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Commissions hurdle to cheap hydropower generation

A study by Wapda reveals that Pakistan has a total potential of producing 100,000MWs through hydropower, which is the most economical of all types of electricity generation but has been ignored for commissions and kickbacks involved in thermal and rental power systems.

A presentation prepared by the Wapda authorities authenticates that Pakistan’s hydropower potential that has already been identified is 59,208MWs whereas the tapped capacity is merely 6,516MWs, under process is 1,557MWs and under study is 35,000MWs.

The per unit electricity cost in case of public sector hydel power is merely Rs1.54 as against Rs12-31 per unit for RPPs, Rs11 per unit for wind power, Rs19 per unit for solar energy, Rs9.07 for private thermal power (IPPs), and Rs8.74 for public sector thermal companies (Gencos).

Such has been the emphasis on kickbacks and commission tempting thermal production systems (RPPs and IPPs) during the last two decades that hydel power share is decreasing with every passing day despite Pakistan having being one of the best countries in the world for hydel power.

According to the Wapda’sdata in 1995, the generation mix percentage of hydel and thermal power was 50% each but in 2000 the hydel generation share was reduced to 34% as against 66% of thermal generation. In 2005, the hydel power share saw a slight rise of 35% but in 2010 it dropped to an all time low of 32% as against the rise of thermal generation’s share to 68%.

If the hydel potential is explored instead of Pakistan’s continued emphasis on most expensive thermal power, Wapda expects that in 2025, the country’s hydel generation share may peak to 60% of the total power production. For this purpose, Wapda expects from the government to take a policy decision to improve the energy mix in favour of hydel and renewable generation for affordable power.

Wapda also wants from the government to give priority to the construction of hydropower and renewable energy products to avoid a power crisis. The authority also urges for the establishment of water reservoirs on an urgent basis.

About the 59,208MW hydropower potential identified, Wapda explained that it includes 38,608MWs on Indus River, 1,698MWs on tributaries of Indus in Gilgit-Baltistan, 4,028MWs on tributaries of Indus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,341MWs on Jhelum River, 1,455MWs on Kunhar River, 1,769MWs Neelum River and its tributaries, 462MWs on Poonch River, 2,297MWs on Swat River and its tributaries, 2,285MWs on Chitral River and its tributaries, and below 50MW projects of total 1,591MW on tributaries and 674MW on canals.

On glacial issues, Wapda estimates say that Karakoram glaciated area in Pakistan is 13,000 kilometres where the number of glaciers in Indus catchment areas is 5,000 kilometres. The average annual glacier melt from 1962-2005 is estimated at 40 MAF.

Quoting the World Bank report, Wapda said that eastern Himalayan glaciers may retreat for the next 50 years because of global warming causing an increase in the Indus River flows but afterwards river flow may decrease by 40% to 50%. However, as against eastern Himalayan glaciers’ possible retreat, the western Karakoram glaciers may grow.

About the remedial measures that are required to be adopted, Wapda urged for development of additional reservoirs and desalination of sea water. About the existing reservoirs, Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma, the Wapda study suggests that their live storage capacity has lost as against their original storage capacity by 15%, 10% and 64% respectively by 2012. By 2025, it is said that their capacity would further decrease to 20%, 13% and 84% respectively.

Two wind power projects acquire international financing

By M.Waqar Bhatti

Wind turbines installed at two farms of Sindh—with a generation capacity of 50 megawatts each—are expected to start delivering power from September this year after the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have agreed to provide funds for the projects in the Jhimpir and Gharo

“Fauji Foundation and Tapal Energy (Pvt) Limited have entered a financial deal of $133 million with ADB and IsDB for the development of two wind farms in Sindh, one each in Jhimpir and Gharo,” said Arif Alauddin, chief executive officer (CEO) of Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) on Thursday

Talking to The News, CEO Alauddin said that one of the two projects was a joint venture of the two companies while the other was the sole venture of Fauji

“After the financial deal is signed with the investors, their financial close is expected within next three to four weeks

By September 2012, we expect that installation of 2.1 MW wind turbines to commence

” The AEDB chief said that the organisation had planned to generate around 1500 MW of wind energy from the wind corridor in Sindh but due to bureaucratic hurdles in the acquisition of lands, their immediate target was reduced to 350 to 400 MWs of electricity in the coming years

“Development of alternate energy sources is the only way to overcome the present energy crisis as the new sources produce clean energy, whose tariff remains the same over the years and also starts declining after a certain period

” He said some 18 wind turbines of 1

5 MW had already been installed at the FFC Energy Limited’s wind warm, which was country’s first such project, and it was expected to generate energy on an experimental basis by mid July 2012

“One of the new projects of Tapal – Fauji Foundation joint venture is being developed at Gharo, which is a difficult place for wind energy projects but against our expectations, the wind farm development cost in Gharo is relatively less than that in Jhimpir,” he informed

Efficient, large and cost-effective wind turbines having generation capacity of 2

1 MW each would be installed at the newly developed farms, CEO Alauddin claimed, adding that in future, the turbines with maximum power generation capacities would also be introduced in the country

Replying to a question, he said that there were hurdles in acquiring more land as the provincial government was also interested in developing its own wind power projects in the area.

چین کی امریکہ کے خلاف عالمی تجارتی تنظیم سے شکایت

چین نے امریکہ کی جانب سے اپنی کمپنیوں کو تحفظ دینے لیے چینی مصنوعات پر محصول عائد کرنے  پر تجارت کی عالمی تنظیم  کے پاس شکایت کی ہے۔

اس تنازع کا تعلق 22 مصنوعات سے ہے جن میں فولاد  اور سولر سیلز بھی شامل ہیں ۔ چین کی جانب سے امریکہ میں ان کی برآمدی مقدار سوا سات ارب ڈالر سے زیادہ ہے۔

چین کاالزام ہے کہ امریکہ اپنی کمپنیوں کو مسابقت سے بچانے کی پالیسیوں پر عمل کررہاہے۔

اس دراخوست پر کارروائی کا آغاز کسی تصفیے تک پہنچنے کے لیے چین کی جانب سے امریکہ کے ساتھ صلاح مشورے سے کیا جائے گا۔لیکن اگر دونوں فریق کسی معاہدے پر نہ پہنچ سکے تو فیصلے کے لیے ثالث کے ذریعے کیا جائے گا۔

 جس کے تحت عالمی تجارتی ادارہ امریکہ سے یہ کہہ سکتا ہے کہ وہ ان اقدامات کو ختم کرے جن سے یہ ظاہر ہوتا ہے کہ ان سے  آزاد تجارتی معاہدوں کی خلاف ورزی ہورہی ہے یا وہ بیجنگ کو اس کے نقصان کا معاوضہ اداکرنے کا بھی کہہ سکتا ہے۔

KMC signs MoU with Turkish firm to improve solid waste management

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) the other day signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gunes Albayrak Turizm, a Turkish construction and waste management company, for provision of technical assistance for solid waste management system in Karachi.

The MoU was signed by KMC Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed and Chairman Board of Directors of Gunes Albayrak Turizm, during a ceremony held in Islamabad. The ceremony was also attended by the visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The MoU states that the Turkish firm will provide technical assistance to KMC in preparing a feasibility report with the objective of improving Karachi’s solid waste management system.

This feasibility study would also highlight the technical issues, including matters relating to institutional and systemic weaknesses, which need to be resolved for a more robust and effective solid waste management system for Karachi.

The feasibility will also discuss the financial viability and sustainability of waste management operations in the city.

The required legal documentation will prepared based on the findings of the feasibility report and the technical assistance rendered by the Turkish firm.

The Government of Sindh will facilitate and monitor the progress made under the MoU, whereas the KMC will facilitate the required sanctions, permissions and approval for the Turkish company for smooth implementation and completion of the project.

“The KMC, together with the five district municipal corporations of Karach have been engaged in handling and processing the almost 10, 000 tonnes of solid waste that is generated daily by the 18 million residents of Karachi,” said Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed while speaking on the occasion.

He noted that the KMC had made continued efforts in improving the solid waste management system, but that the size and complexity of the portfolio had led to multiple challenges. “The Government of Sindh and KMC have recognized the need for a clean environment, and are keen to upgrade the quality of municipal services being rendered for citizens of Karachi,” Syed said.

Syed noted that the signing of the MoU was aimed at making Karachi’s Solid waste management system “effective and hurdle-free.”

KPK govt seeks uncapping of net hydel profit

Khalid Mustafa

ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa (KPK) has asked the central government to uncap the Net Hydel Profit as the existing cap at Rs6 billion is not enough for the province.

Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, after his meeting with top financial managers of the country, told this to a select group of journalists here on Wednesday.

Hoti said that he has placed the demand before the Finance Minister Dr Hafeez A Shaikh; seeking the uncapping of the net hydel profit.

However, in the currant financial year, his government has yet received just Rs2 billion.

To a question, he said his government would come up with balanced and pro-masses budget on June 8.

When asked as to how much his government will increase the salaries of the government employees, Hoti said the decision to this effect would be taken after reviewing the financial health of the provincial government.

However, Hoti claimed that his government would try to accommodate the government employees at the maximum.

When asked if his government has demanded the allocation of Rs10 billion in the Public Sector Development Program for the projects to be initiated in hyber Pakhtunkhuwa, he agreed that his government has asked for it.

Furthermore, Hoti vowed to take up the said issue in the National Economic Council (NEC) that is to meet here today (Thursday) with Prime Minister in the chair.

The NEC would finalse the country’s development budget most probably at Rs825 billion with federal share of Rs350 billion.

Hoti informed that his government also asked the Centre to continue the existing tax relief package to hyber Pakhtunkhuwa in the next financial year as his province is experiencing financial miseries because of the adverse impact of the catastrophe flood that had badly hit the province in 201

Thar coal — Pakistan’s hope for energy self-sufficiency

Amjad Agha Recently it has been reported that the Planning Commission has decided to stop further financing of Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) Project at Thar, since no encouraging results are forthcoming. This UCG project is the brainchild of Dr Samar Mubarakmand, who has been working on it for the last couple of years. This news has been given lot of coverage by the media, and a wrong impression is being created as if the Planning Commission has rejected the Thar coal. It is surprising that so far the Planning Commission has not clarified their position. Obviously the objection pertains to underground gasification of the Thar coal and not the mining of the huge deposit of coal. Thar coal deposits are the largest resource discovered in the country, which can provide the much-needed solution for generating large amount of electricity for many many years at affordable price. The estimates indicate that 135 to 175 billion tonnes of lignite coal can be obtained from the deposit, which can produce thousands of megawatts of electricity for decades. Thar coal can be obtained by open cast mining similar to the method used all over the world. The UCG is a method of converting unworked coal – coal still in the ground – into a combustible gas, which can be used for power generation. The UCG is at present not extensively used commercially, but research is going on to make it commercially attractive. However, the open pit mining of coal is the normal method being used, and most of the coal is being obtained in this manner. The UCG method is still in the research stage and if found suitable for Thar coal, it will be useful and economical. Therefore, Dr Mubarakmand’s project may be curtailed but should not be stopped until it reaches final outcome. The open cast mining of Thar coal is the project, which the nation has been keenly awaiting, but for some unknown reasons the work on it has still not started. Couple of months ago an article ‘Thar Coal and Energy Security’ by Muhammad Younus Dagha was printed in Dawn newspaper. Dagha is the secretary coal and energy Sindh. In the article, he had stated that final arrangement have been completed by Global Mining Company of China for Block-1 and another by Sindh Engro Coal Mining for Block-II. The mining on these projects shall reportedly start by June. Are these dates still valid? The public is desperately waiting for any good news about electricity. The Planning Commission should immediately clarify their statement on Thar coal and inform the public about the real status on start of mining. In my recent paper ‘Electricity Crisis and Circular Debt’, it was explained that real cause of the electricity crisis in the country is due to faulty fuel mix as we are using the highly expensive furnace oil as the main fuel for generating electricity. The fuel cost to generate one Kwh (unit) of electricity through furnace is about Rs 17-18. This does not include the fixed charges for the plant, transmission and distribution costs and losses etc. Since the government cannot afford to buy the oil at this high price, therefore several thermal power plants are shut down or producing much below their capacity. A news item indicated recently that monthly requirement of furnace oil for power plants is 32,000 tonnes but only 10,000 tonnes of oil is being imported. Obviously the generation is accordingly low. The natural gas is another fuel which is being used but is in short supply and very little is available for generation of electricity. The country needs $5 billion for the import of oil, only one-third of the amount will be required if the fuel mix is changed from oil. Globally about 21,000Twh of electricity is consumed per year, 41 percent of this electricity is generated through coal. China generates 78 percent of its electricity through coal, India 68 percent, USA 48 percent but Pakistan only 0.1 percent. The world does not use oil for electricity, as less than five percent of the world electricity is generated through oil, but Pakistan is using oil for 40 percent of its electricity, which obviously it cannot afford. It’s time that we wake up to these realities, and concentrate on mining Thar coal and start generating electricity through this indigenous resource. Obtaining natural gas through fracturing of underground shale rocks is big news these days. The US is leading in this technology, and China is following very fast. Does Pakistan have any plans for expanding our natural gas production, again no information is passed on to the public. The writer is president of the Associated Consulting Engineers, former managing director of NESPAK, and former chief executive of Pakistan Hydro Consultants for the Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project.  

Nepra hikes power tariff by Rs2.38 per unit

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Tuesday dropped another inflation bomb on the poor masses by notifying a hike of Rs2.38 per unit under the head of the monthly fuel adjustment.

This is the second such rise in power prices in a row as the Ministry of Water and Power had earlier notified a 16 percent increase in the power tariff on May 16. With the latest raise in power tariff, electric power distribution companies will now be able to fleece an additional Rs26 billion from the poor consumers.

According to the notification of the electric power regulator, the power tariff for the month of February has increased by Rs0.59 per unit and for the month of March by Rs1.79 per unit. Consumers of electric power distribution companies will have to make an extra payment for electricity generated on the fuel in the months of February and March.

Under the notification, lifeline consumers of nine Discos consuming 50 units in a month and KESC will be exempted from the impact of the notified decision of the power regulator.Discos will charge additional raises in power tariff from the consumers against the fuel used during February to September and the fuel used during March to October this year.

The Central Power Purchase Agency (CPPA) sold electricity valued at Rs11.50 billion to Discos in the months of February and March.Member Nepra from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shaukat Kundi said in his additional note that the Northern and Central Jamshoro power generation companies had inflicted a huge loss of Rs25.87 billion on the national kitty during 2007-09 because of the wastage and theft of furnace oil used in the power houses to generate electricity. Kundi said Nepra has refused to pass the impact of Rs25.87 billion on to the consumers. However, the government, as the 100 percent owner of Gencos and Discos, is paying a huge subsidy to them from the national exchequer.

Nepra had asked the Gencos to reduce their inefficiencies, but they didn’t pay heed to the directives. Kundi has said the Gencos, despite the orders of Nepra, had not inked fuel purchase agreements.

China approves $448 million loan for Neelum-Jhelum project

Khalid Mustafa

ISLAMABAD: China’s EXIM bank has approved the much-awaited loan of $448 million for the strategic 969 megawatt Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project following which the construction work on the project is likely to get accelerated, officials said.

They said it would provide solace to the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project company as the project that was earlier feared to get delayed on account of cash flow constraints. Current slowdown in the pace of construction provided an edge to India, which is building Kishanganga project on the same Neelum River on its side of the Kashmir.

According to the Indus Water Treaty, the country that first completes its project on Neelum tributary will have priority rights on the water of Neelum River. Now with the approval of $448 million loan for the project, China has bailed out Pakistan and concerns over the slowdown in pace of completing the project have evaporated.

Officials said now the project will be completed on time in 2016 as $93 million high-tech tunnel boring machines have arrived on the site of the project which would help expedite the project may be even before the time schedule.

Dr Waqar Masood, secretary of the Economic Affairs Division, when contacted confirmed that China’s EXIM bank has approved the loan of $448 million for the project. “The loan is a commercial buyer credit in nature.”

“Now the government is in process of completing the required documentation to submit with the Chinese bank,” he said, adding that the loan will be disbursed in a span of more than one month.

“China has emerged as the largest development partner and creditor of Pakistan in the last three years and its loan portfolio has increased to whopping $3.3 billion.”

Govt should launch recovery drive for power generation firms

Business Forum of Punjab (BFP) President Ibrahim Qureshi has said that the government should launch a recovery drive from different departments in order to save the power generation companies from liquidity crunch, as the issue of circular debt would not be resolved even after the issuance of Rs82 billion term finance certificates (TFCs).

The government should disconnect electricity to the departments not paying electricity bills since years, he said, adding that the energy crisis would otherwise remain unresolved.

Qureshi also deplored that the government departments/autonomous entities and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which are defaulting month after month on clearing the electricity bills to the distribution companies.

He said the periodic efforts to overcome the circular debt problem through the issuance of TFCs, besides the release of meager amounts from the finance ministry to ensure sustainable fuel supply to power generation companies, are proven futile exercises. All these efforts have an impact for a very limited time period only, he added.

Turkish ministers meet Naveed, dicuss energy

The Turkish government on Monday expressed its interest in investing in the power sector in Pakistan and assured encouraging investors to resolve the energy issue faced by Pakistan. The official offer was made by Turkish Minister for Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz, during his meeting with Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar here.

Taner said the Turkish government was committed to working together with and helping Pakistan address the energy crisis. “Our investors are interested in (investing) in Hydro, wind and other renewable resources to develop this sector,” he added. He invited a ministerial delegation of Water and Power to visit Turkey and brief the investors through organising conferences and road shows. The Turkish government would facilitate and encourage the investors to invest in Pakistan, he added.

Naveed Qamar appreciated the Turkish minister for showing interest in investing in the power sector.

He said Pakistan was facing an energy crises and the government was taking all possible measures to overcome shortages. He stated that a number of companies were either working or have shown interest in wind power projects.