpurkhas dual carriage-way road project is one of them, he mentioned. He said that the Sindh Government is ready to work with Korean investors on different projects including construction of roads, hydro and coal- based power projects. He also stressed the need for enhancing the bilateral ties between both the countries. The Korean Consul General expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister for cooperation.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013

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‘MOL Group to continue investing in Pakistan’

ISLAMABAD: MOL Group stays committed to Pakistan’s oil and gas exploration and production sector and continues to invest in the country as its key strategic area of upstream business development, MOL Group Exploration and Production Vice President Alexandar Dodds said here Wednesday. MOL Pakistan also announced to start exploratory operations in Margala Block in the federal capital with initial investment of a few million dollars and in the first phase five exploratory wells will be initiated and five drilling rigs will start operating soon. Dodds was addressing a press conference to brief the media about his first visit to Pakistan in which he met a number of government officials and discussed plans for mutual cooperation. He was accompanied by MOL Group Chief Financial Officer Jozeph Simoli and MOL Pakistan Managing Director Ferenc Juhasz. Dodds expressed his confidence that MOL Pakistan will be able to further develop Tal Block from where it was already producing 300 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) natural gas and 16,000 barrels of hydrocarbon condensate. He indicated that in the near future MOL Pakistan would be able to add another 145 MMCFD gas from the Tal Block to the national network. While sharing a backgrounder of MOL Pakistan’s operations in the country since 1999 he said that as operator of TAL Block joint venture MOL Pakistan had a number of discoveries to its credit and is now a major energy producer in the country. MOL Pakistan also holds concessions for Margala and Margala North Blocks and has working interest in the Karak block and Ghauri block. Talking about the security situation in the field area for MOL Pakistan, he said that he had visited the field area and found that MOL Pakistan was working to its full potential and it is coordinating with all the stakeholders. The stakeholder in the region includes the government of Pakistan, provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and local communities. While responding to a question about expansion and acquisition of blocks in South of Pakistan, Dodds said that MOL looks at such opportunities according to its own technical assessment and the in line with the group’s overall strategy. MOL as a group is always interested in finding new opportunities and for Pakistan the group had an expressed interest in the exploration and production sector. Dodds and Juhasz expressed satisfaction over the current Petroleum Policy 2012 and hoped that it will bring more investment into the exploration and production sector of the country. MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas Company BV, a fully owned subsidiary of MOL Group, is operating in Pakistan since 1999. At present it is led by Juhasz. MOL Pakistan has a very successful track record of operations in Pakistan where it has operated as well as non-operated joint ventures with the local exploration and production companies. Presently it is operating TAL Block and Margala and Margala North Blocks. The non-operating blocks where it has considerable presence are Karak Block and Ghauri Blocks with 40 percent and 30 percent interests, respectively. Currently MOL Pakistan is contributing 8.0 percent of gas and 19 percent of crude and condensate production of the country.

Copyright DailyTimes 2013

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Energy cooperation discussed with Iran

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani discussed bilateral ties including energy co-operation and neighbouring countries support for Afghan peace as the Pakistani leader congratulated the new Iranian leader on his recent election success. The meeting, their first since their respective election victories, took place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, where they are representing their countries at the 68th session of the 193-member forum. Pakistan and Iran enjoy relations that are deeply rooted in historical, cultural and religious commonalities. The Prime Minister congratulated President Hassan Rouhani on his victory in the June 14 elections. The two leaders reviewed status of bilateral co-operation and exchanged views on regional and international issues particularly the challenges being faced by the Islamic Ummah. Nawaz Sharif stated that co-operation in the energy sector would "serve the interest of both the countries." The two countries agreed that Afghanistan''s neighbours needed to work closely with the Afghan government and support an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led political process.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2013

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Russian companies want to invest in petroleum, energy sectors

Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation and Head of the delegation, Yury Sentyurin on Wednesday said some Russian companies are inclined to invest in petroleum and energy sectors in Pakistan. He expressed these views in a meeting with Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal Khan including officials from petroleum and energy organizations here at Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), head office. On behalf of his 15-member team on three-day visit to Pakistan, he discussed his concerns over many issues keeping in view investment plan here in petroleum and energy sectors. The Minister resolved their queries and arranged presentations of OGDCL, Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Water And Power Development Authority (WAPDA), National Transmission And Despatch Company Limited (NTDC), Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO), Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) for further convenience. "Foreign investment in Pakistan is protected in accordance with an act passed in the Parliament House and Pakistan encourages foreign investments on equality basis and provides level playing field to all the investors either in government, public or private sectors", Kamal added. The Russian delegation appreciated the liberal investment policies of the government and agreed upon finalising terms and conditions of engagement in the meetings ahead. The delegation was comprised of Ivan Volkov, the Head of Asia and Africa Desk of the Ministry of Energy of Russia, Vladimir Mokryy, the Counsellor of the Board of Directors of the JSC 'NOVATEK', Vladimir Pelmenev, the Leading Expert of the Department of International Business of the JSC 'GAZPROM Petroleum', Ivan Shevchenko, the Counsellor of the Secretariat of the Director General of the JSC 'INTER RAO UES', Maxim Peshkov, the Head of the Directorate of the Central Asia Geographical Division Development, 'INTER RAO UES', Alexander Rybas, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the JSC 'TECHNOPROMEXPORT', Sergey Abutidze, the Deputy Director General of the JSC 'TECHNOPROMEXPORT', Igor Tertyshnyy, the Director of Department of Perspective Projects Abroad of the JSC 'TECHNOPROMEXPORT', Valery Davydyuk, the Deputy Director General on International Projects of the JSC 'Electrocentrmontazh', Alexey Semenkov, the Director of the directorate of International Projects of the JSC 'Electrocentrmontazh', Vadim Zhuk, the President of the JSC 'Metallostroykonstrukcia' Federation, Yury Kozlov, the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dmitry Vikhlyaev, the Chief Specialist of the Trade Representation of the Russian Federation, Alexey Afanasyev, the Interpreter, Embassy of the Russian Federation.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2013

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OGDCL, MOL sign accord to collaborate in E&P sector

OGDCL Managing Director/CEO Muhammad Riaz Khan chaired a meeting with a high level MOL delegation led by Alexander Dodds, Executive Vice President E&P MOL Group (Hungary) along with other senior executives of the group at OGDCL Head Office on Wednesday, which was also attended by OGDCL's senior management. In this regard, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between OGDCL and MOL for future collaboration in the upstream sector. Both OGDCL and MOL have a vision for growth and this MoU will be a stepping stone for embarking upon international ventures as well as enhancing production from OGDCL's operated blocks/fields through Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)/ Improved Oil Recovery (lOR) technology. MOL will offer Farm-in opportunity to OGDCL in its international blocks and likewise OGDCL will provide Farm-out opportunity to MOL in its operated blocks. In addition, MOL will share its experience and carry out studies to enhance production from OGDCL's matured fields using latest EOR/lOR techniques. Both MOL and OGDCL, the flagship companies of the E&P industry, are keen to explore new areas of co-operation and make further investment in the oil and gas exploration both in and outside Pakistan. This co-operation is reflective of the government of Pakistan's unrelenting efforts in mitigating the energy shortfall in the country. Besides its experience in the exploration and production, MOL has rich experience of over 50 years in the development of EOR/lOR projects utilising specialised techniques such as steam injection, instiu combustion, nitrogen injection, C02 injection, polymer injection, micellar surfactant flooding, methane/ethane injection and combination techniques etc. MOL, a Hungarian E&P integrated organization having average annual net sales revenue of around 25 billion dollars and market capitalisation of 7.5 billion dollars is an active E&P player internationally with market presence in around 40 countries and strong upstream portfolio in addition to Hungary in countries such as Oman, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Russia, Syria, Italy, Slovakia, Croatia and Romania in addition to its existing operations in Pakistan. As the operator of TAL JV in Pakistan, it is currently managing a production of staggering around seven percent of gas and 20 percent of oil of the pertaining aggregate indigenous whole and is eager to explore further possible avenues of investment and expansion in Pakistan. In this respect during the meeting they indicated plans to simultaneously drill four to five wells in the country.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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CASA-1000: Resolution signed

The Government of Pakistan hosted two days of meetings of the Inter-Governmental Council (IGC) for the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project, known as CASA-1000, says a press release. The four participating governments of Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Pakistan signalled their commitment to developing this landmark energy project in 2014 by officially signing the IGC Resolution on Project Structure and Key Commercial Principles at the ministerial level. The CASA-1000 project is expected to facilitate the first electricity trade between four countries in Central Asia and South Asia, based on long-term commercial contracts for exporting 1,300MW of electricity from Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to electricity consumers in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The $1 billion investment is expected to create the conditions for sustainable hydropower trade to alleviate power supply shortages in the importing countries of South Asia, while enhancing sector and budget revenues in the exporting Central Asian countries. "We sincerely hope that the realisation of CASA-1000 will take us a long way in developing further relationships between the Central Asian and South Asian countries" said Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister of Water and Power Pakistan, said in a press release issued on Monday. Officials from the Government of Pakistan also noted that CASA-1000 could alleviate electricity shortages during the peak summer season when consumer demand is the highest and reduce Pakistan''s dependence on costly, carbon-intensive oil-based generation. Officials from the Government of Afghanistan noted the importance of the project in establishing the country''s role as a viable transit country and enhancing its growth prospects at a critical time. Representatives from the governments of Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic welcomed the proposed CASA-1000 project as a potential source for fiscal and power sector revenues that could be used to alleviate their acute winter energy shortages. Through the Inter-Governmental Council, the four countries are working together to make decisions about project implementation and operation, common policies and rules, and use consistent technical, safety, and environmental standards. Preparation activities for the project were discussed and advanced during the 2-day meetings, with progress made on plans to negotiate the commercial agreements, disclose Environment and Social Safeguard Documents, and host public consultations later in 2013. The meeting confirmed that an implementation plan for community benefit-sharing during construction and operation will need to be developed in the coming months. During the meeting, legal consultants presented an update on the preparation of important project agreements, including the master agreement, power purchase agreements and Co-ordination Agreement. Other preparatory activities related to financing, selecting a developer and operator, finalising the environmental and social assessment, and a benefit-sharing plan for communities living around the corridor of the transmission line were discussed. Pre-preparation activities for CASA-1000 have been financed by and co-ordinated with the Australian Agency for International Development, US State Department and USAID, UK Department for International Development, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and the World Bank Group.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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100 megawatts solar power project: AEDB issues LoI to US-based firm

Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) on Friday issued a Letter of Intent (LoI) to US-based company Table Rock Associates (TRA) for setting up 100MW Solar Power PV Generation Project in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Cholistan. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) AEDB Asjad Imtiaz Ali and Country Director TRA Zafar Ahmed signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. State Minister for Water and Power Chaudhary Abid Sher Ali also witnessed the signing ceremony. Giving details of the project, the minister said the project would cost dollars 250-300 million and it would take 9-12 months for the completion of project. He expressed the hope that work on the project would start in the second quarter of next year as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is yet to approve tariff for solar project. He said the project would be built on 700 acres of land; and it would generate 100MW electricity. Replying to a question, the minister said that corrupt officials in the power sectors would not be spared. He said that six officials of Sukkur Electric Supply Company were sacked on corruption, but they managed to get stay orders from lower courts. Secretary Water and Power and other officials were also present on the occasion.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2013

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USAID-funded Gomal Zam dam, power house inaugurated

Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif and US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson on Thursday jointly inaugurated Gomal Zam Dam and power house located in the South Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Governor Khyber Pakhtun-khwa, Engineer Shaukatullah, Minister of State for Water and Power, Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali, Mission Director USAID, Gregory Gottleib, Chairman Wapda, Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, Director General FWO, members of Parliament and local notables were also present on the occasion. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided $45 million to complete the main dam and power house. Another amount of $40 million is also being provided by the USAID for completion of irrigation component of the project. The USAID has also committed $12 million for development of Waran Canal System. Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif said the project is of immense importance for socio-economic uplift of the populace of South Waziristan and KP. He thanked the US government for financial assistance to complete Gomal Zam Dam and the power house. He also appreciated Wapda and the contractor - FWO for completing dam and power house despite difficult working conditions in the project area. In his remarks on the occasion, Minister of State for Water and Power, Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali said that the government is exploring all available resources to overcome the energy crisis in the country. He said that the focus of the Ministry of Water and Power remains on hydropower generation to produce low cost and environment friendly electricity to change the energy-mix which is heavily tilted in favour of thermal power. He said that in addition to ensuring completion of under construction hydropower projects on time, new hydropower projects are being initiated. Addressing the ceremony, US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson said that the completion of the Gomal Zam Dam and the installation of a new transmission line are significant achievements. In partnership with Pakistan, we are working to boost power generation capacity and to ensure long term self-sufficiency of the power sector, he said. The ambassador also elaborated on the USAID''s energy portfolio in Pakistan. He said that the US government has worked with the Government of Pakistan to irrigate almost 243000 hectares of land throughout Pakistan since October 2009. He further said that with the energy provided by Gomal Zam Dam, the US has supported projects that, since 2009, have added 1000 MW to Pakistan''s electrical grid which is enough to provide electricity to more than 16 million people.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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Hydel power generation projects: Shahbaz seeks US help

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has sought US assistance and co-operation in hydel power generation projects particularly construction of dams. He assured that all possible facilities would be provided to the American investors. He was talking to American Ambassador in Pakistan, Richard Olson who met him in Murree on Wednesday. Matters of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting. Sharif said that there are deep friendly relations between Pakistan and America and close contacts and harmony exist between both the countries with regard to economic co-operation and international peace. He said that after winning general elections, federal and Punjab governments of PML-N are endeavouring for resolving energy crisis, restoring economy and eliminating terrorism in the country and after evolving a comprehensive strategy, concrete measures are being taken in this regard. The Chief Minister said that provision of all possible facilities and encouragement are being ensured to the foreign investors interested in the energy projects. He said besides ensuring law and order and speedy implementation on new energy projects, special attention is being paid to the uplift of education, health, infrastructure, industry and agriculture sectors. American Ambassador Richard Olson said that America gives great importance to the relations with Pakistan and highly values the role of Pakistan in the war against terrorism. He said that democratic stability in Pakistan is a good omen and there is a room for expanding Pak-American relations in various sectors of development and economic co-operation. The Chief Minister hosted a luncheon in the honour of American Ambassador. Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatmi, Provincial Minister for Labour and Manpower Raja Muhammad Ashfaq Sarwar and senior officials of American Embassy also attended the luncheon.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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Chinese team briefed about thermal, hydropower project

Provincial Minister for Energy and Mines, Chaudhry Sher Ali has said that the government is trying to produce maximum power within the shortest possible time and taking legal actions without any discrimination against the electricity thieves. This was said by the minister during the briefing given by the Chinese National Electric Engineering Company Ltd regarding the thermal and hydropower project here on Wednesday. Commercial Manager Daniel Tian along with former provincial minister Chaudhry Ijaz Shafi, Azmat Niazi and others were present in the briefing. Sher Ali said that according to the Punjab chief minister's directions we are trying to solve energy crisis and also utilising the all present resources for the energy production through thermal, coal, solar and hydropower projects. He said for the production of energy the government is providing maximum co-operation and assistance to the foreign companies. He said this is a need of hour to stop the wasting of electricity and in this respect mutual co-operation between the government and the public will bring positive results. He further said initially all street lights are converting on solar energy and after that the home appliances will be converted on it.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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100 megawatts Gulpur project: PPIB, Mira Power execute IA

Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) and Mira Power Limited on Monday executed Government of Pakistan Implementation Agreement (GoPIA) for construction of 100 MW Gulpur Hydropower Project (GHP) which will lead to financial close and subsequently construction and operation of the project. Acting Secretary Water and Power/Managing Director PPIB, Saifullah Chattha on behalf of Government of Pakistan and Kim Jae-Wang, CEO of Mira Power Limited, a consortium of leading South Korean investors, executed the agreement. The ceremony was witnessed by Minister of State for Water and Power, Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali. Addressing the ceremony Abid Sher Ali said the country suffered from extreme power shortages when PML-N government assumed office in June this year. However, PML-N government decided to work on a multi-pronged strategy to eliminate circular debt, improve power demand-supply situation, curb load shedding to a minimum possible level till its complete eradication, and encourage foreign and domestic investment in power sector especially in setting up cheaper power generation units on technologies such as hydropower, coal, solar, wind and biogas. "We have started an aggressive campaign against power thieves by enacting the required legislation to award harsh punishments to such culprits. The project is a sign of ever-growing cordial relations with our friend, Korea and would enhance the confidence of other international investors," he added. Kim Jae-Wang also spoke on the occasion and thanked the Government of Pakistan for facilitating the sponsors and assured completion of the project as per schedule. The Letter of Support (LoS) has already been issued to the company, under which the company will finalise the engineering, procurement and construction contract, execute IA, the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Land Lease Agreement (LLA) and Water Use Agreement (WUA), acquire land and achieve financial close on or before 28th April 2014. The project will be completed by December 2017. The 100 MW Gulpur is a run of the river hydropower project located on River Poonch in District Kotli, AJK having capability to generate clean, reliable and affordable 465 million units of electricity per year for the national grid. As per the feasibility study, the cost of the project is $159 million. As the government attaches top priority to generate electricity at affordable prices therefore, in line with the policy of the government, PPIB is handling and facilitating the development of the project for its timely completion to meet the future energy requirements. The project is being implemented on Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis under provisions of Power Policy 2002. After commissioning/completion of construction, the project company will operate and maintain the project for 30 years after which it will be transferred to the government. Further, during operation and maintenance of the project, the government of AJK will receive Rs 70 million per annum on account of water use charges. Besides, the project will provide employment opportunities to locals. The project is located very near to the load center and will be connected to the national grid through ChakSwari- Kotli transmission line at voltage level of 132 kV.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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Fourth Tarbela Extension Hydropower Project: Wapda, Sinohydro ink agreement

In view of the federal government''s resolve to provide relief to the consumers by adding low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid, the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) on Monday signed the contract worth Rs 26.053 billion with Chinese firm Sinohydro for civil works of the 1,410MW Tarbela fourth extension hydropower project. The contract agreement signing ceremony was held on Monday at Islamabad. Chief Engineer/ Project Director Muhammad Yousuf Khattak and Duan Jianxia signed the contract agreement on behalf of Wapda and Sinohydro respectively. Wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, Wapda''s senior officers and others were also present on the occasion. Tarbela fourth extension hydropower project is a part of least-cost power generation strategy of the Federal Government being implemented by Wapda on priority. This strategy not only aims at adding a sizeable quantum of electricity to the national grid but also improving the share of low-cost hydel electricity in the overall system for reducing the power tariff. Tarbela fourth extension hydropower project will be constructed in three and half years at estimated cost of 928 million dollars. It is pertinent to mention that the World Bank has agreed to provide 840 million dollars for the project. Tarbela fourth extension hydropower project will increase the hydropower generation capacity of Tarbela Hydel Power Station to 4888 MW, after installation of three units of 1410 MW on Tunnel No 4. On completion, Tarbela forth extension hydropower project will add about 3.84 billion unit''s low-cost electricity to the national grid per annum. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at about Rs 30.7 billion. The project will pay back its cost in just three years. The project will also be instrumental in saving foreign exchange on import of almost one million ton of furnace oil annually, required for the equivalent generation of electricity from thermal sources. The project will also provide a cushion to undertake rehabilitation and up-gradation of the existing Tarbela Power House during the lean period.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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50 megawatts wind power plant: Olson signs 10-year $95 million loan to Sapphire Company

US Ambassador Richard Olson on Wednesday on behalf of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) signed a $95 million [over Rs 9.96 billion], 10-year loan to Sapphire Wind Power Company to build a 50-megawatt (MW) wind power plant in the Ghoro-Keti Bandar wind corridor near Jhimpir in Sindh. Chief Executive Officer, Nadeem Abdullah signed on behalf of the Sapphire Wind Power Company. "The provision of clean and reliable electricity is an essential building block for any economy," Ambassador Olson said. "This project affirms OPIC''s commitment to support efforts by Pakistan to diversify energy production to include important contributions from renewable energy sources, and demonstrates the United States'' continued commitment to strengthening Pakistan''s economy, and with it, the prosperity of its citizens," he added. "The Sapphire Wind Power Project will enable Pakistan to take advantage of its massive renewable energy potential to help meet unmet demand for electricity," OPIC President and CEO, Elizabeth L. Littlefield said in Washington on Wednesday. "We are thrilled to partner with Sapphire and General Electric to bring this project to realisation," he added. The 50-megawatt wind power plant in south-eastern Pakistan''s Ghoro-Keti Bandar wind corridor will use 33 General Electric (GE) turbines and is designed to generate 133 gigawatt hours of emission-free electricity annually. The United States and Pakistan work closely together on projects designed to diversify Pakistan''s power generation beyond reliance on high-priced fuel oil and tap Pakistan''s vast renewable energy potential. According to a study funded by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the US Agency for International Development estimates that Pakistan possesses 132,000-MW of potential installed wind capacity - virtually equal to the world''s entire installed wind capacity in 2010. OPIC has invested in 123 projects in Pakistan since 1975. Its current Pakistan portfolio includes 14 active projects worth nearly $300 million in key industries including energy, health care, financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises, and telecommunications. OPIC is the US government''s development finance institution. It mobilises private capital to solve critical development challenges, providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private-equity investment funds. Established in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding businesses in more than 150 countries world-wide.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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Chinese North West Electric Power Institute inaugurated

Punjab Minister for Energy, Malik Sher Ali Khan has said that the Pakistan Muslim League-N leadership is resolutely determined to overcome the chronic menace of loadshedding and for this purpose in addition to increasing power generation, it has launched an aggressive campaign against massive electricity and gas thefts which is costing up to Rs 250 billion annually to the country. He expressed these views while addressing the opening ceremony of the world reputed Chinese North West Electric Power Institute office in Pakistan at a local hotel, here Tuesday. The minister said that as a resuent overseas project company of NWEPDI, in his welcome address, said that it was an established principle of the Chinese leadership to develop a sound relationship with Pakistan and push forward the ties among power generation firms of the two nations. Now the Chinese engineers would work hard, alongside Pakistani friends, to further strengthen existing bonds of co-operation in all fields of energy sector to achieve a better and easier life for the people of both the countries. He said that NWEPDI has already taken part in a series of work in designing, procuring, constructing and testing projects of MG-I in Pakistan. The opening of the Institute's office, the Chinese electricity experts would be a part of strength of electricity grid in Pakistan, he added. Later Li Xiu An, President of NWEPDI observed that ever since its inception in October 1956, the NWEPDI has attained the status of one of the top companies in China power sector and had designed 261 major power projects both at home and aboard. Vice President NWEPDI, Zheng Shu Gui, while giving a presentation on achievements of the Institute, remarked that setting up of the NWEPDI Pakistan office was a milestone for the international business which showed that Pakistan's energy market was very important to China. Leading businessmen from government and private sectors including Zia-ur-Rehman MD/NTDCL, Arshad Chaudhary Chief Engineer, Zahid Khan GM NESPAK, Riaz Beg Vice President Barqaab, Dr Saleem Jilani CEO Jiltec Engineering also attended the inaugural ceremony.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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Oil and gas exploration: OGDCL working on four projects

The Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL) has been working on four different projects of oil and gas exploration, and after the completion of those projects the production growth will raise a significant level. The OGDCL Chief Financial Officer/Executive Director Finance, Muhammad Rafi revealed it while speaking at the corporate briefing programme at the Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE). The OGDCL official highlighted the financial performance of the company and said the OGDCL has the best success rate in the world. Speaking on the occasion, the LSE Director Asif Baig Mira said an opportunity of periodical communication through the corporate briefing programme would enable the companies to create a strong investors following, besides providing the investors an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge from a company's management. The Director said LSE considers it essential for the companies to participate in such programs so there would be no information asymmetry regarding our listed companies.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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Turkish minister assures investment in energy sector

Turkish Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz in a meeting with Ambassador of Pakistan in Turkey, Muhammad Haroon Shaukat assured full support of his government for initiating various developmental and investment projects in the energy sector. The meeting took place in the backdrop of the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Turkey, according to a message received here from Ankara on Monday. Haroon Shaukat recalled the recent successful "Pakistan Energy Forum" which the Pakistan Embassy organised in Istanbul. Senior officials from Pakistan briefed the leading Turkish energy sector executives about the huge energy market in Pakistan and the incentives offered by Pakistan to the investors. Haroon informed that Pakistan Energy Forum was instrumental in sensitizing the Turkish investors about various projects in hydel, coal, and renewable energy sectors.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2013

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CM Sindh gives go ahead to canadian oil & gas firm for MoU

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, has given go ahead to Cathay Oil and Gas Limited, a Canada-based company for MoU to explore and develop the Coal Bed Methane (CBM) resources under the `Thar Coal Methane project', that aims to produce five trillion cubic feet of methane gas over 30 years period. This was stated in an official statement issued by the CM House here on Saturday. It said the CM was talking to a seven-member delegation of Business Council of Canadian Government led by President Cathay Oil and Gas, Brodie Brown, which called on him at the CM House here. The Chief Minister directed the Managing Director of Thar Coal Mine to coordinate and work out the details of the project and get the necessary documents prepared within shortest possible time. He said that it is a very important project and that it will not only be useful for the province of Sindh and Pakistan but also for neighbouring countries as well. Chief Minister said that this project estimated at $ 15 billion would extract 60 million gallon water from gas field and produce gas up to five trillion cubic feet (TCF). He stated that Sindh would be benefitted with $ 100 million royalties and $ 175 to $ 400 million annual taxes from this project. In addition to that this project would help generate 50,000 to 140,000 job opportunities for the people of Sindh. The Chief Minister said that we have good quality of coal reserves here at Thar that are equivalent or better than the same resources in other countries. He said that Sindh Government was keen to see the promotion of coal based energy which is comparatively cheaper than other sources of generation. Qaim Ali Shah said that in order to reduce the cost of generation of electricity, we are converting our power projects on the coal and any investments towards this technology would be welcomed. He further stated that Canada possesses expertise in various fields. Chief Minister said we welcome the investment from Canadian company and assured the delegation that whatever facilities are required would be provided to them without any difficulty. He said that Thar coal project has a good potential and that it would not only meet energy requirements of the Pakistan but also enables us to export the energy to neighbouring countries. The President of Cathay Oil and Gas, Brodie Brown, and other members of the delegation briefed the Chief Minister about the Thar Coal methane project and its importance. They informed that their CBM business plan monetises the gas by either selling it to the national grid, or by transforming it in to synthetic diesel or plastic plus ammonium or utilising the gas to produce electricity. They said that CBM project is expected to produce some 60 million gallon per day of potable water as by product of CBM production. This water can be sold for human consumption, agriculture use or for cooling water for the proposed coal fired power plants. They said this project would not only help overcome the energy problems of Pakistan but also open new avenues of economic developments.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013

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Plan prepared to import LNG under $490 million projects

The government has prepared a plan to import LNG under $490 million short, medium and long-term projects, it was learnt. The document available with Business Recorder reveals that LNG import projects are expected to be implemented within the next two to three years with the objective of enabling the country to import 1.7mmcfd LNG to alleviate the gas crisis in the country. The government intends to import 200mmcfd gas through a fast track Engro terminal Project in the next six to eight months at a cost of $30 million to $40 million. The Engro Vopak Terminal Limited (EVTL) would provide the project cost. The project activities include retrofitting of existing Engro LPG terminal, provision of Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit (FSRU), dredging and laying of 8 kilometres pipeline from terminal to SSGC receiving point. The EVTL will be the terminal operator under a tolling arrangement. A fixed per mmbtu tolling fee and annual throughput guarantee will be negotiated. The timeline for completion of the project is six to eight months from award of contract. The supply will be intermittent and twice a month for 5-6 days each of 200 mmcfd LNG each day. The ship movement and night navigation issues would be resolved with Port Qasim Authority. The plan also envisages import of 500mmcfd LNG through SSGC LPG Retrofit Project within the next 18 to 22 months. The project developer would be selected by SSGC through a competitive tendering process. The project activities involve construction of LNG terminal adjacent to existing SSGC LPG terminal, provision of Floating Storage Unit (FSU), re-gasification at barge, dredging and laying of 25 kms pipeline from terminal to SSGC receiving point. The financing cost of the project $175 million to $200 million would be provided by the successful bidder. The successful bidder will be the terminal operator under a tolling arrangement. A fixed per mmbtu tolling fee and annual throughput guarantee will be as per the project developer''s bid. The project completion time would be 18-22 months from award of contract. The project constraints were identified with only one bidder declared technically qualified. Single bid award is allowed under PPRA Rules; however, prior to award, SSGC will be asked to get clearance from PPRA. Licensing from Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority and ship movement and night navigation issues would be resolved with Port Qasim Authority. The new LNG Terminal Project would be set up to handle 500 to 1,000mmcfd within the next 24 to 30 months. The project developer would be selected through a competitive bidding process. The project activities would include construction of LNG terminal, provision of Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit (FSRU), dredging, and laying of approximately 40kms pipeline from terminal to SSGC receiving point Financing of the project is estimated at $200 million to $250 million and would be provided by the successful bidder. The successful bidder will be the terminal operator under a tolling arrangement. A fixed per mmbtu tolling fee and annual throughput guarantee will be as per the project developer''s bid. The completion timeline of the project is 24-30 months from award of contract. The constraints of the project would include: (i) approval and bid process will require at least 4 months; (ii) licensing from Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority; (iii) ship movement and night navigation issues to be resolved with Port Qasim Authority.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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Shale gas, oil: Pakistan has world’s ninth largest reserves: Minister

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday claimed that Pakistan has world''s 9th largest shale gas and oil reserves which are far greater than the total resources available in Central Asian states. He shared this information with the participants of a conference "Afghanistan Reconnected liking energy suppliers to consumers in Asia," organised by EastWest Institute under the auspices of Abu Dhabi process meeting at a local hotel. "Recent international reports indicate huge potential reserves of shale gas and oil resources in Pakistan. In fact Pakistan is 9th largest in reserves in the world. This potential can change the dynamics for energy sector for Pakistan. The SDPI studies shows that Pakistan''s oil reserves are 33 billion Ton of Oil Equivalent (TOE), gas reserves are 16 billion TOE and hydropower potential 70 million TOE which are far greater than available reserves in other countries of the region," he added. The meeting was attended by the government representatives, members of parliament, power sector experts, private sector and academia. The objective of the meeting was to have frank discussion amongst the stakeholders on regional energy security and regional energy trade. In reply to different questions raised by the participants, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi stated that Pakistan will pursue Iran Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project (IP), Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas project and CASA-1000, adding that international sanctions do not apply on IP project. Later, talking to Business Recorder, the minister said that he will undertake a visit to Iran very soon to meet his counterpart. Earlier, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, in his speech said Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia are on the forefront of regional transition to an energy based economy. Energy security is a key priority in the region and in the rest of the world all countries face the global challenges of energy security and sustainability. Afghanistan and Pakistan share a long common border and are trade partners since centuries. The formal and informal trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan is estimated to be over $6 billion a year. Afghanistan was fourth largest importer of Pakistani goods in 2013. The two countries have unique history and share geo-political concerns which despite adversity over years can be translated into beneficial ties. Pakistan will continue to extend assistance in facilitating the transition to a peaceful and strong Afghanistan in the post-ISAF period. The visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai last week will allow the relations between the two countries to strengthen. During his visit Pakistan and Afghanistan signed several agreements on improved links between the two countries. Torkham-Jalalabad road and Peshawar-Kabul road will serve to create greater and better trade and economic links. The countries have also agreed to implement the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) in totality. He added, "There exists substantial possibility of energy co-operation between the two countries and within the region. There are several projects in the pipeline to exploit this potential as the world has become more globalise. International interests are tying us unlike the past. Common electricity grid stations, coal trading, sharing technology developments and even carbon emissions provide great potential for exploiting the regional and local resources. Pakistan and Afghanistan have a great responsibility and a challenge. Pakistan faces its own challenges to have a secure energy future but Afghanistan''s needs are obvious." In Afghanistan about 63 percent of energy needs are met by oil, 27 percent by solid bio fuel, five percent through hydel resources 0.2 percent through natural gas and five percent through local coal and peat. The country''s installed capacity is about 600 MW of which only 6 percent is generated through renewable resources. Only 15 percent population has access to electricity and remaining population uses solid fuel. This highlights the challenges that Afghanistan faces and at the same time it also provided opportunity to both countries to cooperate to meet these challenges, the minister said. "We need to identify areas of co-operation in energy and governance between the two countries," he maintained. Pakistan can easily integrate Afghanistan''s needs in developing a comprehensive energy strategy for both countries. Pakistan has great energy resources which need to be exploited. Pakistan''s hydel potential is about 150,000 MW. Pakistan has very large lignite coal reserves in Sindh which need to be developed. "We have a fairly stable geology and consistent water flow which allows Pakistan''s hydropower potential to be exploited as fully as possible but this potential needs to be tapped," he continued. The location of Pakistan''s hydropower projects makes it imminently possible to easily supply to Afghanistan. Recent international reports indicate huge potential reserves of shale gas and oil resources in Pakistan. However, substantial technological and financial investment is needed to exploit the resources particularly in the case of shale oil and gas. We are in the process of developing policies to attract investment for the exploitation of resources especially shale oil and gas. "Pakistan will assist its neighbour Afghanistan and recommends the following framework. First, Pakistani universities will offer capacity building programmes and create institutional arrangements with its Afghan counterparts in the oil & gas sector. Second, Pakistan assures Afghanistan to help its geological surveys, as Pakistani geologists and engineers have developed the Indus Basin Study on the same pattern. Third, the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has developed three large dams and the Wapda academy will be able to offer training to Afghan engineers in hydropower. Fourth, Pakistan will be able to offer engineering consulting services in developing small hydropower dams. Afghanistan''s Badakhshan area has great potential for micro-hydro technology, and Pakistan will assist it in all aspects. Moreover, the countries should cooperate in the wind energy sector as Afghanistan''s Panjshir province has enormous potential in wind energy. Regarding power and energy corridor Pakistan is looking towards intra-country transmission lines, common grid and Pakistan can assist Afghanistan in development of infrastructure. Pakistan has largest electricity and gas distribution systems. We also hope to double the LPG production in next two years which will provide an opportunity to export LPG to Afghanistan. We are also in the process of developing LNG supply system in Pakistan. The first LNG cargo is expected to be offloaded sometimes late next year. Pakistan can offer help to Afghanistan with coal resources which will be exploited in the next three to five years. He maintained that Pakistan is committed to co-operating in energy with the regional countries. "Intensive partnerships are needed towards cleaner and more efficient solutions to regional energy needs. Pakistan will work with its neighbours and the international community to ensure secure energy future of our generations," he added. Ambassador Dr Beate Maedar-Metcalf highlighted the purpose of second Abu Dhabi process meeting, hoping that the participants gathered from different countries will make positive recommendations on regional energy trade with special focus on Afghanistan. Ambassador Sapar Berfiniyazov of Turkmenistan stressed on early completion of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline which is far from reality despite the fact it was started a decade ago. He also apprised the participants that an agreement was signed with the previous Nawaz Sharif government for electricity deal but it could not be materialised so far. "Nawaz government was ready to implement the agreement but the government changed. Projects of national importance should not be politicised," he added. Participants urged the government to complete TAPI and other energy related projects. Syed Naveed Qamar, former Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources criticised the Petroleum Minister for claiming that Pakistan has 9th largest reserves of shale gas and oil. "The minister''s statement will make headlines in the media. This claim should have been proven first then such statements should be given," he added. Abbasi, however, argued that he has spoken about estimates and let the experts prove it. Ikram Sehgal, Member of EastWest Institute Board of Directors commended all the participants who came from other countries. He argued that focus on energy in Pakistan at this juncture is very important for the country. He also clashed with D.N Raina President Entecsol International India for insisting that Pakistan import electricity from India and claiming that transmission system can be installed within six months. There was also argument and counter argument over installation of transmission system and conversion of AC to DC. Sehgal argued that since India is generating electricity from dams constructed on rivers in held Kashmir in violation of the Indus Water Treaty, hence Pakistan should not be in a hurry to import electricity from India. However, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi stated that controversial water issues are being taken up at appropriate fora. Dr Najam Abbas, Senior Fellow at the EastWest Institute disclosed that China and UAE have offered to invest in TAPI gas project. Farkhood Bilolov, Deputy Chief, International Relations Department, Ministry of Energy and Industry, Tajikistan spoke about energy potential of his country. Dr S Frederick Starr, senior research professor and Chairman Central Asia, Caucasus Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Washington also supported TAPI and CASA projects. He argued that both projects are viable but stakeholders have to invest in the pipeline areas.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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