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News Headlines for the month of
NOVEMBER 2014

Investment in Gwadar: China to help build $3b LNG pipeline and terminal

The $45-billion worth of agreements signed by Pakistan and China earlier this month included a multibillion-dollar LNG pipeline and terminal deal, which will work as an alternative to the troubled gas import project with Iran as the pipeline will be extended to the Gulf state after international sanctions are lifted. “The agreement was signed during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to China. It is a state-to-state deal and no bidding will be held for the award of contract,” an official told The Express Tribune. According to initial estimates, the project is expected to cost $3 billion – $1 billion will be needed to lay the pipeline from Gwadar and over $2 billion will be required to construct the terminal with liquefied natural gas (LNG) handling and re-gasification facilities and to develop large storages. China will meet 85% of the financing needs for constructing the LNG pipeline from Gwadar Port to Nawabshah. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources is seeking the support of economic decision-makers for relaxing the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules. “The ministry will approach the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to win its approval for easing PPRA rules,” the official said. “This will clear the way for direct award of a lucrative contract to a Chinese state-owned company.” This will be the second LNG terminal in the country as a fast-track terminal is already being built by Elengy Terminal Pakistan Limited (ETPL) at the Port Qasim, which is likely to be completed in February next year. The LNG pipeline will be extended from Gwadar to Iran for gas import when sanctions on Tehran are lifted. Its capacity will be one billion cubic feet per day. The pipeline will have the same specifications that were proposed for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline including a diameter of 42 inches. According to officials, since Pakistan has not been able to lay a 781km pipeline from the Iranian border to Nawabshah because of its failure to tap foreign finances, it has decided to build the pipeline from Gwadar to Nawabshah in partnership with China. This will transport at least 500 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) after re-gasification of imported LNG. Hopes were high as the US and Iran were engaged in crucial negotiations to settle the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme with a strong possibility that they would reach a compromise, officials say. The economic decision-makers have already made their mind that before the curbs are removed they will not push ahead with the gas pipeline project with Iran to avoid its repercussions for Pakistani companies. The terminal planned at the Gwadar Port will have the capacity to handle 690 mmcfd of LNG. Apart from this, large storages will be constructed at the port from where the LNG, after re-gasification, will be transported to Nawabshah, where it will be injected into the national gas network.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2014

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Need for strengthening Pak-Austria trade ties stressed

TUV Austria Group's Chief Executive Officer Dr Stefan Haas while addressing a press conference here on Wednesday stressed the need for further strengthening trade ties between the two countries so that existing potential could be fully exploited. TUV Austria Group's Head of International Business Management Dr Reinhard Preiss and Chief Executive Officer of TUV Austria Bureau of Inspection and Certification Pakistan Rashid Mehr also spoke on this occasion. He also emphasised for evolving conducive policies to promote trade relations between Pakistan and Austria. He urged the Pakistani businessmen to enter into joint ventures with their counterparts to improve trade volume between the two countries. He said Austrian oil and gas company OMV has already become the largest investor in Pakistan." While highlighting foreign direct investment in the oil and gas sector, Dr Stefan Haas said that Pakistan received over US 500 million dollars investment in first seven months of 2013-2014 while oil and gas sector attracted the highest amount of investment of over US 250 million dollars. About the TUV Austria Group, he said it is a multi million euro company and expanding aggressively into Asia and intends to further expand its operation in the South Asian region, particularly Bangladesh and Sri Lanka through Pakistan. Dr Stefan Haas said that TUV Austria is very keen to further strengthen its position in Pakistan and wants to take complete advantage of the prospects available in Pakistan. Other important companies and brands from Austria that already exist in Pakistan include OMV, Red Bull and Swarovski, he added. He further added that Pakistan is an attractive place to invest for the European investors, particularly for the Austrian companies. TUV Austria Group's CEO also stressed the need for exchange of business delegations and holding single-country exhibition in each other's country which would help promote trade ties between Austria and Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Rashid Mehr said that TUV Austria Bureau of Inspection and Certification is another highly successful business venture of Austria in Pakistan with hundreds of clients across Pakistan and has proven to be extremely successful for TUV Austria Group, hundreds of its employees in Pakistan and the local shareholders. Mehr said the statistics for the year 2013-2014 showed Austrian investors' interest in Pakistan, particularly in oil and gas sector. It gives TUV Austria an opportunity to offer its unmatched and high quality services to the oil and gas sector in the area of Occupational Health, Safety, Environment, Technical Inspection, Construction Supervision Services & Technical Trainings. Moreover, TUV Austria wants to offer its internationally recognised certification services to the industry at large in the fields of ISO 9000, ISO 14000, ISO 18000, Food Safety Certification services. Certification from TUV Austria will help the local industry to compete both internationally and locally, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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PM looks for Chinese investment bonanza

BEIJING / ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif received a warm welcome on Friday upon his arrival in the Chinese capital on a three-day visit, which, he said, is aimed at delivering the nation from the scourge of power crisis. “I am going to China to save my people from another load-shedding-ridden atrocious summer,” the premier said, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister House ahead of his departure to the friendly country. “Despite the damage done in the past two months due to political turmoil, we will make up for the loss come what may,” Nawaz is quoted as saying. According to the handout, energy is vitally important for the economy and this has remained on top of the prime minister’s agenda, ever since he assumed power in June last year. “The prime minister’s visit to China would help in ushering a new era of development, prosperity and generating employment opportunities in the country,” it added. During his stay, the prime minister will hold bilateral meetings with the top Chinese leadership, including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Nawaz will also represent Pakistan at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Summit, in which leaders of Myanmar, Laos, Mongolia, Cambodia, Tajikistan and Bangladesh are also participating. Both the countries are set to sign multiple agreements to construct roads, railways and other infrastructure development projects at an estimated cost of around $4 billion. Premier Nawaz will also sign an agreement to construct 440km KKH II Raikot-Islamabad section, Karachi-Lahore Motorway, Havelian Dry Port, Orange Line Project of Lahore, Cross Border Optical Fiber Cable and Hari-Ruba Economic Zone, Sino Hydro Resource Limited and Al Mirqab Capital. The visit, aimed at attracting an investment of over $46 billion, has a special significance and is apparently an effort to control the damage done to the country’s economy by the opposition parties’ sit-ins in Islamabad. Chinese President Xi Jinping had to cancel his visit to Pakistan due to the protest sit-ins and consequently the country had to endure losses to the tune of billions of rupees. According to the handout, the over 21 projects – to be completed with the help of China – for generating 16,520MW power at an estimated cost of around $33 billion would bring substantial improvement in all sectors of economy after completion. The important projects to be completed with the Chinese help include 1320MW Sino Hydro Resource Project, two 660MW Sahiwal Coal Fired Projects, 2,330MW Engro Thar Coal Fired Project, 1320MW each Muzaffargarh Coal Power, Rahim Yar Khan, SSRL Thar Coal Projects and Thar Mine Mouth Oracle Projects. Other big projects include 1,000MW SSRL Thar Coal Block 6, 2,640MW Gaddani Power Park Project, 300MW Gwadar Coal, 100MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, 50MW Dawood Wind Farm, 100MW UEP Wind Farm, 50MW Sachal Wind Farm, 50MW Sunnec Wind Farm, 870MW Suki Kinari Hydropower Station,720MW Karot Hydropower Station among others. The handout claimed that with Chinese investment, the country’s economy is set to take off and flourish to generate numerous employment opportunities for the people of Pakistan, especially the youth. The prime minister’s entourage comprises Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal and Special Assistant to PM Syed Tariq Fatemi. Complete list of the agreements can be viewed here: List A and List B. . of Halal food and rice. Usman also proposed joint ventures and technical collaboration from the Czech Republic. Shaukat Ahmed, senior vice president of the FPCCI, Khurram Sayeed, Sheikh Imtiaz Ahmed, vice presidents of the FPCCI, Naveed Jan Baloch, former vice president of the FPCCI, M A Lodhi, secretary general of the FPCCI, and Shahid Ansari, honorary consul general of Czech Republic in Karachi attended the meeting

Copyright The Express Tribune, 2014

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Czech Republic shows interest in Pakistan’s energy sector

“Czech Republic is keen to look at the collaboration in the energy sector with Pakistan,” he said, while addressing the members of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), it said. The ambassador also suggested to hold joint events and exhibitions and appreciated the idea. Krenek said some of the EU members those have strong textile base are hesitant regarding GSP Plus status to Pakistan but Czech Republic is the strong supporter for Pakistan in the EU. He said Czech companies established their business in Pakistan like Bata and Skoda car was also imported from the Czech Republic. Zakaria Usman, president of the FPCCI, said Pakistan has historic relations with Czech Republic. Pakistan and Czech Republic enjoy good relations, but trade remains low, at the level of around $50 million, he said. Trade is concentrated in traditional items such as textiles and leather, but we should also explore other areas such as marble, granite, sports goods and surgical instruments, Usman said. “In particular, there could be collaboration in gemstones and jewellery, because Czech Republic is a leader in high quality cutting and polishing,” he said. Similarly, Pakistan has a large variety of fruits and vegetables that present opportunity for canning, processing and preservation, he added. There is also potential for furthering the export

Copyright The News, 2014

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Three KP hydel projects to be completed next year

Three hydropower projects having generation capacity of 56MW will be completed next year under the provincial government's energy action plan. Due to these hydel stations not only the energy crisis in the country will be controlled to some extend but also these stations will be proved as financial improvement for the provincial public exchequer. This was stated by the chairman PEDO Board Tariq Iqbal, while chairing the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) 4th board of directors meeting. The meeting was also attended by the Secretary Energy & Power Sahibzada Saeed, Special Secretary Home Siraj Ahmed, Deputy Secretary Finance Fahim Afridi, CEO PEDO Engr. Bahadur Shah, Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce President Fuad Ishaq, Sardar Mohammad Tariq, Rohail Mohammad, Raqeeb Khan, Ghulam Sarwar, Bashir Khan, Engr. Wajid Nawaz, Engr. Zahid Sabri and Idrees Khattak. During the meeting the board informed about the progress of work on ongoing energy projects in the province. It was also informed that three hydropower projects namely Daral Khwar HPP, Swat of 36 MW, Ranolia HPP, Kohistan of 17 MW & Machai HPP Mardan pf 2.6 MW will be completed in next year and start generation collectively 56 MW. The board showed its satisfaction over the pace of work on various energy projects and stated that in the next year the construction work will be stated on Matiltan HPP 84 MW, Lawi HPP 69 MW, Karora and Jabori HPPs. During the meeting the PEDO board took various decisions regarding the newly administrative set up of the department and scrutinised the applications received from various candidates who applied for the position of Chief Executive PEDO. Board also approved the terms of references for the newly created vacancies of general manager thermal, HR and legal experts to be hired soon.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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PSM, energy projects: Russian banks offer credit lines

Russian banks offered Pakistan credit lines of US $1 billion each for energy sector projects and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) refurbishment. The senior executives of the Russian bank VneshTorgovBank (VTB) who called on Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar in Moscow and offered a credit line of $1 billion for the energy projects in Pakistan. Sergei ToporGilka, General Director of Technopromexport, a major Russian state energy enterprise, also participated in the meeting and expressed willingness to participate in various energy sector projects in Pakistan. They also showed interest in visiting Pakistan soon for further financial transactions. According to a message received here Friday, the Minister welcomed the interest of Technopromexport Company in the construction of Diamir Bhasha Dam. Dar suggested that in addition to the energy projects the bank should also participate in the projects in other fields. Meanwhile, a delegation of another Russian public sector enterprise Tyazhpromexport, headed by its First Deputy Director General Maxim Shabala, also called on the Finance Minister and reiterated its interest in rehabilitation and refurbishment of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). Tyazhpromexport had built the PSM in early 1980s. Russia has also shown willingness for another state credit line of $1 billion for PSM refurbishment. The Minister told the delegation that the government of Pakistan was working on disinvestment of 26% equity in Pakistan Steel Mills, hence the company should acquire the equity instead of extending loan to the PSM. On the occasion the Finance Minister assured the Russian side for early settlement of the issues of mutual claims and financial obligations and requested the Russian side to expedite a draft agreement on the subject in accordance with the earlier agreed parameters. The Finance Minister is on a two-day visit to Moscow leading a high-powered delegation in the third session of Pakistan-Russian Inter-governmental Commission on trade, economic, scientific, and technical co-operation. The Inter-governmental Commission is the most important mechanism to comprehensively discuss all spheres of bilateral relations between the two countries, predominantly, projects in the energy sector. The visit of the Finance Minister coincided with the third session of Pakistan-Russia Joint Working Group (JWG) on Energy held in Moscow from 20-21 November 2014. During the JWG, the Russian side had expressed willingness to cooperate in various projects in the fields of oil and gas exploration, construction of floating LNG terminals, LPG processing facility and gas purification plants, modernisation of oil and gas infrastructure, innovative technology solutions in coal industry, and building/renovation of various power generating units in Pakistan, especially those of Russian origin.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Leaders sign deal on regional electricity grid

South Asian leaders signed an agreement to improve cross-border energy trade in the power-starved region Thursday. The prime minister of host country Nepal said the achievements of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) had fallen short, and urged fellow leaders to "summon the political will" to translate their words into action. "Despite several transformative potentials in the region, our achievement stands short of expectations," said Sushil Koirala in a speech at the closing ceremony. "We alone are responsible for shortcomings in the SAARC process." The leaders of the eight SAARC countries had expressed frustration with the slow pace of progress towards greater regional integration since the group first launched nearly three decades ago. India''s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi made pointed references in his summit speech on Wednesday to the deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai. He also held formal talks on the two-day summit''s sidelines with every SAARC leader except Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Both sides said it was up to the other to request a meeting. The leaders only finalised the electricity pact on Thursday. In a closing declaration, the summit members pledged to combat "terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms" and jumpstart "free trade in goods and services in the region". Cross-border trade among the eight SAARC nations - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - has grown from under $140 million in 2008 to $878 million in 2012. But it still accounts for less than five percent of total commerce in a region where many remain living in poverty. Koirala said there was "no justification" for such deprivation in a region rich in natural resources. "Nothing is going to change because of speeches by Indian or Pakistani leaders - it''s the same old game, there''s a positive-sounding declaration followed by violence followed by a breakdown in talks," the executive chairman of Kathmandu''s Nepal Centre for Contemporary Studies, Lok Raj Baral, told AFP. "Whether it concerns trade or terrorism, unless you translate statements into action, there is little point to holding the summit." The next SAARC summit will be held in Islamabad in 2016, Koirala said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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Chinese investors show interest in power generation projects

A delegation of Chinese investors in a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif expressed their interest in investment in power generation projects based on solid waste. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that energy crisis has badly affected every sector and the government is making sincere efforts for resolving this problem. He said that work is in progress on projects of generation of power from different sources. He said that there are vast opportunities of investment in energy sector in Punjab and the government has provided a conducive atmosphere to foreign investors. He said that investment by Chinese company in power generation projects will be welcomed. Chairman Lahore Waste Management Company Kh. Ahmed Hasaan, Commissioner Lahore Division and concerned officials were present on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Training capacity on grid system operation: JICA, NTDC complete project for improvement

Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) successfully completed the project for Improvement of Training Capacity on Grid System Operation and Maintenance with more than 3.5 years of co-operation and reported the achievements to Ministry of Water and Power (MoWP). In the final Joint Co-ordination Committee at Ministry, Motoo TAKI, Senior Representative of JICA Pakistan office mentioned that JICA will continue assistance to Technical Services Group (TSG) and NTDC to realise training courses at TSG on advanced and efficient technologies. In this connection, JICA will send feasibility study team in coming January for examining to provide a training purpose simulator to TSG using grant aid scheme. Taki further said that JICA would continuously support solution for the serious power crisis in the country. He referred to the soft loan, amounting to 5 billion yen for Power Sector Reform Program co-financing with World Bank and Asian Development Bank. He mentioned that JICA is implementing technical assistance in the area of energy conservation project as well as establishment of least cost generation and transmission plan under the program. Zafer Abbas, Joint Secretary, MoWP, while commenting on the co-operation of JICA said it is great to hear that the project is successfully completed and the Japanese high standards of quality have been transferred to TSG/NTDC. The Joint secretary mentioned that the project is one of good examples of Pakistan-Japan friendship and he was grateful to JICA for their assistance in the power sector. He further said that 'sustainability' is the key for further TSG/NTDC development and trickledown effect of the project outcome to young engineers in the sector. He emphasised that mechanism for continuous improvement of training courses must be pursued. Under the Project for improvement of Training Capacity on Grid System Operation and Maintenance, JICA had provided worth Rs 110 million training equipment to TSG in NTDC and the Japanese experts helped TSG with training policy, syllabus, text books, new training program and training evaluation system. 'Under the project, JICA also organized Training of Trainers (ToT) programme in Japan whereby 32 TSG trainers and NTDC management staff was sent to Japan in order to strengthen their capacity for professional service delivery. Moreover, TSG is a public sector organisation imparting technical training and support to operation and maintenance staff of grid stations and transmission lines. Under the auspices of the Project, TSG has trained 509 engineers and technicians from NTDC, Distribution Companies (DISCOS) and several Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the year 2013/2014, which is 143% higher than year 2010/2011.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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'WAPDA currently constructing 4,773 megawatts hydropower projects'

The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is currently constructing different hydropower projects of 4,773 megawatt (MW) cumulatively, while three projects of 11,684 MW capacity are ready for construction. The under-construction projects include 969MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project, 106MW Golen Gol, 1410MW Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project, 128MW Keyal Khwar and 2160MW Dasu Hydropower Project (stage-I). These projects are at various phases of construction. While 4,500MW Diamer Basha Dam Project, 7,100MW Bunji Hydropower Project and 84MW Kurram Tangi Dam Project are ready for construction. This was stated in exhaustive briefings on water and power issues to the participants of National Security Workshop being conducted by National Defence University during their visit to WAPDA House on Tuesday. The NDU delegation consisted of 49 participants belonging to various segments of society such as senators, MNAs, MPAs, bureaucrats, technocrats, ambassadors, representatives of civil society and senior armed forces officers from the three Services. The delegation led by Major General Noel I Khokhar also included faculty members. WAPDA Member (Power) Badr-ul-Munir Murtiza and senior officers of WAPDA and PEPCO were also present at the occasion. Dr Izhar-ul-Haq, Advisor, Diamer Basha Dam (DBD) and Engineer Muhammad Saleem, GM (Revenue and Commercial Operations) PEPCO, made presentations on water and power sectors respectively. The participants were told that hydel electricity is the cheapest, cleanest and environment-friendly source of power generation. Pakistan's energy mix is heavily tilted in favour of costly sources of power generation, and the phased induction of low-cost hydel electricity into the system will not only improve its ratio in the energy mix but also lower tariff and consequently provide relief to the consumers. The participants of the National Security Workshop were informed that water security is a key component of national security as growth of national economy largely depends on availability of sufficient amount of water. Since water requirements are increasing due to increasing population, there is an imperative of replenishing scarce water resources through construction of water reservoirs in the country. In a second briefing on power-related issues, the participants were apprised about key challenges and opportunities in the power sector including the role and functions of Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC), Generation Companies (GENCOs) and Distribution Companies (DISCOs).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Energy to cope with future needs: government evolves strategy for generating maximum power: Asif

Water and Power and Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that a strategy has been evolved for generating maximum power to cope with future needs of the country. The PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-N) government was determined to end loadshedding and in this regard not only power generation option was under the pipeline but the ministry was also working to enhance and strengthen distribution aimed at reducing line losses. Under the plan, several long- and short-term power projects were being initiated for power generation in the country, he said. Talking to Business Recorder on Sunday, the Minister said that power generation from Thar coal reserves would be started in 2017 which would end loadshedding from the country. Currently, Thar known as starvation area and after completion of the power project it would become energy capital of the country. To a question, the Minister said China will help Pakistan in the energy sector, adding that during Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif's visit to China many agreements related to the power sector and railway had been signed. A special team will leave for China today to find out ways and means for the implementation of projects while the government will constitute a special task force to monitor the pace of development work on power projects, he said. Replying to another question, Kh Asif said that steps were being made for the installation of gas conversion equipments on gas turbines of Nandipur power project and initial work on the project has already been initiated. The Minister said that the duration of loadshedding has been reduced as compare to previous year's, adding that provision of electricity to industrial sector was top on agenda of the PML-N government. He said that the step has been taken to enable industrial sector to keep the industrial wheel in full motion. "We are making adequate efforts to develop cordial relations with all neighbouring counties, including Russia, on the basis of equal footings for maintaining permanent peace in the region," he said. The Minister said that the difference of opinion was a symbol of strong democracy and beauty of democracy and difference of opinion always help strengthening democracy. Asif said it was very unfortunate that the PTI and PAT leadership was trying to jeopardise economic stability of the country, adding that due to sit-ins Pakistan facing huge economic loss amounting to billions and posing serious threats to the national economy but the leadership of both political parties was not perceiving the gravity of the situation. The ultimate goal of democracy was to ensure dignity and fundamental rights of individuals, provision of social justice as well as socio-economic uplift of the people and the PML-N was working on this agenda, he said. The Minister said that protection of the constitution, parliament and democracy was top on the agenda and all political parties were united to protect democracy from derailment and for supremacy of the constitution and fully supported the PML-N inside and outside of parliament.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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China sponsors Bio Energy Plant at UAF

Bio Energy Plant of 200 Kilowatt would be set up at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad in order to promote the technology and to overcome the energy crisis. The plant is sponsored by China. It was stated by UAF Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan while chairing the meeting of Dean Committee here at Syndicate Room. Talking about other initiatives regarding Bio Energy, he said that Bio-Energy Institute is also being established at the University and its initial work on the project has been started. He said that the intention of the institute is to strengthen the research and development activities in the energy and environment sectors and to link the energy with the agriculture. He further said there are about 72 million animals (cows & buffaloes) besides 81 million tons per year of crop biomass and about 785 million birds in poultry estates across the country. Bio-energy is produced from organic matter, derived from plants or animals. Organic matter used to produce bio energy is called biomass or bio energy feed stocks. Talking about Precision Agriculture (PA), he said that the University is making all out efforts to create the awareness about the PA as it will not only increase the productivity but also save resources many times. He said that PA helps the farming to increase the productivity with the balance usage of fertilisers, inputs and water etc. He called for using Information and Communication Technology in the agriculture sector. He said that super computer is being installed at the campus to expand IT usage in agriculture. He said that amid the increasing population, and climate changes, time has come to adopt the modern agricultural practices keeping in view the needs of the modern era.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Energy project: Russia agrees to support Pakistan

Russia has agreed to cooperate with Pakistan in energy related projects and modernisation of infrastructure. The agreement reached during third session of Pakistan-Russia Joint Working Group on Energy which met in Moscow. The Pakistan delegation was led by Ambassador to Russia Zaheer A Janjua, while the Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Energy Minister Yury Sentyurin.

Copyright News Network International, 2014

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Minister to open Lundianwala grid tomorrow

State Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali will inaugurate 132-KV Lundianwala grid station here on Monday. A spokesman of the FESCO said here on Saturday that Lundianwala grid station was completed within a record time of seven months at a cost of -Rs 1958.695 million. The Lundianwala grid station will not only help in redressing the complaints of low voltage in the area but also help in lessening the load of 132-KV Jaranwala and Bucheki grid stations, the spokesman added.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Power project at Thar: LoI issued

Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) Thursday issued Letter of Interest to Engro Powergen Limited (EPGL) for development of 660 MW Thar Coal Power Project. The document was signed by Shah Jahan Mirza Managing Director PPIB and from the company''s side it was signed by Shamsuddin Shaikh, CEO of EPGL. Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif and other senior officials of PPIB and Ministry of Water and Power witnessed the ceremony. The PPIB Board in its recent meetings accorded approval for processing the subject project under the "Guidelines for setting up of Private Power Projects under Short Term Capacity Addition Initiative-August 2010" and approved issuance of LoI to the sponsors upon fulfilment of all requirements as per the Guidelines. Engro Powergen will develop a project of 660 MW (2 x 330MW each) utilising indigenous Thar lignite coal to be supplied by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company which is the lease holder of Thar Block-II. The project is the first and pilot project to utilise Thar coal for power generation and its development will reduce Pakistan''s dependence on costly oil based power generation thus saving millions of dollars of foreign exchange. It is expected that the project will start its commercial operation by December 2017. Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif said the abundant coal resource largely remains unexploited till date are estimated at around 186 billion tons out of which 175 billion tons are found in Thar alone, however our government is committed to utilising these resources for power generation. Talking to journalists on the occasion, he said that Thar coal would become energy capital of Pakistan in next few years. He said it is the national priority of the government to develop Thar coal and utilise it on commercial basis. He said that Thar presently known as starvation area, after completion of the power projects would become energy capital and drought would become the horrible dream of the past. To a question, the minister said that due to effective measures taken by the present government, the duration of load shedding has come down to three to four hours. He said that concrete steps are being taken to reduce the transmission and distribution losses. Recovery has been improved and circular debt issue is being resolved. He told them that some power projects would also be initiated on LNG and would be completed in three years.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Plants being converted to gas to generate cheap electricity: Abid

State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali has said that the government is trying to convert power plants to gas from furnace oil to generate cheap electricity The state minister, who was on visit to Hyderabad on Wednesday, said this while addressing an open Kutchery at Wapda Office in Hussainabad and later at the reception hosted in his honour by the office bearers of Hyderabad Press Club. He was accompanied by Nihal Hashmi, General Secretary PML-N Sindh chapter; Hanif Siddiqui, President Hyderabad district; Sultan Shaikh, N-league lawyer forum's leader; Saleem Jaat, Hesco CEO and others. He said he was visiting to identify corrupt elements in the department. He informed that he had suspended few officers here. He was here on directives of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to address the problems of people with regards to over billing etc. He said that the employees of power distribution companies have been directed with clear instructions to set their minds on right direction and discharge their responsibilities with dedication, devotion and honesty with addressing the genuine demands of the customers in minimum possible time. He said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has issued clear directives to provide justice to customers and address their grievances at their doorsteps. The government would not tolerate any negligence in this direction and initiate strict action against those found involved, he said and warned that those employees who found in creating hurdles for customers or involved in corruption would be taken to task. He informed that directives have been issued to all officers including Chief Executive Officers to hold open Katcheries and provide relief to the customers at their nearest. The Executive Engineers and Sub-Divisional Officers should also follow the same instructions, he added. The state minister informed that during the visit to China, the Prime Minister had signed agreements for establishment of power projects including 10400 megawatt coal base project and Daud Hydro Project. The ministry had detected ten spot where electricity on cheap rates can be generated through gas, he said and informed the power generation will be started from these points within three years. He said that the government fully desired to discourage IPPS and establish gas power plants in order to provide electricity to customers on cheap rates. The government has received an offer from Germany for power generation through turbine which after implementation will start power generation of 1000 to 1500 megawatts within 15 to 90 days, he said and informed that Dasu Dam has started functioning while the transmission line of Neelam-Jhelum will also be inaugurated within ten days. Talking about Karachi-Lahore Motorway Project, the state minister informed that Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has released the fund in this regard and the work on this project will be started in the next year. Responding to a question, Abid Sher Ali said that the government is ready for its accountability. Dharna politics is destroying the economy of the country and Imran Khan wanted to achieve their personal goals, he said and added that Imran Khan should resolve the issues of KPK first. He warned that those who are trying to take law in their hands may face lawful course when the law would follow its own way. He alleged that Jehangir Tareen has been awarded contracts in KPK that is why he is with Imran Khan. He said it is wrong that the government has given up dialogues with Imran but Imran himself ended talks. He said categorically that the government is ready for talks but prayed for better sense to prevail over Imran Khan. The government is striving for the progress and prosperity of the country and will complete its five-year constitutional tenure, he maintained. He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the people would soon witness revolution in all sectors of the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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'KP government expedites work on small, medium hydel power plants'

KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that speedy work is being started on all small and medium hydel power stations in the province and during next three months 20 mega watt electricity would be included in the national grid. He was speaking to a delegation which called on him in the leadership of MNA Ibadullah Khan and MPA Reshad Khan here in CM Secretariat Peshawar. Besides, Provincial Minister for Energy & Power, Mohammad Atif Khan, and higher authorities of Pakhtunkhwa Hydro Development Organisation (PHDO) chairman, CM Complaints' Cell Haji Dilroz Khan and General Secretary PTI KP Khalid Masood were also present on the occasion. The Chief Minister said that till next month work on three other hydel projects would also be started in the province. The electricity generated from the micro-hydel power stations would be supplied to far-flung villages and towns, which would not only bring the hours long load shedding to an end rather would also help promote house hold industries and tourism. He said that the initiative would also increase the environmental beauty, which is part of their strategy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Work on Neelum-Jhelum transmission line starts

Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali on Friday inaugurated the groundbreaking ceremony of the 500 KV Neelum-Jhelum Transmission Line in Azad Pattan, Palandri district of Azad Kashmir. The transmission line to supply power from the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower plant of 969 MW to the national grid would be completed as early as the plant comes into operation. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali said that following the policy of the present government for power generation on fast track, the transmission line has been divided into three lots i.e. LOT-1, LOT-2 and Lot-3. Today work on Lot-2, 45 km long, has been successfully started which would be completed in March 2016.

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CEO PBIT to attend UK-Pak Energy Dialogue 2014

Chief Executive Officer of Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) Muhammad Ilyas Ghauri will participate in the UK-Pakistan Energy Dialogue 2014 which is being hosted at the Lancaster House, London, UK. He is part of the delegation led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. The CEO PBIT will inform participants about investment opportunities in the power sector, followed by an introduction and presentation regarding investment opportunities in Solar Power and incentives given by the Punjab government.

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Energy sector: Chinese investment a milestone in bilateral ties: Nawaz

Terming the pledged over $40 billion Chinese investment as a "milestone" in the history of Pak-China relations, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday. According to him, it will help address the years'' old energy crisis in Pakistan. Talking to media persons here upon his arrival from Berlin, the Prime Minister also set aside the impression that the investment from China was a loan, saying: "It is not a loan, but Chinese investment, which would benefit Pakistan a lot and further strengthen Pak-China ties." He was appreciative of the Chinese government for its decision to make such a huge investment to help Pakistan meet its energy requirements. Prime Minister Sharif was confident that owing to his government’s serious efforts, the years old energy crisis would be resolved during the current tenure of the elected PML-N government. He regretted that some elements do not want to see these issues resolved by the PML-N government. But these elements would be left behind and the country would move forward, he remarked. The Prime Minister termed his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel positive and hoped that German companies would also make investment in the energy sector of Pakistan. To a question about the impact of sit-ins on Pakistan’s economy, Nawaz Sharif agreed that the sit-ins did affect the Prime Minister Sharif, in response to a question, said the operation against terrorists was currently going on in Pakistan, adding, however, if there was economic progress and prosperity in the country, it would also help address other issues, including terrorism. Regarding the PTI''s demand of including the country’s intelligence agencies in the probe of alleged election rigging, the Prime Minister said politicians should not make such demands, adding, this issue should be resolved within the given criteria. To another question, Nawaz Sharif mentioned the appreciation of the rupee against the dollar as well as the record upward trend in the country’s stock market as positive economic indicators.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Wind Energy Project in Thatta: Sindh allots 680 acres of land to Sachal Energy

Sindh government has allotted 680 acres of land to Sachal Energy (Pvt) Ltd for a period of 30 years to establish 49.5MW Wind Energy Project, at a cost of US 133 million dollars, at Jhimpir in district Thatta. A document in this regard was signed by Shafqat Shah on behalf of Alternate Energy Board and Kashif Ansari, representing M/s Sachal Energy during a land allotment ceremony, held here on Wednesday, under which Sachal Energy has awarded the EPC contract to Hyro China Xichi, a Chinese company engaged in Wind Power Development. The ceremony among others was also attended by Sindh Secretary for Energy, Agha Wasif and AEB Director, Mehfooz Qazi. The project is included among one of the top priority project initiated under Pakistan China Economic Corridor, last year, with major financing done by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). Under the agreement the project will be completed in 18 month's time following which the company would substantially contribute to the national grid of power for next 30 years, that is till 2044.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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PPIB issues LoI to CWE: 590 megawatts Mahl project

A Letter of Interest (LoI) for 590MW Mahl Hydropower Project has been issued to a consortium of CWE Investment Corporation China (a subsidiary of China Three Gorges) and Trans Tech Pakistan here on Tuesday. Sheng Zhendong countersigned the LoI document on behalf of sponsoring consortium, while on behalf of the Government of Pakistan Shah Jahan Mirza, Managing Director, PPIB signed the document. Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Mohammad Asif witnessed the ceremony. Board members of PPIB and senior government officials besides representatives of sponsoring consortium were also present on the occasion. The Mahl project is a Run-of-River Hydropower Project which is being set up at the dual boundary of Punjab and AJ&K, with an estimated cost of 1,200 million dollar. While presiding over the 98th meeting of PPIB Board, Khawaja Asif said the primary focus of the government was on local resources for power generation and emphasis was on coal in the southern region and hydro projects in the northern region of the country. The enormous amount of coal at Thar needs to be utilised for power generation for which the work has been started. In the meeting it was decided to expedite the two projects at Thar coal, ie 1200MW by China Power International Holding and 660MW by Engro Powergen Ltd and it was informed that LoI would soon be issued to both the projects. It was also decided by the Board to advertise the 350MW Athmuqam Hydropower Project to be located on River Neelum in AJ&K to renew investor interest in the area. The Minister said various power projects had been signed during the recent visit of PM Nawaz Sharif to China, and the Chinese companies were eager to invest in Pakistan. The Minister conveyed that the Government of China had committed to create a "green channel" for fast track investments for the power sector of Pakistan. He dispelled the impression that the hydro projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa were not being considered by the federal government. He said that during the visit of PM to China, SukiKinari hydro project of 870MW was also signed, to be developed in District Mansehra, KP. He asked PPIB to expediently process the coal and hydel projects and facilitate them for timely completion.-PR

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Energy, infrastructure projects: China will invest $45.6 billion in 10 years: Ahsan Iqbal

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has said that within next 10 years China will invest $45.6 billion in Pakistan's energy and infrastructure projects. Speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday, the minister said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the special invitation of the Chinese leadership has signed many agreements in this regard. He said that for the energy projects, China will invest a total of $34 billion within next 10 years to produce 16,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The projects to be undertaken would form part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which would benefit not only entire Pakistan and China, but the neighbouring region as well. Giving details, the Minister said the accords signed included energy projects to produce 16,400 MW of electricity, adding that in the first phase, projects with an aggregate capacity of 10,400 MW would be completed at a cost of $15.2 billion and in the second phase, projects with the capacity of 6,645 MW would be taken up. The Minister said work on energy projects with the capacity of 10,400 MW to be initiated immediately. Projects with aggregate capacity of 9,000 MW would be completed by 2018, while major hydel projects, including Bhasha Dam and Dasu Dam would be completed between 2020 and 2023. Iqbal said projects with a total capacity of 7,560 MW would be coal-based with a generation cost of 10 cents per unit which is far cheaper than furnace oil and diesel, which costs 20 cents to 40 cents for producing a unit of electricity. The minister maintained that all these steps would help the government to reduce electricity prices. Projects with capacity of 1,600 MW would be hydel-based and these too would help produce electricity at reduced cost. He said energy projects also include 1,000 MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, which would be the largest solar park in the world. The Minister for Planning said the third segment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was upgradation of the Karakorum Highway and construction of the Karachi-Lahore Motorway. He said as part of the Economic Corridor, 1,736 kilometer of railway track would also be upgraded and modernised. The Minister rejected the impression being created by some vested interests that projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would benefit only Punjab and said the biggest beneficiary would be the people of Thar wherein a total of 10 energy-related projects with a capacity to produce 6,600 MW would be established. Similarly, Suki Kenari energy project of 900 MW would be established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 725 MW project at Karote in AJK. There would also be 250 MW wind power projects in Sindh. He said that the Chinese President was likely to visit Pakistan very soon for which foreign offices of both countries are making arrangements. The minister advised Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to avoid making the state institutions controversial, saying that he was issuing wrong statements on each and every matter. The Minister added that Pakistan has remained an important partner in geo-strategic politics and as a result of this policy it could not become an economic power and now the current leaderships has decided to make Pakistan a part of geo-economic strategy to put the country on the path to development and progress.

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Prime Minister says his China visit to help end loadshedding

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reached Beijing on a three day visit to attend annual meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Coo-peration leaders being held there Friday. Federal Ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi are accompanying him. Earlier in a statement, before his departure to China, Prime Minister said Pakistan-China Economic Corridor project will have far reaching impacts on the national economy. Nawaz Sharif said projects to be executed with China''s cooperation will provide jobs to thousands of youth. He said local and foreign investors can take benefit of bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and China. The Prime Minister said the recent political crisis caused huge losses to the country. He said the Government will do whatever it could to recover these losses. He said his China visit is also aimed at ending loadshedding in the country. The Prime Minister will also hold meetings with the Chinese president and prime minister and discuss regional situation and bilateral relations. The visit will further strengthen the bilateral relations. During the visit, the two countries will sign agreements worth 35 billion dollars investment in Pakistan. They include 14 projects relating to 10,400 MW electricity generation, besides several contracts for infrastructure development and development of Gwadar Port in Balochistan. These also include construction of Khuzdar-Gwadar road as part of China-Pakistan economic corridor. The two countries would also sign agreements for cooperation in railways and establishment of special economic zones. The Prime Minister will sign several agreements worth 35 billion dollars investment and memoirs including the agreements that were to be signed on Chinese president''s visit to Pakistan. Several agreements and memoirs are to be signed upon his visit. Promoting bilateral trade and investment along with agreements to tackle loadshedding will also be signed. Agreements pertaining to the construction of motorway from Lahore to Karachi would also be discussed. Meanwhile, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said Pakistan and China will sign a framework agreement during the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Beijing. In an interview with state-run media, he said China will sign a framework agreement for energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan. He said in July last year, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two countries on Pakistan China Economic Corridor. He said the energy projects will be based on coal, solar and hydel resources and no furnace oil project is included because of its high cost.

Copyright News Network International, 2014

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TAPI project to be completed by 2018-end

The participating countries of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project have decided to complete the multi-billion dollar project by the end of 2018, it is learnt. Senior officials of the Petroleum Ministry who attended the four-nations meeting on the TAPI pipeline project which will carry 3.5 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) of gas in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) decided to start working on laying the gas pipeline by 2016. The official stated that State Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Jam Kamal Marri along with Managing Director Inter State Gas System (ISGS) Mobin Solat and other relevant officials are currently visiting Ashgabat. Sources said the Pakistani delegation on the sidelines of the meeting held bilateral talks with Indian counterpart Dharmendra Pradhan and Afghanistan''s Minister for Mines and Mineral Resources, Barikzai to discuss expediting the TAPI project. Sources said, "MD ISGC, Mobin Solat and Mohammad Rafi, MD Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) after attending TAPI steering committee meeting have left for Moscow to attend technical group meeting on petroleum projects, which will also be joined by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar." "As far as Turkmenistan pipeline is concerned all the parties have agreed to sign the gas pipeline project in 2016 and first gas flow should come by 2018", the official maintained. Officials said that the participating countries have also decided to resolve all the pending issues related to the pipeline within a deadline of three months, adding that it is also decided that the next meeting of the Steering Committee will be held in February 2015 in Islamabad and before the next meeting all the pending issues will be addressed. The meeting was also attended by the representative of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is the transaction advisor to facilitate the project. Officials associated with the Iran-Pakistan (IP) and TAPI gas pipeline projects told Business Recorder that two leading American companies ExxonMobil and Chevron along with French giant Total have shown interest in becoming the lead financer of TAPI, which would cost $10 billion. The gas pipeline will provide 500 Million Cubic Feet per Day (mmcfd) gas to Afghanistan and 1.325 Billion Cubic feet Per Day (bcfd) gas each to Pakistan and India. Afghanistan was earlier interested in the transit fee only, but later it signed the GSPA with Turkmenistan on July 2012 for 500 Mmcfd gas. The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan and Turkmenistan-India bilateral Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) were signed on May 23, 2012 followed by Turkmenistan-Afghanistan GSPA which was finally signed on July 9, 2013. The Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement (GPFA) was signed on December 11, 2010. TAPI parties agreed to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) as TAPI Ltd with four designated gas companies from the TAPI countries and proceed with this vehicle to undertake certain pre-project activities, including the selection of the consortium leader. TAPI will carry gas from Turkmenistan''s Galkynysh field which holds total gas reserves of 16 trillion cubic feet. From the field, the pipeline will run to Herat and Kandahar province of Afghanistan, before entering Pakistan. In Pakistan, it will reach Multan via Quetta before ending at Fazilka (Punjab) in India. Meanwhile a press release issued here on Friday said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar reviewed preparations for Pak-Russia Inter Governmental Commission (IGC) meeting to be held during his forthcoming visit to the Russian Federation. The minister was briefed by Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) on the agenda of the meeting which understandably accords due focus to co-operation in economy, investment, bilateral trade and energy sectors. The longstanding issue regarding settlement of dues between private sector companies of both sides shall also figure in the proposed agenda for discussion. Both sides believe that this issue has been impeding development of bilateral relations in the past and needs due attention. Ambassador of Russian Federation, Alexey Dedov, it may be added had a meeting with the Finance Minister, early last month inviting him to the IGC meeting and also discussing with him modalities about the said meeting. Both sides hope that the IGC meeting and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar''s visit would help attain the objective to forge overall economic co-operation. A working group, it is mentioned has already left for the Russian Federation for preliminary arrangements of the IGC meeting. Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and EAD attended the preparatory meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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LNG import to commence in March 2015, Dar informed

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who chaired a high level meeting, was informed that the LNG import would commence in March 2015, which would preferably be made available to efficient power plants providing a boost to overall power generation in the country and helping reduce power prices. Finance Minister on the occasion said LNG imports next March should be ensured and all related arrangements should be finalised. The Ministries of P&NR and Water & Power, in consultation with the Finance Ministry, should devise a mechanism for import, pricing and distribution of LNG, Ishaq Dar said. Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir apprised the meeting about the concerns of the textile industry regarding shortage of energy. The meeting agreed that a proper solution of the problem should be ascertained on priority basis. Federal Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Federal Minister for P&NR Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir, Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood, Secretary Water & Power Yunus Dhaga, Secretary P&NR Abid Saeed, Advisor Finance Division Rana Asad Amin and other senior officials attended the meeting.-PR

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10 coal-based power plants to be set up in Punjab: Shahbaz

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the provincial government will set up 10 coal-based power plants of 150 megawatt each with the help of foreign investment in the province. He said, in the first phase, imported coal and in the second phase, indigenous coal will be used in these power plants. He was addressing a meeting of Chinese investors and the Pakistani delegation in Beijing on Saturday. The Chief Minister said that energy generating projects from coal in Pakistan were on the top of the list of Pak-China agreements. He said unfortunately no attention was paid to energy generation from coal in the past but the present government was implementing a comprehensive strategy for providing electricity to the people through cheaper sources. Shahbaz Sharif said the coal-based power plants to be installed with the co-operation of China which would be supercritical and these modern coal-based power plants would be environment-friendly. He said that cheap electricity will be generated through coal-based power plants which would provide relief to the people. He said that modern mining of indigenous coal will be carried out with the co-operation of China and this coal will be used in power plants. The Chief Minister said that joys of those desirous of postponing the visit of the President of China to Pakistan through sit-ins were temporary. He said that a new history of Pak-China friendship has been written through 19 agreements being made in Beijing on Saturday and these agreements reflect complete confidence of the Chinese leadership in the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan and China would ensure implementation on these agreements through hard work and determination. He said that agreements made with China would be completed with quality, speed and transparency. He said the provincial Punjab government will ensure that all work should be carried out at reasonable rates and every penny of investment should be used by considering it a trust. The Punjab Chief Minister said no doubt that the implementation on agreements will take time but "we will march forward through hard work and determination and the loss caused due to politics of sit-ins will be made up". He said that no hindrance can be created in Pak-China friendship.

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LNG import: government likely to cut deal with Qatargas

Pakistan is likely to strike a deal with Qatargas for the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at the rate of $12 MMBTU; it is expected to be finalised at the end of current year, well informed sources in Petroleum Ministry toldBusiness Recorder. Recently Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to ensure the import of LNG by February 2014 as LNG terminal being established by M/s Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited (ETPL) will be ready for operation before January 26, 2014. Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, in its meeting on October 30, 2014, approved a proposal of Petroleum Ministry regarding a gas pipeline infrastructure development plan for the upcoming LNG and anticipated indigenous supplies. Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) argues that LNG may be supplied to dedicated bulk consumers as an alternate fuel since inclusion of imported gases in revenue requirement will lead to an increase in WACOG only by 85 per cent apart from the effect on other relevant components (if LNG price is assumed conservatively at $12 per MMTBU). Accordingly, LNG project-related cost should be ring fenced and recovered from the respective consumers. The Nawaz Sharif government has been criticised by politicians, gas sector stakeholders and energy sector analysts on grounds that the deal will be at around $18 per MMBTU. However, as crude oil prices have nose-dived internationally LNG prices have also come down significantly. When one of the government''s top officials was asked to confirm the date and price of LNG the government is settling with Qatargas, he stated: "I am not sure of the exact dates but I imagine it would be soon. Let me say sometime before the end of the year. I have no idea of the price but I imagine it will be linked to some index like Brent crude and not be a dollar price," he added. The present gas supplies in Pakistan are around 3,700 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) while constrained demand is over 6,000 MMCFD. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MPNR) is pursuing a three-pronged strategy to abridge this widening gap through: (i) incentivizing the exploration and production companies for enhanced domestic production; (ii) import of gas through transnational pipelines and LNG in public and private sectors; and (iii) rationalising economic use of gas in various sectors through administrative (load management) and fiscal (gradual price rationalisation) measures. Various LNG import projects of 1200 MMCFD gas are being pursued by the Ministry through state-owned enterprises in petroleum sector. The LNG receiving, storage and re-gasification terminals will mostly be developed at Port Qasim and/or Gwadar Port and the gas has to be transported upcountry through high pressure transmission lines. The present pipeline capacity can only handle up to 400 MMCFD of which 200 MMCFD gas can be transported to SNGPL system while 120 MMCFD gas can be consumed in SSGC system. Both gas companies have prepared a Gas Pipeline Infrastructure Development Plan for upcoming LNG and anticipated indigenous supplies. SNGPL''S PLAN SNGPL''s Phase-I is mainly related to transportation of 400 MMCFD LNG and envisages a 42" dia x 109.3 KM pipeline infrastructure along with 5000 HP compressions against an estimated cost of Rs 18.543 billion whereas its phase-two covers the transportation of 1.2 BCFD LNG supply involving 762 kilometre infrastructure of different diameters from 16" to 42" along with 25,000 HP compression for Rs 57941 million. OGRA has recently approved the phase-I in the decision of Estimated Revenue Requirement (ERR) of SNGPL for the financial year 2014-15 for a total sanctioned amount of Rs 14,157 million against an estimated cost of Rs 18,543 million. OGRA has advised SNGPL to take up the matter with Federal Government for the issuance of policy guidelines to the Authority under section 21 of OGRA ordinance, 2002 as this is a large scale project involving a total additional gas to the tune of 1.5 BCFD and having a huge financial impact of Rs 11.34 / MMBTU at the prevalent tariff. OGRA has also advised SNGPL to provide a GoP gas allocation letter indicating the allocation of gases from different fields, LNG imports, etc, and any GoP guarantee /assurance /agreement regarding confirmed LNG import of 1,200/1,500 MMCFD. SSGC''S PLAN SSGC Phase-I will cater for transmission of 400 MMCFD RLNG and comprises of 81Km long, three pipeline segments, revamp of two compressor units (5,800 HP and 200 MMCFD capacity each) and nitrogen blending facility. The total estimated cost of the above infrastructure is Rs 13.663 billion. SSGC''s Phase-2 envisages transmission of 1,200 MMCFD RLNG within SSGC''s franchise area, through a 42-inch 338km-long dedicated pipeline, and expansion of compression facilities (developed in phase-I) at Nawabshah. The total estimated cost of phase-2 is Rs 44.531 billion.

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OGDCL makes oil discovery in Tando Allah Yar

Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) has made another oil discovery from its exploratory Well - Jarwar Well No 1, which is located in district Tando Allah Yar, Sindh in NIM Block with OGDCL ownership at 95 percent and Government Holding (Pvt) Limited at five percent. This is the second oil discovery which OGDCL has made within the short span of two months. The structure of Jarwar Well No 1 was delineated, drilled and tested by using OGDCL''s in house expertise. The well was drilled down to the depth of 1,473 meters, targeting to test the hydrocarbon potential of Upper Sand of Lower Goru Formation. Significant reserves of hydrocarbon found at Jarwar Well No 1 have been tested delivering 480 barrel per day oil through down hole jet pump. The discovery of Jarwar Well No 1 will add to the hydrocarbon reserves base of the OGDCL and GHPL. Muhammad Rafi, the Managing Director and CEO of OGDCL further expressed that OGDCL had reached the 100th landmark of hydrocarbon well discovery at Soghri-1 located in district Attock under the Soghri Exploration License in the month of September, 2014 and the Prime Minister of Pakistan had inaugurated the discovery on 17th September, 2014. Soghri Well is currently producing 220 barrels per day of condensate and delivers 17 million cubic feet of gas per day. OGDCL is Pakistan''s premier and largest Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Company which contributes 55 percent of Pakistan''s oil output and 30 percent of natural gas output. OGDCL is the top tax paying company in Pakistan with annual tax payments surpassing Rs 50 billions.-PR

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