14TH INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION FOR THE ENERGY INDUSTRY

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News Headlines for the month of
JANUARY 2014

Foreign cos invest $2.02bn in oil and gas exploration

ISLAMABAD: Foreign exploration and production companies have invested about $2.02 billion for oil and gas exploration in the country during the last three years. The government has launched an investor friendly Petroleum Policy 2012 to attract further foreign investment to cope with the demand of oil and gas. Incentives offered in this regard include better gas price, windfall levy reduced from 5.0 percent to 40 percent, base price for crude oil and condensate increased from $30 per barrel to $40 per barrel, official sources said on Wednesday. "Ceiling of $100 per barrel is replaced with $110 per barrel, while renewal of lease will also be ensured, after expiry of lease term for another five years subject to payment of amount of 15 percent of the well head value." He said sale of 90 percent share of pipeline specification gas to the government and 10 percent by exploration and production companies to any buyer with prior consent of the government was another step to encourage foreign investment. The official said a bonanza of $1.0 per MMBTU would be given for first three discoveries in offshore area. The policy 2012 gas price will also be extended to the lease for additional 10 percent production over and above the commitment of development plan approved by the government, he added. For the purpose of pricing and delivery obligations for natural gas, he said, the gas would be delivered at outlet flange. While for offshore, the gas will be delivered at the nearest access point to an existing regulated transmission system or at the shore within coastal locations, he added. Award process for 50 new exploration blocks is being finalized in consultation with the provinces, he said. In order to exploit shale gas reserves of the country, he said the USAID was providing technical assistance to Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources via appointment of experts in the shale gas policy formulation and technology support for exploitation of unconventional gas resources. Approval to commence project has been granted in October 2013 and it will take nine months to complete, he added.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Ericsson team meets Shahbaz

A delegation led by Vice President of Ericsson, Andrea Petti met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday. Matters regarding promotion of co-operation in energy sector were discussed in the meeting. Additional Chief Secretary Energy Talha Barki, Managing Director Punjab Power Development Board and other senior officials of the company were present in this meeting. Talking to the delegation, the CM said that government was taking effective steps to resolve energy crisis and agreements of co-operation have been sighed with several foreign companies in energy sector. He said that special facilities are being offered to foreign investors and companies for investment in energy sector. He said that there was a need for capacity building of the institutions associated with energy sector. He said that in addition to traditional methods, the government was also working on projects of generation of electricity through alternative sources. He further said that indiscriminate action is being taken in Punjab against the elements involved in electricity and gas theft. The CM directed that practicable recommendations be evolved regarding smart meters and smart grids. The Ericsson delegation also gave briefing to the meeting on smart meters and smart grids.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Gilgit-Baltistan has potential to generate 59,000 megawatts power: Senate body told

The Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs was informed on Wednesday that Gilgit-Baltistan has the potential to generate 59,000 megawatts electricity if effective policy is put in place. The committee meeting chaired by Senator Baz Mohammad Khan, was told by the officials of Ministry of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs that the abundance of water has not only the capacity to generate 59,000MW electricity, but also meet the water scarcity for cultivation of fertile land. Secretary Ministry of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs, Shahidullah Baig told the panel that the Indus River alone can generate 45,000MW electricity, while 8671MW could also be generated through on-going projects in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. "If proper mechanism and effective policy is followed, it will not only help in addressing the energy crisis, but also the water shortage in the country", he said, adding that 4500 MW electricity could be added to the national grid with the completion of Bhasha Dam at the total cost of Rs 1254 billion. If completed, he stated that the dam will not only help in addressing the energy crisis, but it will also turn the non-fertile lands into profitable fertile lands, which will automatically bring prosperity in the area. He said that 37,419 acres of land will be required for the construction of Bhasha dam, for which 19,062 acres of government land, while 18357 acres of private land will be purchased. He further told the committee that 10 percent of private land has already been purchased at a cost of Rs 12.32 billion, whereas 17,214 acres government land has also been acquired. He further informed the committee that 4,500MW additional electricity could also be added to the national grid from Dasu dam. The secretary gave detailed briefing to the committee on the ongoing development projects in Gilgit-Baltistan, saying that a number of projects were currently underway on the direction of the Prime Minister. In order to provide security at Karakoram Highway, a special force comprising 1,500 personnel will also be formed on the direction of the Prime Minister which will ensure security to the people travelling on the highway. The committee was informed that the ministry was spending on education of students from AJK from the revenue being generated from the lands owned by Rajas of Jammu and Phonch. It was further informed that the lands located in Faisalabad, Sialkot and Rawalpindi had generated a total of Rs 450 million revenue during 2013 and its total revenue could rise to Rs 100 million if the remaining land was acquired from illegal occupants.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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106 megawatts hydropower project: Wapda awards contract

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has awarded the contract of 106 MW Golan Gol Hydropower Project to M/s Andritz Hydro Gmbh, Austria -Andritz China Ltd. Consortium at a cost of Rs 5.650 billion. Official documents available with Business Recorder reveal that Wapda Authority was apprised that tenders for the contract Lot 3.2 (E&M works) for the project on single stage-2 envelope basis were re-floated through print media as well as displayed on Wapda''s and PPRA''s websites. The previous process of bidding was annulled due to lengthy litigation, directions of NAB''s (P&A) wing, suggestion of the donor Kuwait Fund for Development and subsequently approved by the Authority for re-tendering. The bid submission date was initially fixed at May 30, 2013, which was repeatedly extended up to November 26, 2013 for the following reasons: (i) request of three bidders (at first instance); (ii) awaiting receipt of the donors approval for re-tendering; and (iii) due to proceeding on a writ petition filed by M/s Rain Power JV challenging the annulment order. Out of the seven firms who purchased the bidding document only one bidder M/s Andritz submitted bid on the due date/time. Technical bid was opened on November 11, 2013 and was evaluated by a consultant and adjudged as technically qualified. Financial bid was opened on November 27, 2013 with the approval of competent Authority which was sent to the project consultants for their evaluation. The donor''s approval for re-tendering has since been received and M/s Rainpower have withdrawn the writ petition filed in Islamabad High Court. The consultant''s evaluation report has been received, recommending that the contract Lot 3.2 (E&M Works) of Golan Gol Hydropower Project may be awarded to M/s Andritz Hydro Gmbh- Andritz (China) Ltd. Consortium being technically qualified and financially reasonable. The project office has also endorsed the recommendations of the consultant''s technical and financial evaluation report. The documents further reveal that Central Contract Cell (CCC) having re-examined the case agreed with the recommendations of consultant''s and project authorities. CCC suggested that a detailed break-up of the schedule of prices may be obtained from the bidder before issuance of Letter of Acceptance (LOA). Member Finance recorded the following reservations on the proposal submitted to the Authority for approval:- (i) under Rule 27 of Public Procurement Rules 2004, the deadline for submission of bids can be extended by procuring agency inter alia after recording its reasons in writing. In the instant case, the bid submission date was extended 12 times till November 26, 2013. However, reasons recorded in the item note for these repeated extensions were not convincing. It was pointed out that waiting for the receipt of donor''s approval for re-tendering was a reason for granting repeated extensions while the same was communicated to Wapda on 25th August, 2013. Similarly, in the writ petition filed by M/s, RainPower JV, no stay had been granted by the Court for the process of the received bid; (ii) it was also pointed out that the technical bid was opened and evaluated on 26th Nov, 2013. Approval of technical bid and approval to open financial bid could only be granted by the Authority which was not obtained; (iii) the cost of the work to be awarded under Lot 3.2 (Rs 5.650 billion) far exceeded the estimated cost of the work in the approved PC-I (Rsl.316 billion). The cost of the said work reflected in the revised PC-I pending in Ministry of Water & Power was also much less than the bid price (ie Rs 4.6 billion). It was pointed out that while the Public Procurement Rules 2004 did not bar consideration of a single bid, yet in such cases it was incumbent on the procuring agency to satisfy itself that the price quoted by the single bidder is comparable to the cost of similar works in the current financial year or market rates for the said work. The project authorities had not certified/clarified to the Authority that the price quoted by the bidder was comparable to the cost of similar works undertaken recently at a market rate and there was no padding therein. The project authorities stated that the opening of bids was postponed awaiting donors NoC and ''stay order'' for the award of contract during the High Court proceedings. In presence of the Court barring the award, there was no point opening the bids as this would have created further issues. The bid submission was allowed after an NoC of the donors and the petitioner''s withdrew the case. Secondly, as M/s Andritz''s current technical bid was almost the same as the one already processed and evaluated during first bidding process. Therefore its technical evaluation did not require much time and the financial bid was opened without wasting further time with the approval of Authority (concerned Members (Power), (Water) and Chairman). Being the sole bidder, the price of current bid was compared to previously evaluated bid. As most of the (E&M) works are payable in FEC, the variation in exchange rate over the period, when applied to previous evaluated bid was found to be almost Rupees half a billion higher than the current financial bid. The current bid therefore seems appropriately fair and has not been found padded therein; a delay would badly affect the work schedule of civil Contractor already awaiting (E&M) works designs. This will be detrimental to the timely completion of the project and will cause contractual issues of EOT/Cost Claims with Civil Contractor. Any further delay will not be acceptable to the donors and Ministry of Water & Power who are pressing hard for the timely completion of the project.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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425MW Nandipur power house being linked up with NTDC Sahuwala Grid Station

As the construction work of 425-525MW Nandipur power house has picked up the Project Management has started linking up the power house with the 220KV NTDC Sahuwala Grid Station by installing 132 KV high busbar and new transmission lines. The first unit of the much delayed Rs 56 billion power house will go into production in May 2014. The entire project will be completed in 16 months by the end of December this year. The power house will generate 425MW if run with furnace oil and 525 MW with gas. The Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO) spokesman told Business Recorder on Sunday that as a consequence of linking of the power house with the grid station electricity will suspended on January 28, January 30, February 1 and February 2, electricity from the out-going feeders of all the 11 grid stations as under: Electricity will remain suspended from 9 am to 5 pm from the out-going feeders of 132KV grid stations at Kotli Loharan and 220KV Sahuwala. Electricity will remain suspended from 9 am to 11 am and from 12 noon to 2 pm and from 3.pm to 4 pm from out going feeders of KV Cantt, Sialkot and 132 KV Pasroor and Sialkot City grid station. Electricity will be remained suspended from 10 am to 12 noon, from 01 pm to 3 pm and from 04 pm to 05 pm from feeders of 132 KV Sialkot city grid station. Electricity will remain suspended from 9 am to 11, from 12 noon to 2 pm and from 3 pm to 4 pm from 132KV new Sialkot grid station,. From 9 a m to 10 am 11 am to 01 pm and from 2 pm to 4 pm from outgoing feeders of 132KV grid station Pasroo4r, 132KV Lalapur, 132KV Zafarwal, 132 Kot Agha and 132KV Ghoaynki, He said that load-shedding will not be affected two hours before the schedule shut down of electricity.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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'Biogas generation can help resolve energy crisis'

Provincial Minister for Women Development Hamida Waheed-ud-Din has said that energy crisis can be overcome through generation of biogas. She was talking to the Managing Director of Lahore Waste Management Company Wasim Ajmal on Tuesday. She said energy can be generated in the form of biogas. She said that a biogas generation plant will be set up in Mandi Bahauddin like other cities during the current fiscal year which will result in availability of electricity and gas. Hamida said that concerned departments have been directed to prepare feasibility report in this regard.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Pakistan, India inch forward towards 500 megawatts power deal

Islamabad is reportedly waiting for New Delhi''s response to the proposed talks to finalise the much talked-about deal on the import of 500 MW electricity, well informed soources told Business Recorder. On January 20, 2014, the Federal Cabinet approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on electricity trade between the two countries. "Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has sent a letter to the Indian government, seeking dates to hold talks on the import of electricity," sources added. According to sources, Ministry of Water and Power with the approval of Prime Minister initiated negotiations for trade in electricity with India. In the presence of an approval, a two-member delegation visited India to explore the possibilities of interconnection between Pakistan and India at the following locations: (i) Batapur at Lahore; (ii) Ghazi road Lahore at 132 KV; (iii) Ghazi road Lahore at 220 KV; (iv) Sarfaraz Nagar at 132 KV; (v) Sarfaraz Nagar at 220 KV; and (vi) Kasur at 132 KV. During preliminary discussions, the Indian side highlighted issues like frequency synchronisation, quantity of power flowing through the system, and issues of short circuiting, distance/fault in one area having an impact on other areas. The Pakistani side, however, indicated solutions to interconnection problems and requested further discussions to redress Indian objections. Ministry of Water and Power also approached the World Bank, through Economic Affairs Division (EAD), for financial assistance for a feasibilities study of power trade between Pakistan and India. EAD and the World Bank have assured the availability of funds for the proposed feasibility study. Based on the ground work by both sides, a draft MoU was prepared to be signed between India and Pakistan. The draft MoU was circulated to the Ministries of Law and Justice, Foreign Affairs, Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Water and National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) for comments. All the stakeholders have concurred to the proposal. India has shown its intent to export electricity to the tune of 500 MW to Pakistan immediately if infrastructure for transmission of power is made available. The World Bank has conducted a pre-feasibility study in this regard which will set the stage for the required detailed studies. The recommendations amongst others made in the pre-feasibility study are as under: (i) a detailed feasibility study of the interconnection options should be conducted to establish tradable electricity volumes between the two countries based on configuration and design of the interconnection arrangements and on a detailed analysis of power systems in India and Pakistan; (ii) based on the interconnection point, infrastructure cost estimates and power flows, a detailed economic and financial analysis should be carried out to establish a tariff regime and a sensitivity analysis for full cost recovery ; (iii) a final ranking exercise of available options should be completed; (iv) Pakistan and India must hold open discussions on trade arrangements, import/export tariffs, and the resolution of technical, regulatory and national policy issues. The consultants recommend that the power purchase price be decided by market dynamics; (v) private sector involvement should be promoted in the development of interconnection and electricity trading facilitated; (vi) instead of sourcing power under a fixed volume contract, sourcing variable power according to the supply availability of the demand load profile can reduce costs significantly; and (vii) minimum standards will need to be established on balancing and settlement process, payment security mechanisms and grid codes as energy trade expands. An analyst, Hussain Sharif of Meshe International Karachi, told Business Recorder that policymaking can always be sub-divided into (a) short-term (b) medium-term and (c) long term. In the "short term" the only solution is to import electricity and LNG from India. The states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat can extend multiple transmission lines to consumption centers in Pakistan, he added. According to him, LNG pipe grid can be extended from Jallundur to Lahore to strengthen the availability in the Pakistan grid. "If these proposals are politically accepted it would require at least 6 months to materialise the project," he continued. In the "medium-term" impetus has to be given to bio-mass and imported coal based Captive Power Plants (CPPs). The CPP are simpler to structure financially and the excess power can be purchased by the grid at an attractive tariff. Coal imports essential to make this happen would need infrastructure at the ports, rail network etc which can happen concurrently with the CPP construction cycle. These could be in operation in 2-3 years. In the "long term" the only solution is to develop Thar coal/lignite mining and build Power Plants on mine mouth. This requires a concerted effort of the Government of Pakistan to make available a high voltage transmission network, water, port facilities, rail and road connectivity. He maintained that converting heavy furnace oil based boilers to imported coal is an expensive and technologically challenging task, and likely success rate is low. The wording of MoU to be signed between the two countries is as follows. Whereas the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan (GoP) and Government of India (GoP) recognise that cross-border trade of power between the two countries will be in mutual interest of the people of two countries and have agreed in principle to allow cross-border power trade between the two countries; Whereas the power market developed in India provides an opportunity to Pakistan to import power for short-term as well as on long-term bases, and the power exchange between two countries is expected to grow to considerably high level in future. Therefore, GoP and GoI have agreed to record following intents and understanding: SCOPE The scope of this MoU covers an over-arching interest of both Parties to approve and construct an interconnection between the power systems of the two countries to enable power purchasing/trading organisations, both in public sector and private sector, to trade power from one country to another on commercial terms. FOCAL AGENCIES The focal Authority on behalf of Government of Pakistan will be National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) with its Head Quarter, 414 Wapda House Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Lahore .The focal Authority on behalf of GoI would be Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL). INTER-CONNECTION On recommendation of GoI side, the parties have agreed that as a first step an interconnection will be built between Amritsar and Lahore. The parties also agreed that such interconnection would be on 400 KV DC or 500 KV DC, depending on joint determination of experts of NTDC and PGCIL. The interconnection would run on 220 KV AC in the beginning phase but would convert to DC on commissioning of the back to back converter station. During operation of the interconnection in initial phase, it will be utilised by NTDC in Island mode according to the SOP developed by NTDC and PGCIL experts jointly. As soon as back to back DC converter station is commissioned, the said Island will be closed. The nominated teams of engineers of NTDC and PGCIL will work together to finalise the following matters on urgent basis: (i) addressing System compatibility issues and deciding on voltage level and best nodes on both sides of interconnection; (ii) engineering and design of interconnection; (iii) working out bill of quantities and drawings for bidding; (iv) since PGCIL has sufficient experience and expertise in Engineering and Construction of D.C. networks. PGCIL will extensively share the expertise and literature with NTDC counterparts for successfully completing the project; and (v) PGCIL will construct the part of interconnection falling in the Indian territory and NTDC will construct the part of interconnection falling in the territory of Pakistan. The project components on each side will be financed by the respective governments. COMMERCIAL POWER TRADE This MoU does not cover the commercial aspect of import/export of power. GOP or NTDC would have to employ an appropriate power trade company in India to purchase power from energy exchange in India or from IPPs, Captive Power Plants, State or Central Government of India owned power plants or any other source accessible. These sources also include the Generation Plants connected to Indian Power System installed in countries other than India. The Indian side has recommended Power Trading Company (PTC) of India as trading agent of NTDC as it has vast experience of power import/export and is Public Sector Company. However, GOP will be free to make any choice of its convenience. The decisions of power purchase Trade from Indian market would be solely on discretion of GOP. NTDC and PGCIL will take all necessary actions to complete preliminary work of engineering and bidding documents, as well as finalising SOPs jointly, so that the project could begin as early as possible after the signing of an MoU.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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F-9 Park, Parliament House: Chinese government to explore solar panels electrification projects

Chinese government in collaboration with Capital Development Authority (CDA) would explore the projects for electrification of 240 acres of Fatimah Jinnah Park (F-9 Park) and Parliament House through solar panels. Talking to Agency, a spokesman of CDA said those projects would be conducted under the umbrella of an understanding of government of China with Economic Affairs Division, government of Pakistan. The authority was concentrating on alternate sources of energy particularly solar energy for electrification in the city to make its operations more economic and cost effective and to reduce burden on already pressed national electricity grid, said the spokesman. He said Chinese government would also construct 44 kilometres cycling track in Islamabad. He said the authority would promote recreational activities in the city and would make the city more environment-friendly by providing cycling tracks. The Chinese delegation visited the CDA Headquarters and was briefed that Capital Development Authority (CDA) wanted to promote a culture of healthy activities in the Capital city.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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'Denmark ready to help resolve energy crisis'

"Danish companies were global leaders in green energy and Denmark was ready to assist Pakistan to resolve energy crisis." This was stated by the Danish Ambassador to Pakistan, Jesper M Sorensen during his meeting with Minister of State for Water and Power, Abid Sher Ali. According to the Danish envoy, a new world record was set in Denmark last month. In December 2013, 57 percent of all electricity produced in Denmark was generated by wind power. On December 21, 2013 wind mills produced more electricity than the total Danish consumption. Denmark had a goal of becoming the world's first completely fossil fuel free country by 2050. Sorensen informed minister that he will leave for Denmark next week to meet Danish businesses, including green energy companies to discuss the potential of the Pakistani market.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Setting up power plants: USAID to cooperate with private sector

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will cooperate with private sector in establishing the power plants in industrial estates to run the factories and to boost the industrial production which was badly hit due to power load shedding, said Muhammad Sajjad Mughal Development Advisor to USAID who visited Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with his delegation. The delegates met President of MCCI Khawaja Muhammad Usman and other senior members. Sajjad Mughal briefed the MCCI member that USAID wants to cooperate in establishing power plants in all industrial estates of Pakistan under private partnership programme. Similarly, USAID allocated Rs 2,500 to 3,000 million for this purpose and these power stations would generate electricity within one or two years to sell it to industrial sector cluster. He said USAID would help in attaining licence for power plant and also provide financial as well as technical assistance. He said United States is doing all-out efforts to take Pakistan out of energy crisis. "The United States' commitment to Pakistan's energy needs is long term and it delivers results. Together, we are responding to Pakistan's energy crisis. And we are working together to develop a partnership that delivers for the people of Pakistan and beyond," he added. USAID is supporting the rehabilitation of thermal plants at Muzaffargarh and Guddu as well as Tarbela hydro-power plant. USAID Project Director on Dairy Farming Jacob Mozer said USAID is also assisting in dairy farming and we would provide financial as well as technical assistance to private sector. He said USAID took an initiative that will help 45,000 Pakistani farmers in the fruit, vegetable, dairy and livestock sectors to increase their profits by imparting them 'specialised training' in improving their products and sales. Pakistan's fruit, vegetable, dairy and meat farmers have great potential, but many small agriculture-based businesses lacked the tools to deliver the quality, variety and quantity of goods that local and international markets demand. The meeting was also attended by Ex-President of MCCI Muhammad Khan Saddozai, Syed Iftikhar Ali Shah Vice President, Mian Iqbal Hassan, Khawaja Muhammad Azam, Major (Retd) Tariq Khan, Mah-Rukh Rashid and Dr Humaira Iqbal.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Dasu Hydropower project: IDA likely to provide $700 million

International Development Association (IDA) is considering to providing $700 million for Dasu Hydropower Stage-I Project, while Pakistan Government will bear $667 million. The overall project development objective is to facilitate a sustainable expansion of Pakistan's electricity generation capacity. The project would also support strengthening of Wapda in the preparation of future hydropower projects and build its capacity in harnessing Pakistan's vast hydropower potential. The project is a "high-risk-high-reward" operation aimed at providing low-cost non-carbon renewable energy, which will be completed with the total cost of US $1367 million. According to a project report of World Bank, Dasu Hydropower Stage-I Project will supply electricity of over 8,000 GWh of renewable energy annually to the central grid; while availability of 1,080MW of additional power generation capacity. Reduction in the overall production cost of electricity due to low cost, low carbon energy by at least 5 percent. Preparation of a large hydropower project on the Indus River and successful completion of an agreed capacity building programme of Wapda, report mentioned. The report said that the proposed Dasu Hydropower Project (DHP) is a run-of-river project located on the Indus River about 240km upstream from Tarbela dam. It is about 7km from Dasu town and 350km from Islamabad. The total size of the project is 4,320MW. However, given the financing constraint is proposed to be developed in a phased manner starting from 1,080MW installed capacity initially. The first phase is critical with higher cost (US $3,667 million) as much of the infrastructure (eg. site preparation) and social and environmental safeguards have to be developed under this phase. The high upfront cost for Phase-1 is offset by high generation which despite the front-loading of dam and other social and environmental management costs gives good economic returns of more than 20 percent (excluding environmental benefits). The generation from Phase-I is about 8,000GWh as flows are available in the river to pass through the hydropower plant and gives a very high load factor (85pc) for a hydro project. DHP, therefore, is transformational as it will reduce the cost of generation and will contribute to the development of Indus Cascade. WB report further said that the Phase-I would consist of development of major infrastructure including full development of dam, installation of first three units of 360 MW each, tunnels and excavation for the next three units. The objective is to minimise the costs for Phase-I keeping in view all the financial constraints. Phase-I could give enough revenue to develop subsequent phases and to support accelerated construction other schemes elsewhere in the country. Another 1,08MW would be installed under Phase-II of Stage-I, which will increase generation to 12,225 Gwhs. Depending on the availability of finances both phases of Stage-I can be implemented simultaneously or sequentially. The project would be designed in a manner so that (if possible) subsequent phases can be accelerated and to avoid shutting down and re-starting the construction activity. Stage-II would be undertaken after the development of other projects in the Indus cascade to provide sediment control upstream and less need for sediment flushing at the Dasu site. The report said that under the Component-A, Construction of the Main Hydraulic Structure on the Indus River will be completed with the cost of US $1,365.3 million. This component would primarily consist of the civil works required for main dam structure on the Indus River to raise the water level and thus create energy for running the power generating turbines and generators.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Chinese firm to set up 25 hydel power stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company CINOTEC to establish 25 hydel power stations on different sites along Swat River to produce 500MW electricity within a period of four years. The signing ceremony was held at the Chief Minister Secretariat. Director CINOTEC, Song and KP Secretary Energy Sahibzada Saeed signed the agreement document on behalf of their respective organisations. President CINOTEC, Jin, Advisor to CM on Economic Affairs, Rafaqatulllah Babar, Vice Chairman, Board of Investment &Trade (BoI&T), Mohsin Aziz and other concerned officials were also present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak paid rich tributes to both government and people of China for their support to Pakistan. He said that the offers of Chinese companies to overcome energy crisis in Pakistan was testimony to the fact that Pak-China friendship was sincere and true. Earlier, CINOTEC director told the CM that feasibility of hydel power stations at three different sites along Swat River was being prepared and would be completed within next few months which would be followed by the construction works. CINOTEC will get loans from Chinese banks for all these projects.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park: Punjab government establishing 100 megawatts power plant

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Punjab government is setting up a solar power plant of 100 megawatt in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park with its own resources and the project will be implemented expeditiously. He also said work on provision of infrastructure for the project is being carried out speedily and 12 prominent companies in energy sector have pre-qualified for the project; 100-megawatt solar project will prove to be a role model in energy sector. He was expressed these views while presiding over a meeting on Monday, which reviewed the pace of progress on the 100-megawatt solar power plant in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, disclosed an official. Wapda former chairman Tariq Hameed, Member Provincial Assembly Ali Khokhar, Chairman Planning and Development, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, President Bank of Punjab, German consultant Dr Gerone Dressman, Managing Director NTDC, concerned secretaries and senior officers were present. Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said 100-megawatt solar power project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park is unique, as it will be executed by the Punjab government with its own resources. He said work would be undertaken round the clock and the project would be completed in a transparent manner. "The solar power project would be a role model in every respect and play an important role in evolving a roadmap for the solar power projects in future. The project is being carried out with team work and national spirit," he added. He expressed his satisfaction over the pace of progress on the project and appreciated the performance of the German consultant, Chairman Planning and Development, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, Secretary Communication and Works, Chief Executive Officer Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park and other concerned authorities. German consultant Gerone Dressman while informing the meeting about the progress of the project said that the Punjab government has selected a highly suitable site for this purpose. He said the construction work of link roads for Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park has been completed while the work of provision of other facilities is being carried out speedily. "This project of the Punjab government is an important step in energy sector," he added. On the occasion, Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Chief Executive Officer Najam Shah briefed about the progress of the project.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Nandipur Power House: first turbine to be functional in May

The production of electricity from the first turbine of the Nandipur Power House will begin in May 2014 and the Gepco has already completed the work of laying new 500 KV High-tension transmission lines for connecting Gepco power generation system with the national grid. Gepco Chief Executive, Muneer Ahmed said this while addressing a meeting of senior officials after reviewing pace of laying the main transmission lines near Nandipur. He said after the beginning of the power production at Nandipur Thermal Power House, the 500 KV high transmission lines of Gepco would be linked with the national grid.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Hydel power generation: Shahbaz to take benefit from Canada's expertise

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said Pakistan and Canada have close friendly relations however, there is a need to promote economic and trade ties between the two countries. He said Canada was extending co-operation to Pakistan in social sectors especially education. He said Canada had expertise in hydle power generation and Pakistan wanted to take benefit from its experience. He was talking to a Canadian delegation of senators and parliamentarians which met him, here on Tuesday. The delegation included Canadian Senator Salma Atta Ullah Jan, Senator Ms Nancy Ruth and Brad Butt. Matters of mutual interest and promotion of bilateral relations were discussed at the meeting. Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board and concerned officers were also present. Talking to the Canadian delegation, the Chief Minister said energy crisis had affected every sector of life in Pakistan and the government is taking measures on emergent basis to overcome this problem. He said work was being carried out expeditiously with the co-operation of China on coal-based power plants while the government was also working on the projects of hydle power generation so that low-cost electricity could be provided to the masses. He said Pakistan had vast scope of hydle power generation and Canadian investors can benefit from these opportunities, adding Canada should consider promotion of co-operation with Pakistan in hydle power generation sector and projects could be started under public-private partnership. The CM said the government was offering special incentives and facilities for investment in energy sector, adding the goal of national progress could not be achieved without energy, therefore, government was concentrating on that sector. He said police was being provided modern training and weapons for improving law and order in the province, adding that work was in progress on integrated command and control centre and that project would be completed during the current year. He said initially digital cameras would be installed in the provincial metropolis for keeping a vigilant eye on criminal elements, adding that the scope of the project would be extended to the whole province under a phased programme. He said the government was utilising modern technology for further improving law and order situation and special attention was being paid to the training of police, adding Canadian co-operation in the training of police on modern lines would be welcomed. The members of the Canadian delegation said co-operation with Pakistan in hydle power generation projects would be considered while co-operation would be extended to Punjab government in the training of police. They said Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif was rendering commendable services for the welfare and betterment of the people of the province and his tireless efforts in that regard were being appreciated at the international level as well. They said Shahbaz Sharif was taking commendable steps for the uplift of the masses which was a prominent feature of his leadership.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Energy sector Pakistan, China share decades old cooperation: Asif

Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif said on Tuesday Pakistan and China shared decades old co-operation in energy sector and several projects between the two countries illustrated their close co-operation. He was addressing the two-day 3rd Pakistan-China Joint Energy Working Group and the 1st Energy Working Group meeting of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor here. The meeting was presided over jointly by Chinese Executive Administrator of National Energy Administration (NEA) Shi Yubo and Khawaja Muhammad Asif. The minister expressed the confidence that joint efforts would lead to creation of even greater linkages and inter-dependence for mutual benefits in energy and power sectors and thereby contribute towards further strengthening of Pakistan-China friendship. He said following the visit of the Premiers of both countries, and in line with the vision of the economic corridor, the energy working group meeting further added to the economic and energy co-operation. He said that Pakistan at present needed construction of critical infrastructure in power generation and lying of a network of new transmission lines system as well as up-gradation of the existing obsolete network. He pointed out that several projects had been identified for collaboration between the two countries aimed at power generation and transmission in addition to the existing projects. The minister said in this regard, Pakistan wanted to take benefit of Chinese companies, who were blessed with requisite experience in power generation and transmission sectors. The governments of the two countries are determined to create conducive environment for investors to collaborate for mutual benefit and setting up of Pak-China Economic Corridor is the right step in this connection, he noted. The minister said there was a realisation to shift the proportion of Pakistan's energy mix towards cost-effective and affordable fuel resources. He said Pakistan was endowed with abundant energy resources and had one of the largest indigenous coal energy reserves. Mining and power plants were being set up to tap the resource. Highlighting the generation of low cost electricity, the minister said Pakistan offered immense potential for coal based power generation, hydro and renewable resource power generation in different parts of the country, including Gilgit-Baltistan bordering China. He said the government had approved an ambitious project for the construction of 6600 MW Power Park at Gaddani. Chinese investment is welcome in coal-based power plants as well as construction of jetty and infrastructure there, he noted. He said Pakistan had already signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) yesterday with Gezhouba Group for setting up 660 MW power plants in Gaddani. Pakistan intends to build massive power infrastructure, including transmission lines and grid stations to evacuate power from the new power projects, he said adding that investment from Chinese friends was being sought not only for the new power projects but even for the existing transmission up-gradating. This will also help overcome the problem of transmission losses, he added. The minister said he was excited about Pakistan-China Energy Corridor, and wanted to share with the Chinese friends the advantages emerging from its strategic position as Pakistan being located on the Cross road of Central Asia, South Asia, West Asia and China. He looked forward to investment especially in the planned Solar Power Park in province of Punjab. He pointed out that some of Chinese companies were keenly interested in these projects. He said the Chinese side could assist Pakistan in mapping its landscape for renewable energy, Particularly wind power. In addition, construction of coal-based power pants also in Punjab, apart from other parts of the country was also being looked at, he added. Appreciating presentations made by both sides on energy policy planning, power and renewable energy, the minister said their input was very valuable for formulating energy strategy. He said, "We have abundant resources for alternative energy in Pakistan. Besides, huge coal deposits of 175 billion tons that can be used for generation of low cost electricity." Speaking on the occasion, Executive Administrator of National Energy Administration of China (NEA) Shi Yubo said the meeting provided an excellent platform as both sides discussed issues of mutual interest and listened to initiatives that laid a solid foundation for co-operation. He said meetings had raised the co-operation mechanism and level of energy co-operation dialogue, as well as successfully identified priority areas of co-operation. He hoped that Chinese enterprises would invest more in Pakistan, and help build energy infrastructure under the economic corridor. He said China was well aware of Pakistan's energy shortage and it would continue to support Pakistani friends in addressing the deficiency. Khawaja Asif said the size of Chinese market and its power generation capacity was enormous and China had a lot to offer to Pakistan. Pakistan was not only looking at investment in power generation but also in comparable and compatible transmission networks, he added. He sought Chinese investment in coal, hydel, renewable and other forms of energy generation, as well as in the transmission networks. He said the government was also looking at the privatisation prospects, particularly of the transmission networks both of existing as well as for laying new transmission lines. Minster Khawaja Asif acknowledged and lauded Chinese support, assistance and guidance in overcoming Pakistan's energy requirements. Later on, Minister Asif and Shi Yubo signed minutes of the meeting that mark another milestone in Pak-China economic co-operation. Ambassador Masood Khalid, senior officers from the energy sector of Pakistan and Chinese corporate executives were present at the Working Group's meeting. Khawaja Asif met Chairman of the EXIM bank of China Li Ruogu in the evening and discussed with him financing of various energy related projects, and also appreciated the bank's co-operation and assistance.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Gadani power park: Country seeking $5-7 billion to lay down 4 transmission lines

Pakistan is seeking $5 to 7 billion investment to lay down four transmission lines from Gaddani Power Park to four destinations, official sources told Business Recorder. These transmission lines will be for Quetta, Jamshoro, Faisalabad and Lahore. The sources said work on the Master Plan of Gaddani Power Park has commenced by two international consultants, including the UK-based Sargent & Lundy. Nespak is also working on the project as a consultant. According to sources, ten imported coal-fired power plants of 660 MW each will be established at Gaddani, of which two projects would be established by public sector and preliminary documentation has already been initiated on these projects. The project is likely to be completed by 2018. The sources said, the government has established Pakistan Power Park Management Company Limited (PPMCL) as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which will deal with all imported coal-fired projects. In reply to a question, the sources said the government has already offered two tariffs for imported projects, ie, tariff with a jetty and tariff without a jetty. "If any company invests in a jetty, investment will be covered in tariff. GoP will extend a sovereign guarantee," the sources maintained. The sources said the provision of services like jetty switchyard, ash disposal, cooling water, transmission infrastructure and residential facilities would be the responsibility of the government of Pakistan. The sources further added that Gadani Power Park feasibility, is being undertaken by PPMCL and the fund requirement for Gencos two 660 MW each project is about $2 billion. Recently, Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved about one billion dollars for the imported coal-fired projects. The sources said, many international companies from China, Turkey and M/s Samsung of South Korea have shown a keen interest in coal-fired projects. Answering another question, the sources said, four Independent Power Producers (IPPs) that have signed an agreement with the GoP to convert their plants to imported coal will use the jetty of Port Qasim. These projects will reach agreements with Railways'' for transportation of imported coal. "IPPs will either refurbish Railways old engines and bogies and use railway lines or sign an agreement with Railways for exclusive bogies," the sources continued. In reply to another question, the sources said the main issue of Thar coal was excavation and transportation of coal due to which it was decided to establish power plant at the site of coal mine. Pakistan had sought US investment in coal fired power plants but Washington did not support the proposal, the sources said, adding that the US is extending financial help in hydropower projects including Diamar Bhasha Dam and rehabilitation of transmission system of Discos. Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif is in China to discuss co-operation in coal-fired power plants. In this regard, Managing Director, PPIB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Chinese cooperation towards addressing energy crisis commendable: Asif

Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday lauded the Chinese government for co-operation in addressing the chronic energy problem of Pakistan, saying Beijing had always extended helping hand to Islamabad at a time of need. Addressing a dinner reception here that was largely participated by top Chinese companies working in various energy and infrastructure sectors in Pakistan and those who showed keen interest for further investment earlier in a day while holding meetings with him, Khawaja Asif said the present power crisis the Pakistan faced with was due to negligence by the previous regimes, which were at the helm of affairs for over past ten years. He said the present government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accorded top priority to addressing the energy crisis. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to China in July last year discussed a number of energy projects with the Chinese leadership and also signed eight agreements, including all important Pakistan-China Economic Corridor. He lauded the Chinese companies for their all out co-operation in solving the energy crisis and said their help would go a long way in generating economic activities in the country. The Federal Minister said if the problem of energy was addressed, the country economy would grow and at the same time it would also generate jobs for youths. He expressed the determination that with the co-operation of China, "we would be able to solve our energy crisis soon". He said the present government had embarked on a number of ambitious energy plans in solar, wind, hydel power and coal. The government, he said, was going to set up ten 660MW capacity each coal power generating plants in Gaddani Power Park. He said that besides coal power plants, the government was also paying attention for generating hydal power. In this regards he mentioned the importance of construction of Dasu Hydro power project and Diamer Basha Dam. He said the government had planned to build both these dams simultaneously. Earlier, Pakistan and China signed an MoU for setting up a 660MW coal power plant in Gaddani. The MoU was signed between Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) and China's Gezhouba Group (CGGC). The signing ceremony was witnessed by Federal Minister Khawaja Asif, Ambassador Masood Khalid and Executive President of CGGC International Yang Yisheng. Secretary Water and Power Saifullah Chatta told APP that two Chinese and one Korean company had already made their commitment for setting up power plants in Gaddani. This is the third Chinese company that had signed MoU. The CGGC have also assured financing for this projects, Chatta said adding that around dollars 900 million were required for setting up of such coal based power projects. Speaking on the occasion, Khawaja Asif lauded the CGGC, which was working on Neelum Jehlum Hydal Power projects for its commitment to complete the project on or before the scheduled time. He said that generation of hydro power would help improve the country's economy at one hand and on the other people would get low cost electricity. On the occasion Yang expressed keen interest in various infrastructure projects, besides laying of transmission line for the Neelum Jehlum power project, construction of cement plants and housing units. Asif said there was huge prospects for setting up cerement plants in Pakistan, as "we have abundance of deposits of limestone used in cement making".

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Korean company keen to invest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa solar energy sector

A Korean company, Pako Hitek, has shown keen interest to invest in solar energy sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A delegation of the company headed by its chairman Choi Hee Joon called on the Advisor to Chief Minister on Economic Affairs Rafaqatullah Babar at Chief Minister Secretariat Peshawar and discussed with him matters related to investment in various sectors, including hydel power generation, solar energy and the relevant policies and measures of the present government. The company showed willingness to invest in solar energy especially in converting the street lights in Peshawar city on solar energy system. Rafaqatullah Babar suggested the head of company to focus Hayatabad in first leg and convert street lights there as a pilot project and then extend the project to the rest of the city. Talking to the foreign delegates Baber assured that the provincial government would not only encourage the foreign investment over here but would also provide them all the required facilities and securities under one-window operation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Nuclear power stations project: FPCCI lauds $6.5 billion Chinese investment

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Sunday lauded the historic decision of China to construct twin nuclear power stations to bridge gap between demand and supply of electricity. The largest-ever financing deal by a best friend for a single project in Pakistan with a $ 6.5bn loan will not only reduce the energy crisis but also bring two countries closer and enhance Chinese influence in the region, FPCCI chief Zubair Ahmed Malik said. In a statement he said the nuclear energy projects would reduce load shedding by 15 per cent and cut unemployment while improving energy mix as well as rate of economic growth. Great projects like Iran gas pipeline and Kalabagh dam have become highly controversial and almost unworkable therefore government should aggressively peruse nuclear energy option, he added. Malik said Pakistan is not allowed to use civil nuclear technology but India and some other countries have been allowed which is discrimination. The countries raising hue and cry over Islamabad-Beijing deal have ulterior motives as both countries have a right to sign such deals and Pakistan is not in a position to compromise its energy security, the FPCCI chief said. He said Pakistan was left with no option but to broker deal with a true friend as west wasn't ready to provide the much-needed technology to Pakistan so that its economy could be salvaged. Malik categorically said, "Those helping us tame energy crisis are friends and those who are blocking our access are enemies." The FPCCI chief lauded the efforts of the government to tame the crisis and termed deal to get $6.5bn loan from China repayable in 20 years a great success of economic managers. Pakistan will become the first country to use Chinese civil nuclear technology which will open massive business opportunities for companies of the friendly countries, Malik remarked.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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60,000 tons of LPG may be imported yearly: National Assembly informed

Around 60,000 tons per annum of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) may be imported during 2013-14. The quantity of import may fluctuate due to the gas demand and supply, depending on weather and prices. Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi informed Members of the National Assembly on Thursday in a written reply to questions pertaining to his ministry that the LPG import in the country has been deregulated. The quantity of LPG to be imported was determined by market forces keeping in view the demand and supply position, he added. The minister said as per the LPG Policy, any party having valid license could import the gas after paying applicable government dues. To a question about Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the minister said the gas would be procured, imported and injected into natural gas network but would not be leased. He added that there was no need to prescribe rules and regulations for leasing the supply of the gas. The minister also informed the House the total amount of production bonus accrued to the government during the last two years stood at $11,500,000. Giving details of the total quantity of oil imported during current year as compared to the last year, the minister said the total quantity of petroleum products and crude oil imported during July-December 2012 stood at 5.3 million tons and 3.6 million tons, respectively. The import of petroleum products and crude oil slightly increased in July-December 2013 and stood at 6.0 million tons and 3.7 million tons, respectively. The total expenditure incurred on the import of petroleum products and crude oil during July-December 2012 stood at $4.3 billion and $2.9 billion. Likewise, the expenditures incurred on the petroleum products and crude oil during July-December 2013 was recorded at $4.7 billion and $3.0 billion. To a question about reinstatement of employees in the OGDCL during last five years till date, the minister said that a total of 282 employees were reinstated, of which 263 belonged to officer cadre while 19 from junior staff category. The total loss caused to OGDCL on account of arrears of salaries, medical expenses, and contribution to pension fund amounted to Rs 1,487.85 million. The House was also informed that there were 16 active offshore exploration blocks for oil and gas exploration in the country covering an area of 53,612.76 square kilometres. Giving details about the Margalla and Margalla North exploration blocks, the ministry said these blocks were located in districts Haripur, Rawalpindi and Islamabad covering an area of 1387.73 square kilometres and 1561.72 square kilometres, respectively. The House was also informed that productivity of industries should not decrease due to only two days a week supply of gas as in accordance with the contract duly signed by the industrial consumers, they were required to keep in place alternate fuel arrangement; so that their production might not suffer. The government was also taking steps to overcome shortage of gas, the minister said, adding that the government focused on enhancing indigenous gas production, import of gas from Iran, import of gas from Turkmenistan, import of LNG and promotion of LPG air mix.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Setting up oil refinery in Karak Loya Jirga invites private companies

After the assurance of Federal government regarding establishment of the proposed Oil Refinery under public-private partnership in district Karak, Members of Karak Qaumi 'Loya Jirga' have invited the private companies to make investment, jointly with the government for construction of the refinery. Speaking a news conference at press club on Thursday, Rahmat Salam Khattak, Chairman of the jirga and provincial leader of PML-Nawaz said they had met with Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and appraised him with different issues and put certain demands, especially construction of Oil Refinery in district Karak. He (Federal Minister) had accepted all demands and also approved a over Rs 6.30billion for supply of gas to various villages in district Karak, including Laachi, Chakardar and other areas of Kohat and Hangu district as well. During the meeting, he said they also raised issue of low gas pressure in various areas of district Karak, and ignoring of local youth in various oil and gas exploration projects in the district. The jirga, he said, also taken up issue regarding closure of vocational training centre, run under Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) in the district, and said the Minister also issued directives for immediate re-opening of the training centre and upgrade it up-to degrees awarding institute. Accompanied by the Karak jirga president Maulana Mir Zakiya, PML-N leader and member Farid Toofan, Mian Nisar Gul, Shah Abdul Aziz, and Zafar Azam, and others, Mr Khattak said the Federal government is ready to construct oil refinery in collaboration of private sector in district Karak. Mian Nisar Gul informed that about 40,000 barrels oil was producing in Karak, of the total oil production of 80,000 barrels in the country. He said the around Rs 70 to 60 billion would require to establish the proposed oil refinery with support of private sector in Karak. He urged the foreign investors to come and extend financial support in construction of Oil refinery, because the area a more peaceful and favourable for the investment in rich oil and gas resources.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Bagasse-fired power plants: ECC to approve project agreement on upfront tariff

The Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet is to approve standardised security agreement on upfront tariff to be signed by the government with sugar mills for bagasse-fired power plants, sources close to Water and Power Minister told Business Recorder. Sugar mills are currently using bagasse - a renewable fuel produced as a by-product in the sugar manufacturing process - inefficiently in low-pressure 23 bars based power systems, whereas other countries have abandoned low pressure boilers and switched to high-pressure boilers (minimum 60 bars) in cogeneration power systems. Resultantly, sugar mills in Pakistan were unable to produce meaningful surplus electricity for export to the grid. The sources said sugar mills in the country generally operate during the winter from November through April. Pakistan''s power generation capacity is at the lowest during these months due to water and gas shortages. Additional power generation through a local renewable biomass fuel will not only help the country reduce its chronic power shortages during this critical period but also save precious foreign exchange spent on import of furnace oil. Furthermore, efficient use of a biomass fuel like bagasse is environmentally friendly and would help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the country''s power sector. The combined crushing capacity of various sugar mills located in the country is more than 590,000 tons per day. Pakistan crushed 48,249,000 tons of sugar cane during the last crushing season (2011-12), which yielded over 15 million tons of bagasse assuming 32 percent fiber on cane. The amount of bagasse produced by sugar mills has the potential to generate over 2,000 MW. This power would be produced during the crushing season as well as at least a few months during the off-season depending on availability of saved bagasse from the season. In order to tap this sizable potential of high-pressure co-generation bagasse/biomass based projects, the Economic Co-ordination Committee of the Cabinet in its meeting on March 6, 2013 approved the "Framework for Power Cogeneration 2013 (bagasse/biomass), the sources added. As per clause (g) of the framework, the AEDB was required to prepare standard bankable EPA & IA documents for the power producer. The AEDB accordingly engaged a legal counsel and prepared documents after detailed consultation with all stakeholders namely CPPA, Pakistan Sugar Mill Association (PSMA) and their representatives and relevant government agencies/departments. According to sources, documents have been drafted to cater for the requirements of majority of the bagasse/biomass based sugar industry projects falling within the said framework. However, certain project specific amendments would be inevitable during negotiation with the project companies which will be within the provisions of the Framework for Power Co-Generation 2013 (bagasse/biomass) & the Policy for Development of Renewable Energy for Power Generation 2006. Water and Power Ministry has submitted the following recommendations: (i) Standardised Security Agreements (project agreements) for upfront tariff regime projects under Framework for Power Co-Generation 2013 (bagasse/biomass) following Nepra''s up front tariff determination may be approved; and (ii) AEDB/CPPA be authorised to approve any project specific amendments to Standardised Security Agreements (project agreements) for upfront tariff regime projects under Framework for Power Co-Generation 2013 (Bagasse/ Biomass) during negotiations subject to provision of legal opinion in order not to increase GoP obligations or liabilities beyond the provisions of the Framework for Power Co-Generation 2013 (Bagasse /Biomass) & the Policy for Development of Renewable Energy for Power Generation 2006.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Promotion of nuclear energy to help provide cheaper power to industry: PAEC chief

Dr Ansar Parvez, Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), has said that promotion of nuclear energy in the country would not only help to provide cheaper power to industry but also help in elimination of circular debt issue permanently. He was briefing Islamabad-based journalists on Dome Placing Ceremony at Chashma 4 Kundian, Mianwali. To a question regarding safety of nuclear sites of Pakistan, he said that National Command Authority had set up a specialised force with 25,000 highly skilled and trained commando force to protect national assets including three nuclear installation. He mentioned that Chashma 3 and Chashma 4 have protection shield against missile attacks and no damage could be done in case the plants come under attacks with missile attacks. He mentioned that Pakistan would go ahead to set up nuclear power plants to increase power generation from the source to 1100 MW from the existing 300 MW. "While signing agreement for import of nuclear plants, we have also been discussing the transfer of technology with China as Pakistan has an ambitious plan to increase its nuclear power generation up to 42,000 MW by 2050," he added. Responding to a question on indigenization of nuclear power plants, he said Pakistan has capability of developing or manufacturing of integrated energy planning, site evaluation studies, design analysis engineering, regulatory regime, plant commissioning regime, operation and maintenance, fuel cycle, waste management, quality assurance, human resource development. However, Pakistan lags behind in national infrastructure, nuclear material and access to market. At present Pakistan don't have nuclear technology and trained manpower, he added. He informed that total cost of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant 3 and 4 would be Rs 170 billion and 80 percent of the financing would come from Chinese loan facility and up to 20 percent would be financed through local financing. He however said that at present only Chinese loan facility is available to Pakistan no other country have shown any interest in such kind of financing facility for the country. He informed that C-3 and C-4 nuclear power plants to produce low cost electricity as the average per unit cost of power from these two plants would be between Rs 7 to Rs 9 per unit compared with coal Rs 9.16 per unit, wind Rs 13.25 per unit, solar Rs 21.49 per unit and the thermal power generation Rs 24 per unit. Explaining the capacity utilisation of nuclear power plants, he informed the nuclear power plants could be run up to 80 percent of their capacity as compared to wind by 28 percent to 30 percent and solar 20 percent. He maintained that many developed countries have started or already banned the power generation through coal, due to which the price of coal in international market have come down. However, IFIs are also denying loan facility for coal-fired power plants, he added. He mentioned that a credible waste disposal mechanism was available in the country as at present waste is too small. However, he added, for permanent nuclear waste disposal, PAEC is looking suitable place with all facilities on the ground outside Chashma.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Energy and coal mining sectors: Chinese co seeks to cooperate with Punjab government

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that energy crisis has badly affected national economy as well as all sectors of life in Pakistan and the solution of this issue at the earliest is essential for the promotion of economic and industrial activities. He said that overcoming the shortage of electricity is the priority of the government and work is being carried out round-the-clock on power projects. He was talking to a delegation of a Chinese company, China Machinery Engineering Corporation. The meeting agreed on co-operation in energy and coal mining sectors. Provincial Minister for Minerals Ch Sher Ali Khan, Chairman Planning and Development, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, Secretary Minerals and concerned official were present on the occasion. He said the co-operation of Chinese company in energy and coal mining sectors would be welcomed. Talking to the delegation, the Chief Minister said that there are vast opportunities of investment in energy sector in Punjab and the government is offering special incentives for this purpose. He said that work is being carried out expeditiously on power generation projects. He said the Punjab government is setting up two coal based power plants of 660 megawatt itself and the co-operation of the Chinese company would be welcomed in this regard. He said that provincial government has identified six sites for the setting up of coal-based energy projects and installation work of power plants would be completed speedily and in a transparent manner. He said that setting up of coal-based electricity projects is the priority of the government. He said that Punjab has large reserves of coal and the government wants to utilise these resources for power generation projects however power plants operated with imported coal would be established for the time being. He said that co-operation of Chinese company in mining of coal would be welcomed. He said that new job opportunities would also be created through the mining of coal. The Chief Minister directed that provincial authorities and officials of Chinese company should evolve a practicable roadmap for co-operation in energy and coal mining sectors. He said that China is a friendly country of Pakistan and extending commendable co-operation in different sectors. He said that collaboration of Chinese company with Punjab government would strengthen relations between the two countries. Director General China Machinery Engineering Corporation, Li Kan expressed desire to cooperate with Punjab government in energy and coal mining sectors. He said that his company has worked on several energy projects in various countries of the world including Pakistan and also has expertise in mining sector. He said that his company would cooperate with Punjab government in the sector of coal mining. He also gave a detailed briefing to the meeting regarding the activities of China Machinery Engineering Corporation, energy projects in various countries improvement of power supply system and curtailing of line losses. The delegation included Commercial Manager Jenny Wu and Chief Engineer Wang Qingjia, Chief Engineer Ali Raza, Consultant Adil Mahmood and Ashfaq Hussain Malik.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Thar Coal Block II: 'Nawaz, Zardari to lay foundation stone on January 31'

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah terming the Thar coal reservoirs as 'lifeline' for energy security of Pakistan said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari will jointly lay the foundation stone/ground breaking ceremony of the mining and coal based energy plants of Thar Coal Block II on January 31st, through which 660 MW of electricity would be generated in first phase. This he said while addressing as chief guest at a conference titled: "Self-sufficiency in energy depends on expediting the development of Thar coal and power plants," organised by Dawood University of Engineering and Technology and Department of Energy, Government of Sindh at a local hotel, on Saturday. Terming the groundbreaking ceremony a historic event to meet the gigantic challenge of energy crisis, Sindh CM said it was possible only because of the untiring efforts and firm resolve of Sindh government that we are able to perform the groundbreaking of mining and coal based power plants. He said realising the importance and potential of the Thar Coal, the Sindh government has spent over Rs 20 billion for the development of infrastructure, provision of water through LBOD after refining it through RO plants and construction of road via Badin and Thatta and other basic necessities. He added that work on airstrip in Islamkot and provision of machinery and other requirements was in full swing. Sindh CM said that Tharparkar is most remote and difficult area to reach where there was dearth of basic amenities, resultantly no investor was interested in the development of Thar coal but after the continuous labour, hard work efforts and struggle of Sindh government during last six consecutive years, not only national but foreign investment companies are working there and days are not for away when Thar coal will not only fulfil the energy requirements of the country but also energy could be exported. Highlighting the historical and geographical significance of Tharparkar, Qaim Ali Shah said that it was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who got back this land consisting 5,000 square kilometres of Tharparkar where this black gold is available when it was in custody of India in 1973, along with 90,000 forces and civilians, at that time our opponents were insisting on then PM Bhutto only for getting back forces and civilians terming the Tharparkar as barren land of no use. "But the visionary leader knew the importance of this barren land and today solution of energy crisis faced by the country lies in this barren land. He added that then PM of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto went to Indira Gandhi and successfully negotiated the return of land along with forces. The CM Sindh said that it is the very land which is now delivering energy for Pakistan. "God willing, if there is support, 1,000 MW of electricity would be generated from Thar Coal," he added. He said that before the PPP government in 2008, it was disputed that whether coal belongs to federal government or provincial government, it was for the first time that when Asif Ali Zardari was President of Pakistan and Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Prime Minister it was conceded in the federal cabinet that coal is a provincial subject and Thar coal belongs to people of Sindh. The CM Sindh said that after that Sindh government started efforts and a conference on Thar coal was organised under the aegis of the World Bank in Washington where 35 countries participated and where we projected Thar Coal and its importance at international level and investor had shown their interest and arrived in Pakistan to explore investment opportunities in Thar coal. He said Thar area was totally undeveloped, without the help and assistance of federal government it was not possible to develop it as it required huge finance. The federal government supported us and we constituted Thar Coal and Energy Department "TCEB" consisting of federal government ministers, Sindh government ministers and experts from both sides. "This facilitated us to sort out the issues of Thar coal and for getting energy from coal, otherwise people had no confidence that Thar coal would produce energy," he added. Talking about the quality and significance of Thar coal, Qaim said that samples of Thar coal were taken to world coal conference in Germany where it was certified that coal available in Tharparkar was of highest quality, much better than German coal from which Germany meets 40 percent of its energy requirements. Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that such forums are very critical for resolving issues and generate consensus. He added that Thar coal is energy future and energy security of Pakistan, unfortunately it could not be exploited though we knew its importance for long. He said it is the responsibility of technical people to resolve the issues related to Thar coal, adding that federal government will provide full support to companies engaged in Thar coal. He said we need to exploit Thar coal as quickly as possible and work together to resolve the technical issues for which federal government will provide full support. Advisor to CM Sindh for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah also spoke on the occasion. Co-ordinator to CM Sindh Taj Haider, secretaries of provincial government, professionals from coal and energy fields, teachers and students also attended the conference.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister vows to set up oil refinery in Karak

Chief Minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pervez Khattak on Friday assured Khattak Qaumi Jirga that he would make efforts for persuade MOL or other private company for establishment of oil refinery in Karak. He was talking to a delegation of the Jirga which called on him under the leadership of Rahmat Salam Khattak. The Jirga was comprised MPAs, Gul Sahib Khattak, Malik Qasim Khan, Dina Naz, former MNA, Shah Abdul Aziz, Mian Nisar Gul, Haleem Khattak, Faheem Khattak, Maulana Mirza Qeem, Ilyas Ustad, Omar, Rafiullah, Malik Gul Badshah and others. The meeting discussed matters relating to establishment of oil refinery in Karak, provision of gas to remaining areas of the district, increase in the ratio of royalty and other problems. The Jirga also demanded the implementation of the recommendations prepared by the committee constituted by the chief minister. The chief minister further assured the Jirga that if federal government approved the provision of gas to the remaining villages, it would also include its share in it. He also expressed concern over the present procedure of the spending of the amount of royalty, saying the present pace of the spending is tantamount to only the waste of funds and the district will remain backward.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Coal-based power generation: Sindh CM hopeful of Chinese firms' investment

Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has expressed his satisfaction over the result of the visit of delegation of Sindh government to china which was aimed at contacting and inviting the investment from Chinese companies for coal-based power generation in Sindh. This he expressed while presiding over meeting of Thar Coal Energy Board (TCEB) held at CM House Karachi on Wednesday. Sindh Minister for Information and Local Government Sharjeel Inam Memon, Advisor to CM for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Sindh Sajjad Saleem Hotiyana, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif Abbas, Secretary to CM Rai Sikandar, Managing Director Thar Coal Energy, Khursheed Jamali Member Thar Coal Energy Board, Shamasudin Shaikh C.E.O Thar Coal Engro Power Project and other lined officer attended the meeting. Secretary to CM Rai Sikandar and Secretary Energy Agha Wasif Abbas who were the members of visiting delegation briefed the meeting about their efforts to contact, disseminate and invite the Chinese investment companies about the investment potential available for coal based power generation in Sindh and expressed their optimism, that big investment would come to Sindh from Chinese investors after their visit to China. The Chief Minister Sindh said that lot of work had been made to exploit the Thar Coal reserves for power generation and now Sindh was in position to take off for its coal based power projects especially at Thar Coal Block No 2. He said Sindh Government very shortly to launch coal mining at Thar Coal Block-2 and that initiative would lead the country towards coal based power generation at maximum level at cheaper rates and to bring the country out from energy crises. He said that step for mining would be followed by the generation of 600MW coal base power initially and capacity of that project would 100 percent be increased in its second phase. He said energy crises was not the only issue of Sindh Government but it was the issue of all four provinces and state of Pakistan that should be addressed with mutual co-operation, understanding and under national umbrella and hopefully Sindh would be ahead of other provinces in this movement. He said "we are seriously taking it as a national issue and want to discussed and decide the strategy on national forum to meet out this challenge." He said by exploiting the indigenous natural resources including Thar Coal reserves and Wind Corridors available in Sindh for power generation "we can not only to meet the national requirement of electricity but would be able to export it and bring the agro-industrial revolution, provide income and employment opportunities to people in millions and convert the Pakistan into a welfare state in the region." The Chief Minister Sindh asked the management for calling an important meeting of Thar Coal Energy Board with compulsory participation of its all members for further discussing, deciding, and evolving comprehensive and integrated strategy for promoting the coal-based power generation with the help of national and international experts and investors. He said high responsibilities were lied with Thar Coal Energy Board TCEB and it had to deliver the nation as par potential of Thar Coal reserves.-PR

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Shale gas/oil: Ministry working out exploration plan

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has finally started working on exploration of shale gas/oil policy to dig out technically recoverable huge reserves throughout the country. "The ministry has started working out a plan to explore shale gas/oil reserves in the country. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has estimated total shale gas reserves in Pakistan at 586 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) and over 9 billion barrels of shale oil," an official who has been given the task to formulate the policy within next three weeks told Business Recorder, here on Tuesday. Pakistan''s low BTU gas reserves have been estimated at 2 TCF and that of tight gas at around 40 TCF, which makes them larger than the existing natural gas reserves of around 22-24 TCF. The EIA has estimated recoverable shale gas reserves of 105 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) and over 9 billion barrels of oil in Pakistan. They said the Petroleum Ministry high-ups have directed the Director General (DG) Petroleum Concessions to work out a viable plan, so that the country could explore and benefit from huge natural reserves. These estimates of recoverable hydrocarbons reserves are many a time higher than the so far proven reserves of 24 TCF of gas and about 300 million barrels of oil. Pakistan currently produces about 4.25 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) of gas and about 70,000 barrels of crude oil per day. "Within next two to three weeks we are going to announce shale oil/gas policy after that in the first phase we want to explore a few wells in potential shale gas/oil areas," the official added. The official said the government in 2012 approved a new exploration policy, with improved incentives, as compared to the 2009 policy. Even with the offer of higher prices for shale and tight gas to exploration companies, it is estimated that Pakistan would pay a maximum of $6.50/mmbtu for gas compared to $13/mmbtu for imported gas from Iran and $11/mmbtu from Turkmenistan and $17-19/mmbtu for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The official said the new estimates appear to be very encouraging for Pakistan but extraction of shale gas/oil is four times costlier and technology extensive as compared to conventional natural resources. He said shale gas had seen tremendous development in the United States and a couple of other countries were trying to use the latest technology. Pakistan, he said, was also encouraging exploration and production companies to venture the fresh horizon. Pakistan is particularly heavily dependent on natural gas for its energy needs. At present actual demand for gas is around 8 Billion Cubic Feet (BCFD) per day, while the managed demand is hovering around 6 BCFD against total supply of 4.3 BCF. The EIA also estimated risked shale oil in place for India/Pakistan that is 314 billion barrels, with 87 billion barrels in India and 227 billion barrels in Pakistan. "The risked, technically recoverable shale oil resource has been estimated at 12.9 billion barrels for the two countries, with 3.8 billion barrels for India and 9.1 billion barrels for Pakistan," the EIA said. The southern and central Indus basins are located in Pakistan, along the border with India and Afghanistan which are bounded by the Indian shield on the East and highly folded mountains on the West. The lower Indus basin has commercial oil and gas discoveries in the Cretaceous-age Goru Fm sands plus additional gas discoveries in shallower formations. About the resource assessment, the EIA said within 31,320 sq miles of dry gas prospective area, the Sembar Shale in the lower Indus basin had a resource concentration of 83 billion cubic feet per square mile. Within the 25,560 square mile wet gas and condensate prospective, are the Sembar shale has resource concentration of 57 BCF per sq miles of wet gas and nine million barrels per square mile of condensate. Within the 26,700 square miles oil prospective area, the Sembar Shale has a resource concentration of 37 million barrels per square mile.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Thar Coal power project: Sindh chief minister welcomes SEPCO's investment

The Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has welcomed Chinese Electric Power Construction Corporation (SEPCO) for its induction in investment in Thar Coal power project by making Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with British-oriented Oracle Power Company already engaged in execution of a coal-based power project aimed to generate 600MW in Block 6. Qaim Ali Shah while talking to the chairman SEPCO Liu Chaunming, who called on him along with his delegation at CM House on Thursday, said that all facilities and incentives would be provided to his organisation for easily execution and completion of its task. The Secretary Energy Agha Wasif Abbas, the Managing Director, Thar Coal and the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sindh were also present on the occasion. The Chief Minister said that Sindh has good potential of power generation by virtue of its coal reserves and wind corridor, and added that sooner or later, the Sindh province would be the hub of power generation and it enables us not only to meet the national requirements but also to export the energy to other countries. The Chief Minister was of the view that SEPCO would not feel any difficulty as all ground work is almost completed. He advised the delegation to start their work as soon as possible. The Chairman SEPCO and other senior members of the delegation while taking part in deliberation were of the view that within a week time they would go for Joint Development Agreement with its partner Oracle Power Company and by the end of June 2014, they would achieve financial closing and start development work. They said that SEPCO is a highly technical sound company having experience to produce 93000MW.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Kamal sees resolution of energy crisis in exploration of shale oil/gas reserves

Mir Jam Kamal, State Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, has said that Pakistan will start exploring shale oil/gas reserves to deal with the long-standing energy crisis. He said this while talking to Business Recorder on the sidelines of an event here on Thursday. To a query as to why the domestic consumers are facing serious problems of low gas pressure, the minister said that at present only domestic sector’s gas demand stands at around 4 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD), while country’s total gas supply is just over 4 BCFD of which over 1 BCFD is low BTU type natural gas, which is dedicated to cement, fertilizer and power sectors. "Due to high demand and low supply of gas all the consumers are facing gas curtailments, but gas supply to domestic sector is top priority of the government," he added. He said that all the necessary paper work to explore tight and shale oil/gas reserves has been completed and soon the state-owned as well as private companies would be allowed to start exploring Shale oil/gas. Earlier, addressing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony by Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) for industry-academia collaboration with NED University of Engineering and Technology and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), he said that the government is making all-out efforts to deal with the looming energy crisis. MD and CEO PPL Asim Murtaza Khan, Vice Chancellor NED University Professor Muhammad Afzal Haque and Head, Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics and NTNU Professor Egil Tjaland signed the MoU on behalf of their respective institutions. The MoU extends PPL''s role in facilitating industry-academia linkages in the field of Petroleum Engineering, besides training E&P professionals and enhancing research and development projects. The initial duration of the MoU is five years, but it may be extended further. The highlight of the event was to mark the establishment of the Norwegian Centre of Excellence for Petroleum Studies at NED University in collaboration with NTNU under the Pak3004, Pak-Norway Institutional Cooperation Programme. Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi was also present on the occasion as chief guest who unveiled the plaque for the centre and congratulated those involved in the effort. In his address, Abbasi underscored the need for academic and technical competence to revamp the E&P industry and have more exploration activities to meet the country''s rising energy demand. Speaking about the project, Head, Petroleum Engineering Department, NED University, Professor Abid Murtaza Khan, highlighted its significance, a sentiment echoed by Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, USA Dr Khalid Aziz. For his part, Asim Mustafa Khan gave an overview of the E&P industry as well as initiatives taken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to incentivize E&P business and draw local and foreign investment. He also stated that the tripartite MoU, the first-ever instance of international collaboration between Pakistan''s E&P industry and academia, will go a long way in training qualified professionals.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Efforts afoot to explore more oil, gas reservoirs

ISLAMABAD: The government has promulgated investor-friendly petroleum policy, attracting investment of about $ 2.02 billion for oil and gas exploration in the country during the last three years. The policy envisages incentives which includes better gas price, windfall levy reduced from 50 percent to 40 percent, base price for crude oil and condensate increased from US $30 per barrel to US $40 pre barrel, says an official sources. "Ceiling of US $100 per barrel is replaced with US $110 per barrel, while renewal of lease will also be ensured, after expiry of lease term for another five years subject to payment of amount of 15 percent of the well head value." the source added. Similarly the sale of 90 percent share of pipeline specification gas to Government of Pakistan and 10 percent by E&P companies to any buyer with prior consent of the government is another step to encourage foreign investment. The official said a bonanza of US $1 per MMBTU shall be given for first three discoveries in offshore area. The Policy 2012 gas price will also be extended to the lease for additional 10 percent production over and above the commitment of development plan approved by the government, the source said. For the purpose of pricing and delivery obligations for natural gas, the source said, the gas will be delivered at outlet flange (Field Gate/ Delivery Point). While for offshore, the gas will be delivered at the nearest access point to an existing regulated transmission system or at the shore within coastal locations. Award process for 50 new exploration blocks is being finalized in consultation with the provinces. In order to exploit shale gas reserves of the country, USAID is providing technical assistance to Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources via appointment of experts in the Shale Gas policy formulation and technology support for exploitation of unconventional gas resources. Approval to commence project has been granted in October 2013 and it will take 9 months to complete. The government has also introduced Tight Gas Policy 2011 to extract gas from tight gas reservoir by offering additional gas price, the source added.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2014

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LNG import from Yemen: President for early finalisation of arrangements

President Mamnoon Hussein Tuesday invited investment from Yemen in energy, oil and gas sectors of Pakistan urging the two sides for early finalisation of arrangements for import of LNG from Yemen. In a meeting with the visiting Yemeni Minister for Industry and Trade Dr Saadaldeen Ali Salim Talib who called on him here at Presidency, he said the expeditious finalisation of import of LNG from Yemen would help Pakistan cope with the energy issues besides bolstering trade and commercial ties between the two countries. Both the sides discussed bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest. Welcoming the Yemeni minister and the accompanying delegation on their visit to Pakistan in connection with the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission, the President hoped that the visit would prove instrumental in further enhancing the existing bilateral relations particularly trade and commercial ties between Pakistan and Yemen. The President said that Pakistan valued its cordial relations with Yemen and desired to further strengthen bilateral co-operation in diverse fields to the mutual benefit of the people of both the countries. He emphasised the need for concerted steps on both sides to boost bilateral trade volume through increased co-operation in various sectors. Highlighting the growing energy requirements of Pakistan, the President said that government was offering incentive packages for investment in power and energy sectors to meet the growing challenges of energy in the country.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Chinese cooperation towards addressing energy crisis commendable: Asif

Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday lauded the Chinese government for co-operation in addressing the chronic energy problem of Pakistan, saying Beijing had always extended helping hand to Islamabad at a time of need. Addressing a dinner reception here that was largely participated by top Chinese companies working in various energy and infrastructure sectors in Pakistan and those who showed keen interest for further investment earlier in a day while holding meetings with him, Khawaja Asif said the present power crisis the Pakistan faced with was due to negligence by the previous regimes, which were at the helm of affairs for over past ten years. He said the present government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accorded top priority to addressing the energy crisis. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to China in July last year discussed a number of energy projects with the Chinese leadership and also signed eight agreements, including all important Pakistan-China Economic Corridor. He lauded the Chinese companies for their all out co-operation in solving the energy crisis and said their help would go a long way in generating economic activities in the country. The Federal Minister said if the problem of energy was addressed, the country economy would grow and at the same time it would also generate jobs for youths. He expressed the determination that with the co-operation of China, "we would be able to solve our energy crisis soon". He said the present government had embarked on a number of ambitious energy plans in solar, wind, hydel power and coal. The government, he said, was going to set up ten 660MW capacity each coal power generating plants in Gaddani Power Park. He said that besides coal power plants, the government was also paying attention for generating hydal power. In this regards he mentioned the importance of construction of Dasu Hydro power project and Diamer Basha Dam. He said the government had planned to build both these dams simultaneously. Earlier, Pakistan and China signed an MoU for setting up a 660MW coal power plant in Gaddani. The MoU was signed between Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) and China's Gezhouba Group (CGGC). The signing ceremony was witnessed by Federal Minister Khawaja Asif, Ambassador Masood Khalid and Executive President of CGGC International Yang Yisheng. Secretary Water and Power Saifullah Chatta told APP that two Chinese and one Korean company had already made their commitment for setting up power plants in Gaddani. This is the third Chinese company that had signed MoU. The CGGC have also assured financing for this projects, Chatta said adding that around dollars 900 million were required for setting up of such coal based power projects. Speaking on the occasion, Khawaja Asif lauded the CGGC, which was working on Neelum Jehlum Hydal Power projects for its commitment to complete the project on or before the scheduled time. He said that generation of hydro power would help improve the country's economy at one hand and on the other people would get low cost electricity. On the occasion Yang expressed keen interest in various infrastructure projects, besides laying of transmission line for the Neelum Jehlum power project, construction of cement plants and housing units. Asif said there was huge prospects for setting up cerement plants in Pakistan, as "we have abundance of deposits of limestone used in cement making".

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Over Rs 20 billion allocated for energy-related projects: Minister

Punjab Finance Minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman has said Punjab government is working on the projects for generating energy from coal, biomass, bagasse, solar, hydle and biogas for overcoming electricity shortage and in this connection more than Rs 20 billion have been allocated. He expressed those views talking to party workers here on Thursday. He said due to governmental steps loadshedding had been overcome to a great extent within a short period of six months. He also said present loadshedding was due to the closure of canals for de-silting by ARSA, which was an annual routine. "The circular debt is due to the non-payment in 2006-7 and wrong policies of PML-Q government," he added. The Minister said the government had also allocated Rs 244 billion for education and Rs 102 billion for health, which was 27 percent and 11 percent of the total budget respectively. "We are spending Rs 90.79 billion on social sector, Rs 90.71 billion on infrastructure and Rs 11.9 billion on production sectors during current financial year for improving so-economic condition of the people," he added. According to him, 27 percent for economic matters, more than 10 percent for public order and local governments and 20 percent for public service of the total budget were provided and Rs 36 billion are being spent for providing subsidy to the poor people. Special programmes, including provision of loans on soft-term to the youth, launching of Punjab Rozgar Bank and health insurance scheme, have been started for the welfare of the common man. Also, Rs 3 billion has been allocated for the self-employment scheme of the Chief Minister in which credit assistance without any interest is given to unemployed and skilled persons of PVTC, Tevta and technical institutes under public and private sector. Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman said the country could be rid of problems by removing the disparity between rich and the poor, utilisation of natural resources for the welfare of the people and other practical steps. The problems like corruption, 'Safarish' and unemployment could be resolved through transparency and good governance, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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