14TH INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION FOR THE ENERGY INDUSTRY

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News Headlines for the month of
MAY 2014

Energy projects totalling 20,000 megawatts being set up: four MoUs signed with Chinese group

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pak-China friendship has turned into useful economic contacts and energy projects of 20,000 megawatts will be set up in the country including Punjab under Pak-China Economic Corridor. He said journey towards light and elimination of darkness had started and within a few years, agriculture would be developed, economy would be strengthened while industrial sector would be flourished and Pakistan would be able to stand on its own feet. The Chief Minister expressed these views at the signing ceremony of memorandums of understanding between a prominent Chinese group Shandong Ruyi and different industrial groups of Punjab at Chief Minister's Office, here on Thursday. Chairman Shandong Ruyi group Yafu Qiu, senior officials of Huang Shang Dong, China, Provincial Ministers, Chief Secretary, prominent industrialists and notable from different walks of life were present on the occasion. The Chief Minister said the bond of friendship between Pakistan and China were strengthening with the passage of time and China had supported Pakistan in every hour of need. He said the confidence reposed by Chinese government, leadership, and people in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could not be described in words. He said Pak-China friendship was indeed higher than Himalayas, sweeter than honey, deeper than oceans and stronger than steel. He said project of Ruyi Masood Textile Park in Faisalabad was a very important step towards strengthening of Pak-China friendship and according to an estimate, an investment of 200 billion rupees would be made in the textile park. The Chief Minister said that foundation stone of 1,320 megawatt coal power plant would be laid today in Sahiwal with the co-operation of China and it would start production of electricity in December 2016. He said Chinese group was making total investment in the coal power plant. Similarly, he said, Nandipur power project would be inaugurated on May 31, due to which 100 megawatts more electricity would be available and it was a matter of great pleasure for the people of Pakistan who were thankful to Chinese leadership and companies. Chairman Shandong Ruyi group, Yafu Qiu while speaking on the occasion said Shahbaz Sharif was a very dynamic and practical person and his deep love and sincerity had motivated Chinese investors to invest in Pakistan. He said his group would try its best to complete energy projects even before the timeframe in accordance with the vision of Chief Minister Punjab. Earlier, four memorandums of understanding were signed between Shandong Ruyi group and different industrial groups of the Punjab. Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest on the occasion. On behalf of Shandong Ruyi Group, Masood Textile Mills and JK Spinning Mills, Chairman Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Limited Yafu Qiu, Chief Executive Officer Masood Textile Mills, Shahid Nazir and Director JK Spinning Mills Faiq Javed signed the document. Under a joint venture, Shandong Ruyi Group and JK Spinning Mills will set up a fabric printing unit of 200 million meter annually at Ruyi Masood Industrial Park. With regard to MoU between Shandong Ruyi Group, Masood Textile Mills and Crescent Sugar Mills, Chairman Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Ltd Yafu Qiu, Chief Executive Officer Masood Textile Mills Shahid Nazir and Naveed Gulzar of Crescent Sugar Mills signed the document.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Bunji Dam designed to produce 7,100 megawatts, National Assembly body told

A parliamentary panel was informed on Tuesday that Water and Power Development Authority had prepared a PC-I for Bunji Dam that could run 16 turbines and produce 7,100 megawatts of electricity on completion. Chairman WAPDA Zafar Mahmood briefed the members of National Assembly Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan about the ongoing work on Bhasha and Bunji Dams. PML-N MNA Malik Abrar chaired the committee meeting in the Parliament House wherein the chairman WAPDA said that the Asian Development Bank and World Bank had not denied funding for the Bhasha Dam. Briefing the members about the Bunji Dam, the chairman said that it transpired during designing of the Bunji Dam that it was located on a fault line. "We have to change location and designing of the project due to the fault," he said. Mahmood said that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar could talk to the World Bank for financing of the dam in September this year. "Redesigning of the dam would also affect around 140 kilometers of Karakorum Highway," he said. He said that WAPDA had been working to complete all prerequisites for possible financing of Bunji Dam with the World Bank and other international financial institutions. "If completed, the dam would be capable of running 16 turbines and produce 7,100 megawatts of electricity," he said. Briefing about the Bhasha Dam, the chairman said that the government had to buy 37,419 acres of land but only 17,424 acres had been acquired so far. According to the plan, 35,991 acres of land was to be provided for the dam in Gilgit-Baltistan and 1,428 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and around 19,062 acres of land was to be provided by the government while 18,357 acres was to be bought from private owners. So far, the government had provided just 17,214 acres of land for the project while only 210 acres private property had been bought so far, the chairman said. The committee members were also informed that around 100 kilometers of Karakoram Highway would also be affected by the project and the government would have to construct an alternate 141 kilometers road for it. "The alternate route would cost the national exchequer around three billion rupees," he said. He said the local people had also been resisting the government's initiative to buy land for the dam which was delaying the project. The chairman also dispelled reservations of some members of the committee about funding of the project. "The international financial institutions are ready to provide funds for the project but even if they don't do so, we'll construct the dams by utilising indigenous resources," he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Energy sector: Pakistan, Russian companies may explore joint projects

Khawaja Asif, Defence and Water and Power Minister, who is currently in Moscow, to seek close co-operation in defence and energy fields. Khawaja Asif is on a three-day visit to attend 3rd Moscow Conference on International Security on special invitation from Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Army General Sergei Shoigu. Official sources told Business Recorder that Russian and Pakistani companies would explore mutually beneficial joint projects for the purpose of co-operation in the energy sector. Both countries had signed Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) on defence co-operation. Pakistan's ambassador to Russia recently wrote to Islamabad to honour commitments to strengthen bilateral relations with Moscow. In the field of energy, the sources said conversion of Muzaffargarh TPS (MTPS) to solid fuel (imported coal) will be discussed at a meeting with Energy Minister. MTPS has been selected for privatisation. A MoU was signed between Techno Pro Mexport Russia and Genco Holding Company for rehabilitation and conversion of 660MW at Muzaffargarh Thermal Power Station to coal but it could not materialise due to PPRA rules. However, officials of the two countries are confident that they can cooperate in the field of hydro power projects. The projects which are being offered to Russian companies for investment are as follows : (i) evacuation of power from Basha HPP-500 kV AC lines at an estimated cost of $1.340 billion; (ii) evacuation of power from Bunji HPP-500 kV AC lines with an estimated investment of $1.485 billion; (iii) CASA-1000 project at an estimated cost of $189 million (Pakistan portion); and (iv) import of power from Iran 500 kV HVDC at an estimated cost of $472 million. Following points on co-operation in energy sector were discussed in the second session of the Pakistan-Russia Inter Government Commission (IGC): (i) Pakistani side sought Russian technical assistance for the Tarbela 4th Extension Project; (ii) the two sides noted the interest of the Russian companies in the reconstruction of Mangla Hydroelectric Power Station, construction of new Dasu Hydropower Project and other projects. The Commission noted readiness of the Russian companies to participate in hydropower projects such as Diamer Bhasha Dam, Mohmand (Munda), Lawi, Phander as Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractors, preparation of feasibility report for Shyok Project and construction of new coal project. According to sources, Russian assistance would be sought in co-operation and financing of Pattan hydropower project, and Thakot hydropower project. A Russian Energy delegation visited Pakistan from 16-20 September 2013. The Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation had assured Pakistan side of Russian interest in CASA-1000 project but the partner countries (Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan) did not agree. Russia has indicated that it would consider the possibility of providing non-grant (loan) investment amounting to $500 million (as committed at the Inter Governmental Council. Russia has offered services of its leading energy companies on planning, construction, exploitation, maintenance and commercial co-operation of transmission line projects.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Prime Minister approves two coal-fired power plants at Gaddani

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Saturday said attractive tariff for coal-fired power plants has drawn international investors'' interest in power projects. The premier chaired a meeting held to review the pace of work on Gaddani Power Project here. He approved two additional coal-fired power plants to be constructed in Gaddani. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was given a detailed briefing on the status of power projects. He was informed that the feasibility study of the infrastructure installation would be completed by end of June. The study included geo-technical investigation, water resource survey, jetty break water and cooling water intake system. The environment impact system study would be completed by the end of next month. The Prime Minister was briefed that work on land levelling and grading on the site would start in three weeks and complete in three months. The premier was briefed that the coal handling and conveying system infrastructure would be installed in 22 months. Similarly, jetty break water and allied infrastructure would be completed in 32 months. The premier also appreciated Chinese investment in energy sector, especially at Gaddani Power Park. He directed allocation of sufficient funds for these projects in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Quaid-i-Azam solar park: proposed capacity extended to 1,500MW

Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif while presiding over a high level meeting here on Sunday gave approval to increasing the area of Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur from 10 thousand acres to 15 thousand acres. He also gave approval to increasing the capacity of Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park from 1000 megawatts to 1500 megawatts. He said small solar power projects will also be set up at various places in Punjab and directed that technical study be carried out of various places for establishing small solar power projects and final recommendations be presented within seven days. Sharif said that necessary facilities will be provided to the investors at Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park on priority basis and early completion of solar project will be ensured. Chief Executive Officer Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park Najam Shah gave a detailed briefing on the project. Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, Senior Member Board of Revenue, Chairman Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park and concerned officials attended the meeting. Meanwhile a high level delegation of a prominent Chinese group TBEA led by its President Zhang Jainxin also met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and discussed matters regarding solar project in Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur. The Chief Minister said that the foundation stone of the first solar project of Pakistan has been laid in Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur which will start producing 100 megawatts of electricity by December 2014. The project will be completed speedily and in a transparent manner. Sharif said that solar power project is an important step towards elimination of darkness from the country. The Chinese company is working day and night for the completion of the project even before December and all out co-operation will be extended to the company for this purpose. President TBEA Zhang Jainxin said every effort will be made for completion of 100 megawatt project before the timeframe. He said the Punjab government is working on energy projects speedily and in a transparent manner which will provide relief to the masses. Chief Secretary, Senior Member Board of Revenue, Special Assistant Azimul Haq, Chairman Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park Arif Saeed, concerned secretaries and senior officers were also present on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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First solar park: Prime Minister performs groundbreaking ceremony

The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif performed the ground-breaking of the country''s first ever Rs 15 billion 100MW solar power park to provide cheap electricity and help the country meet its increasing energy needs. The Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park will be expanded to produce 300MW in the second phase by 2015, while in third phase it will add another 600MW with a total power generation capacity of 1000MW by 2016. The project will be completed by Chinese company TBEA and produce electricity at per unit cost of Rs 15. The Bank of Punjab is providing 75 percent of funding for the project, while the remaining 25 percent will be provided by the Government of Punjab. The project has 400,000 solar panels at a cost of 131 million dollars. A 132KV transmission line for 400MW has already been installed, while another 220 KV line to carry another 600 MW will be completed in one year. The Prime Minister said his government would accomplish the task of meeting country''s energy needs much before the end of tenure of his government. He said the solar power project in Bahawalpur would be operational in a few months time and will attain its full capacity of generating 1000MW in a little over two years. He said the dearth of electricity in the past had pushed the country backwards and its entire industry and agriculture sector had suffered immensely. He said the people of Pakistan were suffering in all spheres of their life as they could not get clean drinking water and health facilities. Businesses suffered as there was no electricity, he added. Prime Minister appreciated the performance of Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and his team for their dedicated work and timely completion of various development projects. He said good news for the people of Bahawalpur was that a motorway project linking Lahore with Karachi would pass close to their city, while another motorway will link it with Multan. The Prime Minister further said the government was undertaking projects for the progress of the country for next 25 years. He mentioned the 2100km long Pakistan-China Trade Corridor that will have industrial estates and development will take place along the entire route. He said Gwadar will be turned into the most modern city and it would be a free port like Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. He recalled the recent power project that would produce 660MW electricity, while another project at Gadani with ten units would produce 6600MW electricity. He mentioned another project at Jamshoro which would produce 1320MW, besides several others at Rahimyar Khan, Sahiwal, Jhang and Muzaffargarh would produce 2640MW in Punjab alone. Nawaz further said under various agreements China will help build different projects with 33 billion dollars. According to him, Pakistan has a generation capacity of 23,000MW and in next eight years another 21,000MW will be added to the generation capacity. He said currently Pakistan was only producing 13,000MW. He also appreciated the Inspector General of Police Punjab for ensuring safety of the Chinese project engineers and workers. He also directed to take special and effective measures for the security of Chinese personnel. The event was attended by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Governor Punjab Chaudhry Ghulam Sarwar, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Minister for Inter Provincial Co-ordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Minister for Food Security Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan Rana Sanaullah, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong and President M/s TEBA Ltd Zhang Jianxin, Chairman Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Punjab Arif Saeed. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the ground-breaking of the country''s first Solar Power Plant had shown the grand vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who realised that this precious resource of sunlight be tapped for country''s progress. He said the project to provide energy for the next 25 years would light up every nook and corner of the country, without relying on precious imported fuel or natural gas. Shahbaz Sharif also lauded the US 32 billion dollars support by China for helping Pakistan in various projects. He expressed the hope that the first module of 10MW of the Solar Park would be operational before the advent of Ramazan. Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong in his brief remarks said his country remained committed to helping Pakistan in its development and progress and meet the energy shortage. He said Chinese companies were helping Pakistan in different fields. He was appreciative of the Chinese companies and their workers for the dedication and commitment to the projects in Pakistan. The Chinese ambassador received a big applause when he said in Urdu "Pakistan aur China hamesha ke dost hain."

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Spain offers cooperation in energy sector

Spanish ambassador Javier M Carbajosa Sanchez on Thursday offered Pakistan its co-operation in energy sector, especially investment in wind power projects to overcome the prevailing crisis. The envoy, during his visit to Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) here, underlined the need for further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries with special focus on trade ties. He said overall there was a conducive atmosphere for foreign investors in the country. After attaining the GSP-Plus status, he said, Pakistan has a good opportunity to increase exports to European countries and project its true image abroad in an effective manner. He said there exist vast opportunities to launch joint ventures in diverse fields, for which Spain would extend all possible diplomatic support to Pakistan's business community. Besides, he said, co-operation would be extended to promote Pakistan's single country "Made-in-Pakistan" exhibitions, stressing the need to ensure frequent exchange of trade delegations between the two countries. The envoy suggested to improve transportation system in Pakistan as it would help promote bilateral trade, adding a number of Pakistani goods, especially textile products and Mangos were in high demand in Spain. He said Pakistan has great potential to attract local and foreign tourists and this sector could be transformed into the country's largest industry, if due attention was given to it. In past, he said, unfortunately this important sector of the economy was ignored. RCCI President Dr Shimail Daud, Senior Vice President Malik Shahid Saleem, Vice President Muhammad Alam Chughtai and senior members were also present on the occasion.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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'WAPDA to complete new dams, hydel power projects in time'

WAPDA Chairman Zafar Mehmood has said that WAPDA will leave no stone unturned to complete new dams and hydel power projects like Basha and Neelum Jhelum in time to meet the rapidly growing national needs of water and cheap electricity generation. He said this while speaking at a reception held at Bakhtiar Labour Hall, which was organised by ALL Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Workers Union on Tuesday. Speaking on the occasion, Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, former chairman of WAPDA expressed satisfaction over the move of the government to accord high priority to building new reservoirs and hydel power stations which were ignored in the past. It is the need of the hour to review the break up of WAPDA into sixteen distribution companies in the larger public interest. He commended the role of WAPDA workers and engineers for the national development and their co-operation and support extended by the union to maintain cordial industrial relation and settling the problems of the workers through mutual dialogue. The veteran trade union leaders Khurshid Ahmed and Abdul Latif Nizamani commended valuable services of Syed Raghib Abbas Shah for forty years in WAPDA and hoped that Zafar Mehmood would continue to strengthen spirit to develop long standing traditions of good team work with the workers and management.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Prime Minister to open Port Qasim power project today

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will inaugurate a 1,320MW imported coal-based power project at Port Qasim, Karachi on Tuesday (today). With the inauguration of this coal-based Port Qasim power plant, another milestone is being achieved by the government. The project is an important step towards fulfilling the government's resolve to reduce the gap between power demand and supply.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Energy crisis: $400 million received from ADB

Pakistan on Saturday received 400 million dollars from Asian Development Bank (ADB) on account of support to Government of Pakistan's ongoing reforms to tackle the country's chronic energy crisis. In recognition of government's commitment to carry out reforms, particularly those in the energy sector, which is important for overall economic development, the ADB on April 24 had approved the loan worth of $400 million for Pakistan and an agreement to this effect was signed on April 28 at the Finance Ministry. Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar had already indicated that coal power projects would be set up in different parts of the country with the help of soft loan which was virtually a free loan and reflected the trust of the international community in the government's efforts to improve the economy. The loan is part of an assistance programme which will underwrite reforms needed to make the energy sector affordable, reliable, sustainable and secure. It will accelerate industrial activity needed to boost economic growth and help create jobs, which are keys to reducing poverty levels. ADB is the lead development organisation in Pakistan's energy sector supporting energy efficiency, transmission, distribution, cross-border natural gas pipelines, power generation, and renewable energy projects. The full programme is expected to total $1.2 billion, with future commitments.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Pakistan, Turkey agree to form technical working group

Pakistan and Turkey have agreed to form a technical working group in the energy sector in order to chalk out ways for close collaboration in the energy field. This was decided in the meeting with the Secretary of the Ministry of Water and Power Saif Ullah Chatta of Turkish officials in Ankara, said a press release received here on Thursday. The Pakistan official is visiting Turkey on the instruction of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in order to learn from the Turkish experience in privatisation of electricity sector. While Pakistan has planned to privatise hydro-projects, Turkey has successfully made 100 percent privatisation of the power distribution companies and created a multi-buyer and multi-sector electricity market. Pakistani delegation held extensive meeting with Secretary of the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Metin Kilci who offered to help Pakistan in organising a road show in Turkey where Pakistan could sensitise Turkish entrepreneurs about the privatisation plans and would showcase potential projects in the hydro, coal and renewable energy sector to Turkish investors. Metin said Turkey generated about US $50 billion from power sector privatisation. He said as a result of privatisation, public sector is saving over US $10 billion per annum which were earlier losses of the power sector entities. Similarly, line losses were also reduced substantially in the post-privatisation era, he added. Deputy Director General of State Hydraulic Works Yakup Basogulu during the meeting informed that Turkish entrepreneurs have great experience in hydro projects and while Turkey will soon utilise its full potential in the hydro sector, Turkish investors shall be interested in such projects in Pakistan. President of Privatisation Administration of the Turkish Ministry Ahmet Aksu gave an extensive briefing regarding power sector privatisation. He also offered to share the relevant legal framework whereby Turkey was successful in privatising its energy sector. Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Muhammad Haroon Shaukat, Chief Engineering Advisor of the Ministry of Water and Power Asjad Imtiaz Ali and Director General of Energy Management at Alternate Energy Development Board Musaddiq Ahmed Khan Tahirkheli also attended the meeting. Pakistan''s delegation will also hold parleys with the executives of Turkish companies in the renewable energy sector in Istanbul to review progress on the ongoing Turkish projects in Pakistan and discuss new initiatives.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Power distribution system: government, ADB sign $167 million loan agreement

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan on Wednesday signed an agreement to invest $167 million to improve the country's power distribution systems. Nargis Sethi, Secretary Economic Affairs Division and Werner E Liepach, ADB's Country Director for Pakistan signed the loan agreement. "An efficient power distribution system is crucial to allow the power produced reach the consumers. The investment will help rehabilitate Pakistan's ageing power distribution infrastructure waiting for upgradation," said Werner Leapach. The loan is meant for Tranche-4 of the Power Distribution Enhancement Investment Programme under the Multi-tranche Financing Facility (MFF). The MFF was approved in 2008 to invest $810 million in priority areas to improve distribution systems and help Pakistan meet its pressing energy needs. The programme aims at rehabilitating, augmenting and expanding power distribution systems and removing system bottlenecks. The power projects to be completed by December 2016 will augment the network and improve performance of the power distribution system, which is essential to increase the overall efficiency of the networks and to bridge the widening demand and supply gap of power in Pakistan. "This project is to upgrade transformer capacity at 284 grid stations which will bring stability in the power distribution network," said Adnan Tareen, ADB''''s Energy Specialist. Financing for the first tranche of $252 million, second tranche of $242 million, and third tranche of $245 million have already been provided and implementation is going on in more than 400 sub-projects which upon completion will help reduce overloading of the system and improve power supply to consumers. ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Coal-fired project in Sahiwal: Prime Minister thanks China for help

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday reiterated his government’s resolve towards combating the energy crisis. Addressing the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Sahiwal coal-fired power project of 1320 megawatts (two projects of 660 MW each) here, he said the country would be able to produce 21,000 MW to 22,000 MW more electricity over the next eight to nine years. The Prime Minister said he had discussed the project with Chinese investors and asked Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to initiate coal-fired power projects in Punjab. "It is the result of hard work and seriousness of the government that the stone of the project was laid in a short span of two months after conceiving the idea," he added. He hoped the project would be completed in 24 months, instead of stipulated period of 30 months. A Chinese consortium of Huaneng Shandong and Shandong Ruyi Group has invested in the Sahiwal project, spanning over 1,000 acres of land. The projects will be built in two phases. The Prime Minister thanked the people of China and their government for initiating the Pak-China Economic Corridor under which several development projects would be launched in due course of time. The project is one of the projects in the Sino-Pak Economic Corridor Programme and it would be Pakistan''s largest coal-fired power plant which would be completed by November 2016. The Prime Minister said the country was facing an acute energy crisis, which the PML-N government had inherited from previous governments, adding, "We are committed to resolving the problem effectively and at the earliest." He said the project was a reward for the people of Sahiwal as they had given a heavy mandate to the PML-N in the general election 2013. After laying the foundation stone of the Port Qasim Coal Power Project, he said, the Sahiwal project was the third in a row of coal power projects to be set up under the Sino-Pak Economic Corridor Programme. The Nandipur Power Project would start power generation formally on Saturday (May 31), he added. The Prime Minister said the Sino-Pak Economic Corridor Programme would be a game-changer for both Pakistan and China. He elaborated that under the Corridor Programme, a 2700-Km long highway from Kashghar to Gwadar would be built with industrial zones on its either sides as well as construction of a modern airport at Gwadar, Pakistan Railways upgradation, and Lahore-Karachi Motorway for which the government would allocate Rs 55 billion for land accusition in the upcoming budget. The Corridor Programme, he added, also incorporated coal-fired power projects including 10 projects at Gaddani, six in the Punjab including Sahiwal, 10 at Thar and two each at Jamshoro and Port Qasim. The Prime Minister said the Bhasha and Dasu dams would produce 4500 MW each, asserting that he had directed quarters concerned for early completion of the 969MW Neelam-Jehlam Hydropower Project. Nawaz Sharif said that over the last 65 years, the country managed to instal 23,000 MW generation capacity which had reduced to 13,000 MW operational capacity. However, the PML-N government was committed to producing an additional 22,000 MW over the next eight to nine years, he added. He said that Pakistan''s economic indicators were good, promising and assuring, which was a good sign for the economy. The Prime Minister said it was his dream to transform Gwadar into an economic hub like Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. In his address, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that following the vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the PML-N was fulfilling the promises made with the masses that it made during its election campaign. Shahbaz said that China had always stood by Pakistan in every time of difficulty. He said Chinese economic co-operation and huge investment by installing eneryg and other projects in Pakistan, especially in Punjab, would prove to be a milestone in development and prosperity in the region. Chinese dignitaries in their address expressed the resolve to continue co-operation through joint ventures with Pakistan. The Ruyi Group Chairman said the consortium would complete the Sahiwal project with full dedication. "It is our passion to invest in Pakistan that is a land of opportunities due to its excellent strategic and geographic position," he added. The Huaneng Shandong General Manager said the Sahiwal coal-fired power project would not only usher in a new era of development and properity in Pakistan but also further cement Sino-Pak friendship. Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif and Chinese Embassy''s economic consular were also present.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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IP gas line completion date extended to December 2015

Iran and Pakistan have extended the completion date of Iran-Pakistan (IP) Gas Pipeline project from December 2014 to December 2015, senior Petroleum Ministry officials told Business Recorder. During the recent visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Iran, the two countries held in-depth discussions on the completion of IP gas line and agreed to extend the completion date by one year, Petroleum Ministry officials told Business Recorder here on Monday. On May 24, 2009 Iran and Pakistan signed a bilateral treaty titled Intergovernmental Framework Declaration while on 5 June 2009 Inter State Gas System of Pakistan (ISGS) and National Iranian Oil Company of Iran signed the Gas Sale Purchase Agreement (GSPA), which envisaged the first flow of gas to Pakistan to commence by December 31, 2014. "During Nawaz Sharif's recent visit to Iran the impression that Pakistan might abandon the $1.5 billion project due to pressure from the US, Saudi Arabia and some other oil-rich states was dispelled. We are really serious about constructing the pipeline as we desperately need gas to meet our local requirements. Besides IP gas, we are also progressing on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, which will bring 1.325 Billion Cubic Feet Gas per Day to Pakistan and India and 500 Million Cubic feet per Day to Afghanistan," the official stated. The sources stated that the two leaders had accepted the fact that the gas pipeline would not come on stream by December 2014 following the imposition of sanctions on Iran by the world powers. Iran has now agreed to extend the timeframe for the construction of the much-needed gas supply to energy-starved Pakistan. The two countries are responsible for completion of the pipeline within their territories. Failure on the part of one party entails penalties equivalent to the price of daily gas quantities that is around $3 million for every day's delay in completion of the project. Iran could also have claimed billions of dollars in compensation for any breach of contract. Iran laid the pipeline on its side by investing $2 billion but Pakistan failed to lay the pipeline on its side of the border. Pakistan had invited bids but no company participated in it. Iran committed two tranches of $250 million each to lay Pakistan's portion of the pipeline but recently it declined to provide financing, saying it was ready to provide gas but would not provide funds for Pakistani portion of the project. IP gas pipeline project is projected to initially bring 750 MMCFD of gas at an estimated cost of $13 per MMBTU which may be extended to 1 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Prime Minister approves two coal-fired power plants at Gaddani

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Saturday said attractive tariff for coal-fired power plants has drawn international investors'' interest in power projects. The premier chaired a meeting held to review the pace of work on Gaddani Power Project here. He approved two additional coal-fired power plants to be constructed in Gaddani. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was given a detailed briefing on the status of power projects. He was informed that the feasibility study of the infrastructure installation would be completed by end of June. The study included geo-technical investigation, water resource survey, jetty break water and cooling water intake system. The environment impact system study would be completed by the end of next month. The Prime Minister was briefed that work on land levelling and grading on the site would start in three weeks and complete in three months. The premier was briefed that the coal handling and conveying system infrastructure would be installed in 22 months. Similarly, jetty break water and allied infrastructure would be completed in 32 months. The premier also appreciated Chinese investment in energy sector, especially at Gaddani Power Park. He directed allocation of sufficient funds for these projects in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Over 25 countries to participate in POGEE 2014

The 12th International Exhibition for the Energy Industry-POGEE-2014 is scheduled from 28th May to 30th May, 2014, at Expo Centre, Lahore. The exhibition is geared up for an extensive display of technological advancement and innovative services and is attracting a good number of visitors from cities like Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Muzzafargarh, Sheikhupura, Multan, Lahore and Karachi. More than 200 companies from some 25 countries are participating in the show including with a majority from China, Germany, Iran, India, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, U.A.E., UK, USA Ukraine, Malaysia, Egypt, Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Netherlands, Saudia, Switzerland, Thailand and Turkey. 10th International Conference will commence on 29th May 2014, and will be based on the theme, "Empowering Pakistan's Energy Future: Innovation and Investment". Mrs Saniya Awais, Managing Director, Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB) will grace the POGEE Conference as the special guest. The first session of the Conference will have participation of eminent speakers from Board of Investment (BOI), Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), GE and NSR Group China.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Oil and gas explorers see earnings improved by 18pc in 9MFY14

Lahore - Profit of the oil exploration and production sector- the country’s largest listed sub-sector with market capitalization of $17 billion- rose in 9MFY14. Pakistan’s listed oil and gas explorers saw their earnings improve by 18 per cent versus 9MFY14 as revenues grew 14 per cent while higher non-core income further enhanced the bottom-line. However, from the previous quarter ending Dec 2013, sector earnings have declined primarily due to appreciation of Pak Rupee. Three listed firms 9-month profits at Rs139 billion Our E&P universe comprises of POL, PPL and OGDC. This sector’s topline grew from Rs268 billion to Rs305 billion in 9MFY14 led by 11 per cent oil production growth and 8.5 per cent average PKR devaluation against US$. As a result, we estimate average net realized prices of oil and gas were around 9 per cent higher. Moreover, exploration costs of the sector were down 21 per cent at Rs11.7 billion (OGDC Rs6.7 billion, POL Rs1.4 billion, PPL Rs3.5 billion). During the period under review, sector’s profitability was seen at Rs139 billion (US$1.3 billion) versus Rs118 billion (US$1.2 billion) in corresponding period last year. “All three of sample companies recorded higher other income in 9MFY14 due to which cumulative pretax profits rose to Rs200 billion, up 15 per cent,” observed Vahaj Ahmed, an analyst with Topline Securities in a report. “We believe this was mainly driven from interest income received by OGDC and PPL (on PIBs worth Rs55.7 billion and Rs21.8 billion, respectively) as a result of circular debt settlement by the newly-elected government. As for POL, 32 per cent hike in other income was primarily driven by strong dividends from its associate companies.” Moreover, the sector recorded an effective tax rate of 30 per cent in 9MFY14 versus 32 per cent in corresponding period last year which further provided boosted the sector’s profitability. According to statistics, OGDC recorded the highest earnings growth of 20 per cent against sector average of 18 per cent, witnessed from 13 per cent growth in the company’s topline. OGDC recorded 25 per cent lower exploration costs during the period which saw operating margins rise to 66.5 per cent. Moreover, 32 per cent growth in other income attributed to the 15 per cent growth in pretax profits, while net earnings enhanced further as the company recorded 2.7pps drop in effective tax rate down from 32.8 per cent in 9MFY14.

Copyright The Nation, 2014

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Al Baraka partners with Ghani Gas

Ghani Gas Limited is all set to become one of the leading companies for the production of industrial and medical gases in the country, having multiple facilities for production of gases, one at Bhai Peru and another one now at Port Qasim, Karachi. Speaking on the inauguration of Ghani Gas plant at Port Qasim, Shafqaat Ahmed, Chief Executive Al Baraka Bank, shared that "Al Baraka Bank and Ghani Group enjoy a strong banking relationship since the last 15 years. "We, at Al Baraka are confident that this plant will provide significant boost to the economic activity and employment generation in the region by enhancing capacities of various sectors including oil and gas exploration activities, food processing, steel manufacturing etc in the region and also will meet the gasses requirement of one of the Asia's largest ship-breaking industry at Gaddani. This new partnership between Al Baraka and Ghani Group is a commitment for a better tomorrow." The strategic partnership between Al Baraka and Ghani Global Group dates back to the year 2010. Recently Al Baraka has also arranged a syndicated project finance facility of Rs 600 million for Ghani Global Glass for their upcoming glass tubing manufacturing plant in Punjab.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Polish firms urged to invest in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD -Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir Khan has reached Warsaw, capital of Poland, to attend meeting of European Economic Congress and Pakistan-Central Europe Economic Cooperation Forum to be held on 7-8 May 2014. A delegation of Pakistani businessmen led by President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Zakria Usman is also accompanying the minister. The Polish Government for the first time has organised Pakistan-Central Europe Economic Cooperation Forum 2014. Pakistan is the second country after China from Asia, which has been invited to hold single country Forum during the European Economic Congress. During his meetings the Minister will ask the Polish Government to make the Economic Forum a regular annual feature. China is holding third Economic Forum, similarly African countries are holding Second Forum this year as part of the Congress. The meeting will discuss prospects to enhance trade and investment between Pakistan and Poland and with other countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Besides holding negotiations at the governmental level between Pakistan and Poland, the delegation will hold business-to business meetings which will help cement more productive economic ties between the two countries. The minister will assure full support from Government of Pakistan to encourage Polish companies to invest in Pakistan; Polish companies have already invested in oil and gas sector in Pakistan. (Polish Oil and Gas Company, Geofizyka Krakow and Exalo Drilling are working in Pakistan with total investment of $7.5 million). Textile, surgical goods and sports goods companies from Pakistan have opened up offices in Poland and Government of Pakistan is encouraging Pakistani entrepreneurs to use Poland as regional hub for European market and set up offices in Poland, which will create jobs and bring investment in Poland. Government of Pakistan will extend full facilitation to the companies from Europe who intends to benefit from the reduced prices of export goods from Pakistan under the GSP Plus scheme. Pakistan’s bilateral trade with Poland increased 216pc since 2004 ($99.37 million) and it stood at $314 million in 2013 which shows deepening of economic ties between the two countries. The Minister will also thank the Polish Government and Polish Members of European Parliament for supporting Pakistan’s case for GSP Plus in the final stages of achieving those trade incentives, which was approved by the European Parliament in 2013.

Copyright The Nation, 2014

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Engro, SSGC sign LNG service agreement

LNG Service Agreement (LSA) was signed between Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited (EETPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Wednesday amid the presence of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources; Jam Kamal Khan, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources and the senior management of SSGC and Engro Corp. This agreement is in line with the Federal Cabinet's approval for the LNG import infrastructure project. Speaking at the occasion, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said, "In order to combat the energy deficit, we are working on developing an efficient and sustainable power generation, transmission, and distribution system that can cater to the demands of the country and boost our economy. LNG import is crucial because it will substantially reduce the production costs of thermal power by replacing furnace oil and will improve the efficiency of thermal generation plants. It is the fastest stopgap solution to Pakistan's energy needs." Expressing his views, CEO of Elengy Terminal Pakistan Limited (ETPL) Sheikh Imran ul Haque on behalf of Engro expressed gratitude to the government and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for their commitment and their genuine efforts and contributions towards the energy efficiency of the country. He added that LNG import was the fastest short-term solution to Pakistan's crippling economic needs. Pakistan's existing gap between gas supply/demand is approximately 1.6bcfd. At the current rate of consumption, it is expected that Pakistan will run out of gas in less than 20 years, hence it is imperative to look for the alternative source of gas in and around Pakistan. Importing LNG will enable the government to save significant foreign exchange through import substitution of oil and alleviate the energy crisis plaguing the country. Earlier, ETPL had bid for the fast track LNG contract to handle up to three million tons per annum (MTPA) of LNG or 400 MMSCFD of re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) for the next 15 years. The infrastructure of the terminal has to be constructed in 335 days. Once completed, the project will process imported LNG and inject 400mmcfd gas to the national network, which will reduce the existing shortage of 1.6 billion cubic feet by one-fourth. The execution of the project is complex for many reasons and includes engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of a 24 km high pressure piping network which includes diameters of 24" and 42". EETPL is to construct and commission a new jetty within 11 months, and involves safe integration of the FSRU and downstream piping network. Engro possesses expertise to develop and execute projects of such nature. The ETPL tolling price is $0.66 per mmbtu is an extremely low price relative to international benchmarks. ETPL's price is competitive and reflects ETPL's focus on ensuring affordable LNG to the nation. Unlike standard LNG import deals, the liability of Engro Corporation is unlimited and without a cap. SSGC has even the right to terminate within four months of signing of the LSA if certain conditions subsequent are not met saddling Engro Corporation with significant [dead] investment. In case Engro Corporation is not able to meet the first gas date of 11 months from signing of LSA, it is liable up to $0.15 million per day. EETPL is also required to meet a service factor of 95 percent or better. It is important to emphasise that EPTL's bid was declared fully compliant with the RFP by GoP's independent consultants QED, subsequent to which the SSGC Board, ECC and Cabinet approved of the project. Ogra's third party auditors, SGS, have also confirmed that EETPL complies with all requirements of LNG Rules 2007 and LNG Policy 2011. EETPL is working with partners of international repute and is committed to comply with all safety regulations in PQA. As a Pakistani multinational, Engro is committed towards making Pakistan an energy sufficient country by religiously following the highest international ethical practices.

Copyright News Network International, 2014

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