14TH INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION FOR THE ENERGY INDUSTRY

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News Headlines for the month of
DECEMBER 2014

Nuclear energy projects: Dar, SPD DG discuss financing mechanism of K2, K3

Director General Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Lieutenant-General Zubair Mahmood Hayat called on Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar here on Saturday to discuss the financing mechanism of K2 and K3 nuclear energy projects. Secretary EAD and DG SPD gave a joint briefing to the Minister about the status of the project and what is the future plan to take the project ahead. The aforementioned energy projects will be a part of Pak-China Energy Corridor and will be jointly financed by China (EXIM Bank) and Pakistan in a ratio 82 and 18 percent respectively. In response to a question raised by the Finance Minister, Lieutenant General Hayat told the Minister that the project when completed would be the cheapest source of energy. The project will help a long way in overcoming the protracted energy crisis. It was also briefed to the Minister that the project will use very secure and highly efficient third generation equipment to make cheapest electricity. The Minister, appreciating the efforts of EAD and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in making a plan for the project, said that "InshAllah we will take Pakistan where the rest of the developed world stands now. When we planned to build the Motorway it was considered ahead of time, but now it has increased its value manifold and if these energy projects are pursued as per planned we shall be able to meet the future energy requirements of Pakistan". The Minister directed that another meeting will be held on the same projects next week in which all the relevant stakeholders from EAD, Finance, SPD and PAEC will be invited to make presentations of the project details and what steps are to be taken by the Government of Pakistan to help make the project a reality.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Chief Minister Punjab reviews progress on solar projects

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over a high-level meeting which reviewed the progress on solar projects in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur. The meeting agreed to speed up 900 megawatt solar projects. Federal Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, officials of Chinese Company Zonergy, Chairman NEPRA, Additional Secretary Water & Power Department, Managing Director NTDC, MD PBIB, Chief Executive Officer AEDB, Special Assistant Azm-ul-Haq, Additional Chief Secretary Energy and concerned officials attended the meeting. Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif said energy crisis had badly affected industry, agriculture, education, health and all sectors of life. He said every necessary step was being taken for overcoming energy shortage at the earliest, adding 100 megawatt solar power project in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur was at final stages of completion. He said Punjab government had set up 100 megawatt solar power project from its own resources, adding that Chinese company was investing for 900 megawatt solar project in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur. He said solar power project was of great importance which would be completed speedily, adding that energy projects would have to be completed with hard work, determination and honesty without wasting time. Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif said solar power project was an approved project on fast track and all possible co-operation would be extended for its early completion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Experts make suggestions to resolve energy crisis

Speakers at concluding day of the 7th International Engineering Convention presented their suggestions and recommendations regarding ever coming energy crisis faced by Pakistan for implementation by the government, public and private sector. The concluding session was addressed by Engineer Dilip Kumar President FIESCA & vice president Nepal Engineering Association, President IEP Syed Jamshed Rizvi, general secretary IEP engineer Sultan Mehmood, Chairman IEP Lahore engineer Syed Khalid Sajjad were present on this occasion. They also said that engineering educators must take a closer look at how engineering students are being prepared to enter the "real world". President IEP Syed Jamshed Ali Rizvi said that that engineering institutions can contribute a lot to provide leadership to the profession by maximising the intellectual growth of the students and faculty enhancing the pursuits of interdisciplinary opportunities, and initiation of traditional engineering research. The institution must ensure fulfilment of the needs of the society at local, national and international level. Rizvi said that the engineers have a collective responsibility to improve the lives of people around the world. Considering the problems facing our planet today and the problems expected to arise in the first half of the twenty first century, the engineering profession must revisit its mindset and adopt a new mission statement to contribute to the building of a more sustainable, stable and equitable world. Chairman IEP Lahore center engineers Syed Khalid Sajjad said that through the convention, strong regional bonding of the engineering institutions will be strengthened and the recommendations from different sessions will be guide line for the development of this region. Khalid expressed his hope that due to the participations of the several foreign member organizations the convention has assumed a great importance as it is fervently hoped that it will produce far reaching results towards the development of national economy and in the improvement of high technology which is the need of the hour.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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UK company interested in power generation through solid wastes: Deputy HC

President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Zakaria Usman has said that there is huge demand for Pakistani products in UK and the current statistics of bilateral trade are not reflecting the true picture of the potential. He made the remarks during a meeting with the British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi Jhon Anthony Tucknott, who visited FPCCI Head Office, Karachi. The meeting was also attended by Shaukat Ahmed, Sr. Vice President, Ismail Suttar, Khurram Sayeed, Vice Presidents of FPCCI, Ishtiaq Baig and Sheikh Javed Ilyas. Usman further said that the annual trade potential is US $3 between the two countries. Pakistan have specialty in textile, leather, sports and surgical. The Deputy High Commissioner said that progress and prosperity of Pakistan by strengthening trade and economic activities between the two countries was UK's priority. He added that many British companies were willing to do business in Pakistan and want to undertake joint ventures with Pakistani counterparts particularly in gas and power generation. He further said that many British companies were successfully running their business in Pakistan. He also informed that they were planning to hold a seminar to introduce Financial Services Products in UK market for which Pakistani Financial companies were invited. Jhon Anthony informed that a British company was interested in setting up desalination plant. He also informed that a well-experienced British company also interested in setting up project for power generation through solid waste in Pakistan which will not only help in fulfilling the energy requirements but will also lead to useful disposal of a large quantity of garbage. Shaukat Ahmed emphasised on sharing of trade-related information between FPCCI and British High Commission. The Deputy High Commissioner appreciated the suggestion of Khurram Sayeed regarding holding Made in Pakistan Exhibition in UK and said that the British High Commission would provide all possible assistance and co-operation to FPCCI for holding the exhibition in UK.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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600 megawatts coal-fired plant to be set up: K-E plans to invest $2 billion in power sector, Dar informed

K-Electric plans to invest $2 billion in the power sector during the next three years. The plan includes construction of 600MW coal-fired power plant in Gaddani. The plan was shared by the K-Electric management with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday. A four-members delegation led by its chairman Tabish Gohar held a meeting with Ishaq Dar to inform him about the details of the plan and sought his help in resolving some issues with National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra). The Finance Minister was informed that the company has earmarked $1 billion for construction of a new 660 MW coal-fired power plant with the commissioning of the project expected in 2018. Another $400 million investment would be made for conversion of 400 MW existing furnace oil capacity into coal-fired plants. This plan is expected to be completed by June 2017. The company intends to convert two existing fully operational open cycle plants (220 MW and 180 MW GE JB) to combined cycle at a cost of $100 million besides distribution plan of $270 million in the first phase for 1,000 MVA transmission enhancement and rehabilitation project. Senior officials of the company maintained that after years of losses, K-E had earned profits and had plans for distribution of dividend of up to 15 percent to minority shareholders, which is the first dividend to K-E shareholders after 20 years. The K-Electric sought the minister's attention for resolution of various issues with Nepra. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar welcoming the K-E's initiative in power generation, transmission and distribution sector, stated that in view of the energy shortage, such initiatives were much required. He assured the delegation of all possible support towards resolving various issues faced by the company. Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood, Advisor Finance Division, Rana Assad Amin, Additional Secretary, Azra Mujtaba, Additional Secretary, Tariq Pasha, Additional Secretary (EF) Shahid Mehmood and other senior officials attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Power transmission: $248 million agreement inked with ADB

The government of Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Friday signed a loan and project agreement amounting to $248 million for power transmission enhancement investment programme tranche 4 here. Muhammad Saleem Sethi, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and Werner E Liepach, Country Director, ADB signed the loan agreement. The power transmission tranche 4 aims to improve energy supply and security by reducing transmission infrastructure bottlenecks and transmission losses and expanding the national transmission system by connecting generation sources and load centers. The ADB has been providing, a Multi-tranche Financing Facility (MFF) amounting to $800 million for power transmission enhancement investment programme since 2006. The investment programme has supported the rehabilitation, augmentation and expansion of the transmission substations, transmission lines of 220 kV and above installation of static var compensator (SVC) equipment. Tranche 4 is the last tranche of transmission MFF. Under the tranche 4, new grid stations of 220 kV will be constructed in D I Khan, Nowshera, Lalian and Chakdra. A new transmission line of 500 kV will also be constructed for dispersal of power from 747 MW power plant at Guddu. The Secretary EAD appreciated the ADB''s investment for the Jamshoro coal power project, budgetary support programme for energy sector and upcoming MFF for the smart metering system amounting to $990 million. Werner E Liepach reaffirmed the ADB support and cooperation for development projects in Pakistan. The project is expected to be completed by December 31, 2016.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Short-term measures to lessen loadshedding: power plants to be installed at gas fields to generate 1500 megawatts

The government has decided to install power plants at gas fields to produce upto 1,500 megawatt electricity as a short-term measures, for which modalities are being worked out and interested companies are conducting survey to identify suitable gas fields. State Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal Khan while talking to Business Recorder here on Thursday said that the government had decided in principle to allow installation of power plants at 46 gas fields with utilisation of 300 Million Cubic Feet per Day (Mmcfd) gas to increase power production by 1,500 megawatts. He said that these power plants would be portable and with a capacity to produce 31 MW. The minister said that the Prime Minister would formally approve the plan to install the power plants this month. "We have indicated 46 such gas fields to the government and the gas-based power plants will be installed at those low Btu gas fields situated near national grid so that electricity produced can easily be transferred to the national grid," Kamal added. He said that the step would reduce the on-going prolonged power load-shedding as well lessen power tariff rate, as at present bulk of the power generation is based on furnace oil and diesel pants, which are three times costly when compared to gas-fired plants. The minister said the government was not in a position to provide natural gas to the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations in Punjab from current month to the end of February 2015, but allowed CNG stations of the biggest province to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to keep their businesses running. The minister said the government would try to facilitate the CNG sector and the fuel would remain 35 percent cheaper than petrol, adding that at present the government was facing serious problems in meeting the requirements of the domestic gas consumers, as with the arrival of winter domestic sector's demand has sharply increased. He said that the government had started supplying power to the industrial sector, as it was not in a position to continue gas supply to Punjab-based industries due to gas shortage. Kamal said that the Prime Minister has lifted a ban on new gas schemes and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) will increase the gas tariff for new schemes. He added that the Petroleum Ministry has forwarded summaries regarding reduction in prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to the Council of the Common Interests (CCI) and after the approval of the summaries the government will determine LPG prices. He said the government has decided to import 2 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) of LNG for which investors have submitted expressions of interests (EoIs) and first LNG terminal will be ready to start LNG operation in Port Qasim Karachi by the end of February.

Copyright Independent News Pakistan, 2014

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Private sector: Prime Minister approves duty-free import of solar panels

In a major decision to overcome the energy crisis and provide cheap alternative source of energy, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has allowed private sector to import duty-free solar panels. The Prime Minister gave the approval on the recommendations of the Committee on Alternate Energy Resources headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. The Federal Board of Revenue has issued necessary instructions to relevant Customs Departments in this regard. The Alternate Energy Board was of the view that the local manufacturing is limited and lacks the required international certification and standards. It also recommended waiving off import duty on solar panels. Solar power plants would help reduce extraordinary load on existing supply of power and reduction in loadshedding.

Copyright Independent News Pakistan, 2014

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'Iran ready to cooperate in meeting energy needs'

Iran is ready to cooperate with Pakistan in meeting its energy needs as well as construction of new power houses, Iranian Finance Minister Dr Ali Taeibnia said. During a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, here on Wednesday, Iranian minister said that Iran wants to strengthen it economic and trade ties with Pakistan and hoped that like cultural and political relations, economic and trade ties between the two countries would also touch new heights. He said that Punjab's textile industry has a vast potential and trade relations could be further strengthened through promoting co-operation in this sector. "Time has come to take practical steps for the promotion of bilateral cooperation between the two countries," he said. A high-level Iranian delegation led by Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance Dr Ali Taeibnia is currently on a visit to Pakistan. During meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, it was agreed to promote trade and economic relations as well as cooperation between the two countries in energy, agriculture, livestock, industries and transport sectors. Dr Ali Taeibnia said the leaderships of Pakistan and Iran are determined to promote bilateral relations. Talking to the Iranian Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, the Chief Minister said that there are historical and brotherly relations between Iran and Pakistan and time has come to take practical measures to transform them into economic and trade ties. He said that a modern slaughter house has been set up in Lahore with the cooperation of Iran and there is a need for promotion of cooperation in other sectors as well for the benefit of the people of the two countries. He said that setting up of a joint commission between Pakistan and Iran and signing of some agreements in Islamabad augurs well for future relations. Shahbaz said that though Pakistan is facing various challenges but the government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is determined to cope with these problems. He said that there is a vast scope of promotion of bilateral cooperation in energy, agriculture, livestock, industries, transport and other sectors and there is a need to benefit from the existing opportunities. The Chief Minister, while proposing to set up a joint committee between Punjab and Iran for promoting cooperation in different sectors, said that it should devise a strategy for practical and speedy measures for promoting cooperation in different sectors. He said that Punjab government has completed metro bus project in Lahore with the cooperation of Turkey in a very short period while metro bus project in Rawalpindi is in its final stages of completion. He said that Iran has executed metro projects in its cities and Punjab government wants that Iran should consider promotion of cooperation with Punjab also in metro projects. He said that Iran has expertise in manufacturing plants for generation of power from gas and Iranian cooperation in this regard will be welcomed. He said that LNG terminal in Karachi will start operating in 2015 and it will help meet requirements of power houses. The Chief Minister expressed keen interest in Iranian gas plants of power generation. Iranian Finance Minister, while assuring cooperation regarding metro projects, welcomed the Chief Minister's proposal for the setting up a joint committee between Punjab and Iran. He said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken practical measures for the progress of the people in the real sense and he is a dynamic leader. Iranian Finance Minister also invited Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to visit Tehran. The Chief Minister thanked Iranian Finance Minister for his invitation and said that he would visit Iran as soon as possible. Provincial ministers Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Rana Mashhood Ahmad, Director General Walled City, Secretaries of Planning and Development, Health, Industries, Livestock, Excise and Taxation, Deputy Minister of Iran Dr Mohammad Khazaeel, Governor of Iranian province Sistan Osat Hashmei, Ambassador Ali Raza and other senior authorities were also present on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Government taking concrete steps to end power crisis: chief minister Punjab

Vice-President of Shandong Ruyi Group of China, Jerry Liu, met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, here on Sunday. Progress on the project of setting up two coal-based power plants of 660 megawatts in Sahiwal was discussed during the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, Shahbaz said that the government was taking concrete measures to cope with the energy crisis. He said that work was being carried out on the coal-based power projects in Sahiwal with the cooperation of China. He said that complete facilities were being provided to local and foreign investors to overcome power crisis in the country, while positive environment had been created for investment in Punjab. He said that several Chinese companies were making investment in energy, infrastructure and other projects. The Chief Minister said that the government was paying special attention to generating low-cost energy and coal-based power projects were an important step in this direction. Speaking on the occasion, Jerry Liu said every effort would be made for execution of the coal-based power plants projects in accordance with the vision of the Chief Minister. Deputy Chairperson, Ruyi Group, Arie Quiu; Additional Chief Secretary Energy; Chairman Punjab Investment Board and concerned officers were also present on the occasion.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Prime Minister urges British businesspeople to invest in energy sector

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said a stable, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s best interest. He added that it looks forward to forging a co-operative relationship with the Afghan national unity government. The Prime Minister expressed these views during a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron held here this morning. The Prime Minister appreciated UK''s assistance for Pakistan’s social sector development. He urged British entrepreneurs to make investment in Pakistan’s energy sector. Upon arrival at 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister was received by British Prime Minister David Cameron. During the meeting, bilateral relations, matters of mutual interest and the regional situation came under discussion. Prime Minister Cameron, appreciating Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, stated that "Pakistan has suffered more than any other country in the fight against terrorism", and assured of his government’s support to Pakistan in its efforts to root out the menace of terrorism. Later, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also joined the two leaders. Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah was also present on the occasion. The leaders expressed their resolve to work together for a stable, prosperous and peaceful Afghanistan which would have a salutary impact on the entire region. In the backdrop of the recently-held London Conference on Afghanistan, regional situation with a particular reference to Afghanistan was discussed and commitments made in the Conference were reiterated. Adviser to Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant to PM Syed Tariq Fatemi and Pakistan High Commissioner to UK Syed Ibne Abbas were also present at the meeting.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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CASA-1000 signed

After years of negotiations, four countries, including Pakistan, signed an agreement on Central Asia-South Asia (CASA-1000) in Istanbul, according to which the price of electricity to be imported from Tajikistan will be 9.35 cents per unit. According an official announcement, hydel energy agreement between Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan was signed Wednesday. The project, known as the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000), will help export 1000 MW of clean energy to Pakistan at a price of 9.35 cents including all charges. Pakistan’s Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif led the Pakistani delegation while the Tajik delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister and Afghan and Kyrgyz delegations were led by their respective energy ministers. Official sources told Business Recorder, State Department and USAID have played a key role in the resolution of different issues amongst the stakeholders. However, the project cannot be executed until peace returns to Afghanistan. Stakeholders are supposed to sign agreements with the warlords in Afghanistan to make the project a success. According to analysts, financing of project is also a gigantic task as Asian Development Bank (ADB) has already backed out from its earlier commitment of financing. CASA-1000 project is scheduled for completion by 2018 under the umbrella of the World Bank. Tajikistan’s share in the energy export will be 70% while Kyrgyzstan exports will account for 30%. Afghanistan will consume 300 MW of the exported energy while Pakistan will receive 1000 MW of electricity. The project is forecast to boost energy trade in the region that will lead to sustainable development. The official announcement further said that although conceived long ago, the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took the initiative to expedite the project and convened a meeting of Inter-Governmental Council of CASA-1000 in September 2013 in Islamabad that discussed various aspects of the project. Subsequent follow-up consultations ultimately led to the conclusion of the historic agreement in Istanbul. When contacted, Additional Secretary Incharge Ministry of Water and Power Younus Dagha, who was also part of the Pakistani team, said that the landed cost of electricity will be Rs 10.40 per unit. In reply to another question, he said that Pakistan''s share in investment will be $292 million. Answering another question, he said that the Pakistani team led by Minister for Water and Power played a pivotal role to develop consensus amongst the stakeholders. He said Pakistan is working on a number of power sector projects to resolve power crisis in the country as early as possible.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Ecnec likely to approve power projects today

The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) meeting being held today (Thursday) with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in chair is likely to approve a 35MW Nagdar Hydro Power Project and the construction of Dowarian Hydro Power Project. Sources said the meeting would also take up construction of an Expressway on East Bay of Gwadar Port project with an estimated cost of Rs 14.8 billion. A senior official of Planning Commission said that an eight-point agenda has been circulated for an Ecnec meeting to consider agriculture, power communication and governance projects. They added that a livestock and access to market project (umbrella PC) of agriculture sector is on the agenda. The Ecnec was submitted projects for improving financial reporting and auditing (PIFRA), construction on Amri-Kazi-Ahmed Bridge over river Indus (between Hyderabad bypass and Dadu Moro Bridge). The communication sector projects included Islamabad Raikot sector phase-I Havelian-Thakot highway 120.12 kilometer and additional Torkham-Jalalabad Road 73.67 kilometer. They added that a meeting was previously scheduled for December 2, 2014 but was delayed till Thursday. An official said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the construction of Raikot-Islamabad Highway project was signed as part of the early harvest project of the Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It was agreed to take up the project in three packages with Raikot-Thakot- Havelian as first priority followed by Havelian-Islamabad, and Khanjrab Raikot. The Ecnec would consider phase-I of the Havelian-Thakot section of the project on the basis of a feasibility study by the Chinese.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Rs 60 million service charges for 10 years: Nandipur power plant to be given to Malaysian company

The government has decided to hand over the expensive state-owned Nandipur power plant to Malaysian company for 10 years, which would not only take care of the plant, but would also be responsible for power production, for which the government would pay Rs 60 million per month to the company. According to officials of the Ministry of Water and Power, the government had decided to give Nandipur power plant with power generation capacity of 425 MW to Malaysian company TNB for 10 years. The government company Northern Power Generation would pay the Malaysian company monthly Rs 60 million as service charges. Northern Power Generation Company would have no role in operation of Nandipur power pant during this period. Malaysian Company could operate the plant in a better way than civil servants, as the experience of operating power plants under the government control did not work in the past. Nandipur power plant cost surged to Rs 84 billion from Rs 22 billion and power production from the plant through gas would cost Rs 9 per unit, furnace oil Rs 18, whereas diesel would cost Rs 27 per unit. According to sources, the decision of giving the plant to Malaysian company was taken after a formal bidding and final approval in this regard would be given in Northern Power Generation Company''s Board meeting.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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1,500 megawatts of electricity to be added to grid by June 2015, Prime Minister told

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif chaired the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy here on Monday, where he was briefed about the progress on energy policy that aimed to achieve "more availability and better affordability" of electricity in Pakistan. The PM was told in the meeting that about 1,500MW of electricity will be added to the national grid by June 2015. The PM directed the committee to increase the quantum of coal and gas as part of the fuel mix policy of energy production in order to make prices of electricity more affordable. He also directed the committee to devise and present a comprehensive load management strategy for coming summers. The meeting was attended by Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance; Shahbaz Sharif, CM of Punjab; Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum; Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning; Khawaja Saad Rafique, Minister for Railways; Khawaja Asif, Minister for Water & Power; Abid Saeed, Secretary Petroleum; Younus Dagha, Secretary Water & Power, and other senior officials.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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'Government making all-out efforts to address energy crisis issue'

Per unit of electricity with the Chinese investment in the energy sector will cost Rs 8.5, said former law minister Rana Sanaullah. He was talking to the participants of the laptop distribution ceremony at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF). He said the government was making all out efforts to address the issue of energy crisis, curb terrorism and to ensure law and order situation. He said the country was suffering from the challenges of energy and law and order situation that was crippling the economic activities and life. He said the government was also using alternative resources to address the energy crisis.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Oil and gas deposits discovered in Hazara district

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources announced discovery of oil and gas deposits in district of Hazara (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) for the first time. Talking to Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources, officials of the Ministry said that huge deposit of oil and gas have been discovered in Khanpur near Islamabad for the first time that would lead to further exploration in Hazara region. MOL, the leading Hungarian oil and gas company and OMV, the Austrian oil and gas company have been working on exploration of Khanpur Block in Pakistan. The official of ministry further informed the committee that Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) operator of Gambat South Block with 65 percent working interest (WI) along with its joint venture partners Government Holdings (Private) Limited and Asia Resources Oil Limited with 25 percent and 10 percent WI respectively announced another gas and condensate discovery at its exploration well Faiz X-1 in district Sanghar Sindh. This is the sixth discovery in the Block. The committee was chaired by Senator Muhammad Yousaf.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Energy project: Shahbaz welcomes Chinese firm's interest

Senior officials of a Chinese company met Punjab CM Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here today and expressed interest in setting up the project for generating energy through LNG in Punjab. Speaking on the occasion, CM said that speedy measures are being taken for overcoming energy crisis. He said that government has evolved a solid strategy for generating energy through coal, solar, wind and other sources. He said that government is endeavouring for generating energy through cheap sources therefore we are paying attention for setting up energy projects through gas and coal. He said that LNG terminal in Karachi will start function in the beginning of next year. The Chief Minister while welcoming the interest expressed by Chinese company for setting up power plant through LNG said that a practicable plan should be evolved in this regard. Special Assistant Azm-ul-Haq, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, Chairman Punjab Power Development Company Arif Saeed and other concerned officials were also present on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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PPL discovers oil, condensate in Sanghar

Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), operator of Gambat South Block with 65 percent working interest (WI) along with its joint venture partners Government Holdings (Private) Limited and Asia Resources Oil Limited with 25 percent and 10 percent WI, respectively, announced another gas and condensate discovery at its exploration well Faiz X-1 located in District Sanghar, Sindh.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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Crude oil import: Tajikistan seeks transit route, refining facility

Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that Pakistan appreciates Tajikistan's initiative to import crude Oil from Kuwait and to process it in Pakistan into refined products He said this in a meeting with a visiting Tajik delegation led by Noor Muhammad Akmedov, Minister of State for Reserves/Director of Agency, said a press release. The visiting Minister was accompanied by Sherali S Jononov, Ambassador of Tajkistan to Pakistan; Zubaidullo Zubaidov, Ambassador of Tajikistan to Kuwait. Tajikistan Minister for Reserves noted that Tajiskistan was a landlocked country and said his country was interested in importing crude oil from Kuwait to the Karachi port. The imported crude oil would be refined in Pakistani refineries and the refined products would be transported to Tajikistan, he said, and sought help from Pakistan government to facilitate their plan. Apart from import if crude oil and refining facility, Tajik Minister also wanted Pakistan's help to maintain their reserves in case of any shortage or adversity. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Pakistan had adequate refining capacity and Tajikistan could benefit from that facility. The Minister told the visiting delegation that in Pakistan, oil refineries were mostly in private sector, however, government of Pakistan could facilitate the negotiation process with the refineries. The Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources ensured the Tajik delegation of full support and co-operation from the government of Pakistan and said that that initiative would play a pivotal role to boost the economic ties between the two countries. Tajik Minister also invited the Minister Petroleum and Minister of State to visit Tajikistan in the near future. The delegation comprised Sherali S Jononov, Ambassador of Tajkistan to Pakistan; Zubaidullo Zubaidov, Ambassador of Tajikistan to Kuwait; L N Yan, Deputy Director, State Company on "Oil Reserves" Marufjon Abdurahmonov- Consul, Tajikistan Embassy in Islamabad, Shohrat Olimov Chief Specialist, Agency and Sh Z Niyozov, Assistant Director, Agency. Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal Khan, Secretary MP&NR and other officials of the Ministry were also present at the meeting.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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Coal supply from Zarkoon mines begins

Coal supply from Zarkoon coal project has started and Inspector General Frontier Corps, Major General Aijaz Shahid said that it would bring progress and prosperity in the area. A press release issued, here on Monday said that earlier, mining in Zarkoon Warezai coalmines was stopped due to tribal feuds and other issues. "The local tribal elders, coal mine contractors and other stakeholders have requested Commander Southern Command and IG FC to play their role for restarting of mining in Zarkoon coal mines area so that coal supply from this area should be restarted," it said. The statement further said that FC provided security besides making all stakeholders agreed to restart mining in the coal field.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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LNG import: Pakistan likely to strike long-term deal with Qatar

Pakistan is likely to strike a long-term agreement with Qatar for the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), as a Qatari delegation is expected to arrive in Islamabad in the first week of January 2015, Petroleum Ministry officials said. A senior Petroleum Ministry official while talking to Business Recorderon Friday said that a Qatari delegation was expected to visit Pakistan on the start of the New Year to discuss LNG prices and other terms of the agreement. "Pakistan is likely to strike a 10 years' LNG contract with Qatar and so far we are not in a position to tell about the prices, but we will ensure best possible deal with Qatar," the official said when asked about the price of the commodity. Pakistan at present is facing serious gas demand/supply gap due to which gas supply to many industries and other sectors has been suspended during the winter and to deal with the huge demand/supply gap the government has decided to import up to 2 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) LNG within next three years. On fast track basis, the government is making all-out efforts to start importing 400 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) of LNG from Qatar for which a KLNG terminal is under construction at Port Qasim Karachi with a capacity to handle a maximum 600 MMCFD of the commodity. The official said that Malaysian LNG producer and supplier Petronas has also assured Pakistan of supplying 200 MMCFD of LNG per annum. He added that during a recent visit of Pakistan by senior management of Petronas showed great interest in supplying 1.5 million tons LNG per annum to Pakistan. According to officials, the USAID consultant has recommended sealing short-term LNG import deal for two to five years to benefit from a price cut in the global market. The consultant had also forecast the possibility of a further reduction in the LNG price in the global market to as low as $6 per MMBTU in coming years due to shale gas production by US and Australia. However, he said that Qatar wants to strike a long-term deal and maintained that the government was following a two-pronged policy: to import LNG on government to government basis and short-term deal through spot purchases. "We should install power plants to operate on imported LNG during this period," he said, adding that replacement of LNG fuel in power plants would result in cutting fuel cost by 17 percent compared to furnace oil. "Petronas after Qatar gas is the largest LNG supplier and producer with operations across the globe. The company produces a total of 25 million tons of LNG per annum of which 13 million tons in Malaysia and 12 million tons in other countries including Australia and Canada," the official maintained. As a result of serious gap between natural gas supply and demand, the government of Pakistan has planned to take LNG imports to 2 BCFD by 2017 for which required infrastructure including LNG terminal is under construction. Pakistan's first LNG terminal with a total capacity to handle 4.5 million tons of LNG per annum currently is under construction by Engro Pakistan at Port Qasim Karachi. It will be ready by the end of February as per contract, but the Ministry of Petroleum has asked the company to complete it by mid January 2015. According to another official of the Petroleum Ministry, Qatar gas which is demanding $18 per Million British Thermal Unit (mmbtu) in 2012 is likely to cut its demand to $13-14per mmbtu, adding that LNG spot price had come down to as low as $10 per mmbtu. The government has formed LNG pricing committee to negotiate LNG price with Qatar gas and currently terms and conditions of the agreement are being finalised while LNG price and other terms of the agreement are expected to be finalised during upcoming visit of the Qatari delegation.

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Mitsubishi team discusses LNG import, investment with Dar

A 4-member delegation of the Mitsubishi Corporation, led by Kimihide Ando, Chief Executive for Pakistan on Thursday discussed with Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar matters pertaining to possible export of LNG by Diamond Gas International (based in Singapore) to Pakistan besides enhanced Mitsubishi investment. The delegation at the outset conveyed heartfelt grief and sorrow on behalf of the Mitsubishi Corp. Japan over the tragic incident in Peshawar in which lives of innocent children were lost. The Minister thanked the delegation for the kind gesture saying the incident had only reinforced Pakistan's resolve to eliminate terrorism and the whole nation stands united to put an end to this menace. Kimihide Ando informed the Minister that his visit to Japan next month was eagerly awaited as it would open new avenues of bilateral co-operation. He also hinted at increased Mitsubishi investment in Pakistan in future. Dar said Pakistan appreciated Japan's continued economic co-operation and hoped he would meet the Japanese leadership, senior government officials and top executives of prominent Japanese concerns including Mitsubishi with a view to enhancing all round economic co-operation, specially seeking investment in Pakistan. The delegation also discussed possibilities of export of LNG to Pakistan by Mitsubishi's subsidiary, Diamond Group, Singapore. Finance Minister welcomed the proposal saying that Pakistan was facing energy shortage and already had plans to import LNG. He said the proposal from the Diamond Group would be accorded due consideration.

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PPL announces fifth discovery in Gambat South

Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), the operator of Gambat South Block with 65 percent working interest (WI) along with its joint venture partners Government Holdings (Private) Limited and Asia Resources Oil Limited with 25 percent and 10 percent WI, respectively, made another gas and condensate discovery at its exploration well Faiz X-1 located in District Sanghar, Sindh. This is the fifth discovery in the Block after Wafiq, Shahdad, Sharf and Kinzagas and condensate discoveries. According to a press release issued by PPL, exploration well Faiz X-1 was spud on October 17, 2014 and reached final depth of 3,564 meters on December 01, 2014. Based on wire line logs, potential hydrocarbon bearing zones were identified in the massive sand of Lower Goru Formation, which are under testing. Initial testing flowed 8.46 mmscfd gas along with condensate volume of 115 barrels per day (bbl/d) at 64/64 inches choke size, thus confirming presence of commercial quantities of natural gas and condensate at Faiz X-1. This discovery will translate into approximately 1300 bbl/d in oil equivalent and foreign exchange saving of US 78,000 dollars per day. The well is being flowed at different choke sizes to measure the gas flow rates, following completion of which actual flow potential of the well will be determined.-PR

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'Iran ready to cooperate in meeting energy needs'

Iran is ready to cooperate with Pakistan in meeting its energy needs as well as construction of new power houses, Iranian Finance Minister Dr Ali Taeibnia said. During a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, here on Wednesday, Iranian minister said that Iran wants to strengthen it economic and trade ties with Pakistan and hoped that like cultural and political relations, economic and trade ties between the two countries would also touch new heights. He said that Punjab's textile industry has a vast potential and trade relations could be further strengthened through promoting co-operation in this sector. "Time has come to take practical steps for the promotion of bilateral cooperation between the two countries," he said. A high-level Iranian delegation led by Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance Dr Ali Taeibnia is currently on a visit to Pakistan. During meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, it was agreed to promote trade and economic relations as well as cooperation between the two countries in energy, agriculture, livestock, industries and transport sectors. Dr Ali Taeibnia said the leaderships of Pakistan and Iran are determined to promote bilateral relations. Talking to the Iranian Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, the Chief Minister said that there are historical and brotherly relations between Iran and Pakistan and time has come to take practical measures to transform them into economic and trade ties. He said that a modern slaughter house has been set up in Lahore with the cooperation of Iran and there is a need for promotion of cooperation in other sectors as well for the benefit of the people of the two countries. He said that setting up of a joint commission between Pakistan and Iran and signing of some agreements in Islamabad augurs well for future relations. Shahbaz said that though Pakistan is facing various challenges but the government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is determined to cope with these problems. He said that there is a vast scope of promotion of bilateral cooperation in energy, agriculture, livestock, industries, transport and other sectors and there is a need to benefit from the existing opportunities. The Chief Minister, while proposing to set up a joint committee between Punjab and Iran for promoting cooperation in different sectors, said that it should devise a strategy for practical and speedy measures for promoting cooperation in different sectors. He said that Punjab government has completed metro bus project in Lahore with the cooperation of Turkey in a very short period while metro bus project in Rawalpindi is in its final stages of completion. He said that Iran has executed metro projects in its cities and Punjab government wants that Iran should consider promotion of cooperation with Punjab also in metro projects. He said that Iran has expertise in manufacturing plants for generation of power from gas and Iranian cooperation in this regard will be welcomed. He said that LNG terminal in Karachi will start operating in 2015 and it will help meet requirements of power houses. The Chief Minister expressed keen interest in Iranian gas plants of power generation. Iranian Finance Minister, while assuring cooperation regarding metro projects, welcomed the Chief Minister's proposal for the setting up a joint committee between Punjab and Iran. He said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken practical measures for the progress of the people in the real sense and he is a dynamic leader. Iranian Finance Minister also invited Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to visit Tehran. The Chief Minister thanked Iranian Finance Minister for his invitation and said that he would visit Iran as soon as possible. Provincial ministers Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Rana Mashhood Ahmad, Director General Walled City, Secretaries of Planning and Development, Health, Industries, Livestock, Excise and Taxation, Deputy Minister of Iran Dr Mohammad Khazaeel, Governor of Iranian province Sistan Osat Hashmei, Ambassador Ali Raza and other senior authorities were also present on the occasion.

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Iran assured of completing IP gasline project

Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has assured Iran of completing Iran Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline, saying the project is vital for addressing country's energy shortage. The Minister said this to a high-level visiting Iranian delegation led by Dr Ali Taieb Nia, Iranian Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance who met him here on Monday. Abbasi said that IP gas pipeline project is vital for the Pakistan's energy needs and Pakistan is fully committed to complete the project. Explaining Pakistan's inability to start working on the project, the Minister said that international sanctions against Iran are the only hurdle in laying the Pakistani portion of the pipeline otherwise, Pakistan has completed all the necessary work. "Despite our best efforts banks, international contractors and equipment suppliers were not ready to be involved in the project. We are now planning to complete this project in two steps; first, we are installing LNG terminal at Gwadar Port and secondly a 42" pipeline of 700 km length will be laid from Gwadar to Nawabshah for onward transmission of gas to the northern parts of the country". Abbasi said that Pakistan is in negotiations with Chinese Companies, for construction of this pipeline and the 70 km portion of the pipeline from Gwadar to Iran border will be completed by Pakistani companies. He hoped that this project will start in the near future. Dr Ali Taieb Nia informed his counterpart that Iran has already completed its part of the IP gas pipeline projects and his country was expecting that Pakistan will also fulfil its commitments to complete its part of the project in near future. He expressed his desire that the Iranian gas should flow in to Pakistan soon, so that Pakistan may be able to overcome its energy shortfall. He also said that Iran has great potential to export petro-chemical products, electricity, and fertilizer and offered Pakistan to benefit from these opportunities available in its neighbourhood. The Iranian Minister informed that Iran's negotiations with the international community on nuclear issue have been successful and hoped that the applicable sanctions will be removed very soon. He further stated that with the removal of international sanctions Iran's trade volume and economic relations with its neighbours will further improve. Abbasi stated that Pakistan wants to increase bilateral trade and economic ties with Iran not only in oil and gas sector including LPG petro-chemicals and fertilisers, but in other fields of the economy as well. He also asked the visiting delegation to provide Pakistan Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) on cheaper rates as the country wants to promote use of this fuel in transportation, saying that Pakistan's annual oil imports bill is $15 billion but direct oil trade between Iran and Pakistan is negligible and Pakistan trade to increase after the issue of sanctions is closed.

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Oil and gas sector: leading Russian E&P companies agreed to invest

Leading Russian oil/gas exploration and production (E&P) companies have agreed to invest in the upstream oil and gas sector of Pakistan for which formalities are being finalised, Zahid Muzafar, Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources said. Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, he said that during a recent visit of Petroleum Ministry high-up to Moscow, the Russian private and public sectors companies had shown great interest in oil/gas exploration and production activities in Pakistan. The advisor, who is also Chairman Board of Directors of Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL), said that Pakistan''s leading E&P company had discovered 10.6 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) of natural gas and 21 barrel per day condensate reservoir in District Attock. He said that this was the 102nd discovery of the OGDCL and the company had expanded its oil/gas operations in all the four federating units of the country, adding that OGDCL has also started working on new oil/gas discovery projects in Balochistan. He said during the recent visit of Turkmenistan, it was mutually decided by the partner countries of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project to hold next meeting of the TAPI steering committee in Islamabad which is scheduled in February 2015. He maintained that the President of Turkmenistan had also agreed to allow OGDCL and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) to take part in the oil/gas exploration activities of Dauletabad gas field, Turkmenistan from where as per plans TAPI gas pipeline will be started. He said that following the directives of the Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, the state-owned company had expedited the exploration activities.

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APL signs accord with JX Nippon Oil, Energy Japan

The APL has signed an agreement with JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation Japan for joint business collaboration in lubricants throughout Pakistan. APL is the 3rd largest oil marketing company and an associate of the only vertically integrated oil group in Pakistan - The Attock Group; having over 500 Retail Outlets and over 10% market share in Pakistan. On the other hand, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation is acknowledged as the leading Oil & Energy group in Japan having varied businesses and more than 12,000 service stations & 3,000 lubricants grades; comprising over 40 % market share in Japan. The Historic agreement between Attock petroleum Limited and JX Nippon Oil & Energy Japan will not only open numerous new business avenues in Pakistan, but would serve as a practical vehicle for knowledge transfer, development of advanced technology performance grades and increased competition in the industry.

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Petronas pledges supply of 1.5 million tons of LNG per annum

Malaysian Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) producer and supplier Petronas has assured Pakistan of supplying 1.5 million tons of LNG per annum, officials said. Senior Petroleum Ministry officials talking to Business Recorder Wednesday said the senior management of Petronas, during a recent visit of Pakistan, showed great interest in supplying 1.5 million tons LNG per annum to Pakistan. "Petronas after Qatargas is the largest LNG supplier and producer with operations across the globe. The company produces a total of 25 million tons of LNG per annum of which 13 million tons in Malaysia and 12 million tons in other countries including Australia and Canada," the official maintained. As a result of a serious gap between natural gas supply and demand the government of Pakistan has planned to take LNG imports to 2 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) by 2017 for which required infrastructure including LNG terminal is under construction. Pakistan''s first LNG terminal with a total capacity to handle 4.5 million tons of LNG per annum currently is under construction by Engro Pakistan at Port Qasim Karachi. It will be ready by the end of February as per contract but the Ministry of Petroleum has asked the company to complete it by mid January 2015. The official said that Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif are currently visiting Qatar to negotiate with Qatari government for LNG imports of up to 3 million tons per annum on government to government basis. He said "Qatargas which was demanding $18 per Million British Thermal Unit (mmbtu) in 2012 is likely to cut its demand to $14-16 per mmbtu, adding that LNG spot price had come down to as low as $10 per mmbtu." The government has formed LNG pricing committee to negotiate LNG price with Qatargas and currently terms and conditions of the agreement are being finalised while LNG price is expected to be finalised during the current visit of the Petroleum Minister and Chief Minister Punjab. The official said the USAID consultant has recommended sealing short-term LNG import deal for two to five year''s to benefit from a price cut in the global market. The consultant had also forecast the possibility of a further reduction in the LNG price in the global market to as low as $6 per MMBTU in coming years due to shale gas production by US and Australia. However, he said that Qatar wants to strike a long-term deal and maintained that the government was following a two-pronged policy: to import LNG on government to government basis and short term deal through spot purchases. "We should install power plants to operate on imported LNG during this period," he said adding that replacement of LNG fuel in power plants would result in cutting fuel cost by 17 per cent compared to furnace oil. He said that USAID consultant had also said that declining trend in LNG prices in world market would continue for coming five to six years. He said the government had also decided to provide LNG to most efficient power plants. "Gas companies would also lay a transmission line with 42 inch diameter to transport imported LNG from Karachi to Lahore," he said. He added that Engro was setting up LNG terminal and now offered that it could handle 600 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) LNG. "Gas companies would pick 400 mmcfd whereas Engro would sell 200 mmcfd directly to its own clients," he said, adding that SSGC had also floated tender for another terminal to handle 400 mmcfd LNG to overcome energy crisis in the country. He said that three other parties including JJVL and Turkish firm Global Energy were also working to set up LNG terminal at Karachi.

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