Most South Asian states, including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal are facing severe energy deficits in recent years, which are going to further deepen in the next five to eight years till 2020.
There has been growing recognition of the fact that regional integration in energy trade is among the viable options to find a solution to end the load shedding that is negatively impacting growth as well as human beings, especially in seasons when the temperatures are severe.
Pakistan is making plans to import 500 megawatt (MW) electricity from India. The World Bank has been asked to prepare a feasibility study to give shape to the project to make it a reality.
The World Bank (WB) arranged a workshop for journalists titled “Regional Cooperation in South Asia” in Nepal from June 12 to 14. During this workshop, a special visit of an electricity transmission station was arranged, where electricity was linked between India and Nepal. During this visit, it was stated that Nepal had been importing electricity from India since 1965 and the average tariff for electricity from India was around Nepali rupee Rs 6.50 per unit. This was not bringing any relief to consumers as the electricity was imported in bulk and then added to the system.
On the issue of load shedding, it was stated that this transmission station was fully aware of the areas which faced load shedding through installed computers. So, too, in the case of Pakistan, it could easily be monitored in terms of load management.
However, experts of the energy sector, both in the South Asian states as well as in the multilateral donors’ agencies, believe that the dream of achieving integration in the energy sector by ensuring connectivity through grid stations could not be achieved without New Delhi’s initiative to come out from its restrictive regime in the import of electricity.
Currently, electricity is classified as a “restrictive item,” in accordance with India’s import policy as it requires a certification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce and the Power sector, which indicates clearly that effectively New Delhi has imposed a ban on importing electricity from all SAARC states for practical purposes.
Without India’s participation, no country in South Asia could interconnect its electricity with other countries; hence New Delhi would have to relax its restricted regime if the dream of regional integration is to materialize in the next few years.
At the moment, India, Bhutan is trading electricity, in which India is the net importer, while in the case of Nepal, India, Katmandu is the net importer.
The data shows that the energy deficit would be doubled in the next 10 years till 2020 in the SAARC region as projected demand would go up to 2,920,693 Gig watt hour (GWh) per year, till 2010 compared to 1,273,668 GWh per year demand in 2010 in all the SAARC region. The demand in Bangladesh would go up to 71990 GWh, Bhutan 3703 GWh, India 2,550, 000 GWh, Maldives 2447 GWh, Pakistan 26, 1523 GWh, Nepal 8990 GWh and Sri Lanka 22040 GWh till 2020.
The peak demand in the South Asian countries is projected to increase manifold in the next eight years as in the case of Pakistan it would go up to 46,000 Megawatt (MW), India 280,000 MW, Bangladesh 14,000 MW, Nepal 5000 MW in case of high growth, and Sri Lanka 5000 MW till 2020.
Most SAARC member states are facing a severe peak and energy deficit, which would further deepen and in case of an aggravated situation, it would have a serious impact on economic growth and ultimately poverty.
There are enough reserves in the region which, if harnessed, should solve the regional problem. Hence there was no option but for SAARC member states to join hands to interconnect their grids, trade electricity and harness their reserves for their own and common benefit.
In the historical perspective of ensuring energy trade, the fifteenth SAARC Summit held in Colombo 2-3 August 2008, stressed the need to develop regional hydro-potential, grid connectivity and gas pipelines. The possibility of evolving an appropriate regional intergovernmental framework was also noted. The third meeting of the SAARC Energy ministers in Colombo in January 2009 decided to form Expert Groups for different commodities and services.
The fifth meeting of the SWGE (Thimpu 29-30 April 2009) recommended the carrying out of a review/study on the prevailing laws and regulatory framework by the SAARC Energy Center (SEC) with financial assistance from SAARC-Japan Special Fund(SJSF).
The first meeting of the “Taskforce to evolve a common template on the technical and commercial aspects of the electricity grid interconnections among SMS” was held on Dec 4, 2008 whereby three sets of questionnaires were circulated amongst the SMS.
The second meeting of the Task Force was held on the 25-26th June 2009 in Shimla (India), where the deadline for the responses was given as the end of Sept 2009. The responses received by the due date were appended as Common Template. Appended responses were presented as Draft Common Template in the SAARC Working Group on the Energy meeting in Goa in December 2009.
The Roadmap for Development of the “SAARC Market for Electricity (SAME)” had been prepared and discussed in the Second Expert Group meeting in Udaipur in January 19 and 20, 2011.
A study has been initiated by the ADB, with its technical assistance, to establish a Regional Power Exchange in South Asia.
The possible roadmap includes first interconnections at the bilateral level, energy transactions at the bilateral level, to practice bilateral trading, many bilateral interconnections will facilitate multilateral transactions, development of exchange, market rules and regulatory framework for regional, multiple trading.
Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Saturday directed the Ministry of Petroleum to ensure supply of 28,000 tonnes of fuel oil daily to the power sector to add 1,200 MW to the national grid.
Raja issued these directions while presiding over an energy meeting held at the PM House just a few hours after he was sworn in as the prime minister. It was also decided to provide 15mmcfd to GTPS, Faisalabad which would add another 65 MW to the national grid leading to the easing of pressure. The meeting also discussed providing 100 mmcfd additional supply of gas to the Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation to produce 300 MW which could help KESC in reducing their off take from the national grid of an equal quantity of power making it available for helping in improving the overall supply of electricity.
The gas is proposed to be made available to the power sector by suspending its supply of one day more to the industrial and the captive power sectors in Punjab sparing the 66 mmcfd of gas for use in the most efficient power plants to produce electricity. Similarly, 150mmcfd gas is proposed to be saved from the province of Sindh by cutting its supply one day more from the industrial and the CNG sectors which will be used by KESC for power generation.
In the meeting, it was also decided to constitute two committees consisting of Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain and Minister for Kashmir Affairs Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo to hold negotiations with the representatives of the Punjab industry and the CNG sector to convince them to agree to one further day of a cut in the gas supply to the sectors in view of the acute requirement of gas in the power sector.
The other committee consisting of Minister for Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah and Minister for Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain, to hold talks with Governor of Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad and the chief minister Sindh to hold talks with the stakeholders for a reduction in gas supply.
A total of 5.5 percent of total electricity consumption of Pakistan could be saved every year through a transition to efficient lighting, resulting in annual countrywide savings of over US$ 408 million, revealed the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today at Rio+20.
This is among the main findings of 150 national assessments and a new global policy map on efficient lighting, released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners at Rio+20 on June 21.
The assessments were produced in conjunction with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and cover 150 countries. The assessments are released on the website of the ‘en.lighten’ Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Programme of the UNEP.
Pakistan, according to assessments, would benefit on many front by this transition. “It could save 35.3 percent of total electricity consumption in Pakistan and would decrease annually 2.0 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission, which is equivalent to taking out 0.5 million cars off the road, while 3.7 kg of mercury emissions can be avoided”, show the assessments.
The new assessments elaborate that India, by this transition, could cut its lighting electricity consumption by over 35 percent, which is equivalent to avoiding the construction of eleven large coal-fired power plants and taking over 10 million cars off the road, while it could save the US$2 billion annually.
The UNEP earlier told the media that a total of five percent of global electricity consumption could be saved every year through a transition to efficient lighting, resulting in annual worldwide savings of over US$ 110 billion.
The yearly savings in electricity of the phase-out would be equivalent to closing over 250 large coal-fired power plants, resulting in avoided investment costs of approximately US$ 210 billion. Additionally, the 490 megatonnes (Mt) of CO2 savings per year is equivalent to the emissions of more than 122 million mid-sized cars.
A group of 14 pilot countries will benefit from such opportunities as part of a Global Efficient Lighting Partnerships Programme – coordinated by the UNEP and partners – that will get underway next month. According to details, countries will receive support to develop national phase-out plans, for inefficient lamps, from experts provided by the ‘en.lighten’ initiative: a public-private partnership led by UNEP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in collaboration with Philips Lighting, Osram AG, and the National Lighting Test Centre of China.
“One of the most cost-effective ways to contribute to the reduction of global carbon emissions is the phase-out of inefficient lighting technologies,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director.
“An increasing numbers of countries are now achieving major financial savings, generating green jobs, and seeing reductions in mercury, sulphur dioxide, and other pollutants from power stations, through a switch to efficient lighting. As the Rio+20 negotiations continue, these new findings from the en.lighten initiative demonstrate that ambitious policies and partnerships must be seized if the social, economic, and environmental benefits of a transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient green economy are to be realized.”
Constantin Birnstiel, Chief Sustainability Officer, Osram AG told the media that lighting accounted for around 20 percent of global electricity consumption. “Therefore, energy-efficient products are a key to a sustainable and green future. Green is lean,” he said.
To date, almost 50 developing and emerging countries supported by ‘en.lighten’ have committed to phasing out incandescent lamps by 2016. Pakistan is not part of the initiative yet.
Chief Secretary Sindh Raja Muhammad Abbas Friday presided over a meeting to review the project of installing 500 solar-power tube wells for draining out saline water and developing the agriculture sector in the province. Of these, 250 tube wells would be installed under Left Bank Outfall Drain and 250 under SCARP project. These tube wells would also supply water to the Thar Coal Field.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has allocated Rs5.13 billion for five hydropower generation projects to inject around 200 megawatts electricity into the national grid.
An official of the provincial government, while referring to the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the 2012-13 fiscal programme, stated that the provincial government as part of its Action Plan worked out in 2010 had set aside Rs 5.13 billion for the five projects to boost hydropower generation in the province.
He revealed that at the moment, the Sarhad Hydel Development Organisation (SHYDO) was operating four other Hydropower Stations in the Malakand, Swabi and Chitral districts with total installed capacity of 105 MW.
The official said that the government of Pakistan had signed a loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the development of Hydropower Potential in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the total revised cost of which was Rs.6026.41 million. Under the project, the SHYDO would construct two new projects with a total installed capacity of 20 MW. These projects were under various stages of implementation and would be completed during the next three years.
In addition, the Daral Khwar hydropower project, with the capacity of 36 MW, and an estimated cost of Rs. 6958.42 million would be funded through the Hydel Development Fund and the ADP (90:10 ratio), he reported and added that it had been inaugurated in April and would be completed in three years. The project would generate annual revenue of Rs. 1 billion for the province.
The official stated that as a whole, the province had the potential for over 45000 MW in 26 scattered locations in Lower Chitral, Indus Kohistan, Swat Valley, Indus Swat, Mansehra West, Kaghan Valley and Dir, Upper Chitral.
Under the ADB loan, the SHYDO had also conducted feasibility studies of the Koto, Karora New and Matiltan hydropower projects with an estimated installed capacity of 48 MW and that the construction work on these projects would start during the next financial year. It would be completed in the next five years.
The PC-1’s for these sites have been cleared by the PDWP and the consultants would soon be appointed during the current financial year.
He said that the Koto hydropower project was located in Dir Lower with a capacity of 31 MW, Karora New HPP was located in Shangla and it would generate around 10mw electricity while the Jabori HPP site was in Mansehra and after completion it would produce 7mw. Located in Swat, the Matiltan hydropower project would have the capacity of 84 MW, while the fifth hydropower project he wanted to launch during the next fiscal year was the Lawi HPP, located in Chitral, which had an installed capacity of the 69 MW.
The official said that on the request of the provincial government, the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) had handed over the feasibility study of the Lawi, which has been included in the ADP 2011-12 and now in the ADP 2012-13. The PC-I for the construction of the project had been submitted to the ECNEC for approval and work on Lawi HPP would be started in July this year.
The land acquisition process for the project was in progress, he added.
The provincial government had already allocated Rs 5.13 billion in the ADP, which would be completed in the next three to five years.
The abovementioned projects, once completed, would generate around 200 MW that would help ease the power crisis to an extent, the Finance Minister Engineer Muhammad Humayun Khan told this scribe, adding that pulling the country out of the power crisis was the topmost priority of the government.
Pakistan is the only regional country where power generation has declined in the last five years, as disclosed by the BP Statistical Review 2012.
According to the report, Pakistan generated only 89.1 terawatt hours of electricity in 2011 against 98.2 terawatt hours in 2007. On the other hand, electricity generation in Bangladesh increased from 31.3 terawatt hours in 2007 to 42.7 terawatt hours in 2011, in China from 3,281.6 terawatt hours to 4,700.1 terawatt hours and in India from 797.8 terawatt hours to 1,006.2 terawatt hours under the same period. Since 2007, India added over 300 terawatt hours, Indonesia 40 terawatt hours and Malaysia 12.5 terawatt hours of electricity, while Pakistan reduced its generation by 9.1 terawatt hours from 2008 to 2011.
“This report should be an eye opener for our planners,” said Mohsin Syed, an energy sector expert. He said that the incumbent government claims that it has added 3,000 MW of electricity in the past four years, but the generation has actually declined, as is evident from long spells of load shedding. In view of alternative energy sources, the report said that Pakistan has not fully utilised its wind energy potential, whereas wind power generation stood at 1,600 MW in India and 62,412 MW in China in 2011.
The report further unveils that Pakistan does not produce biofuel energy, while China produced 1,149 thousand tons of oil equivalent biofuel in 2011 and India produced 286 thousand tons of oil equivalent biofuel in the same period.
Since 2007, hydropower generation has remained stagnant in Pakistan, as compared to other countries such as India and China. Pakistan generated 31.6 terawatt hours of hydropower in 2007, which declined to 30.6 terawatt hours in 2011 due to reduced water inflows. On the other hand, India generated 122 terawatt hours of hydropower in 2007, which increased to 131.6 terawatt hours in 2011. China increased its hydropower generation from 485 terawatt hours in 2007 to 685 terawatt hours in 2011.
By the end of 2011, gas reserves in Pakistan stood at 2,070 million tons, depicting a nominal increase of 0.2 percent over the previous year. In contrast, China increased its gas reserves by 13 percent to 11,4500 million tons and India increased it by 7 percent to 60,600 million tons by the end of 2011.
With regard to different energy fuels, prices of coal rose from $88 to $121.54 per ton and crude oil from $72.39 to $111.26 per barrel in 2011. Meanwhile, the LNG price averaged 7.73 per million BTU in 2007 and $14.73 per million BTU in 2011.
Primary energy consumption in Pakistan stood at 65.1 million tons of oil equivalent that increased moderately to 67.6 million tons of oil equivalent in 2011. In China, it increased from 1,951 million tons of oil equivalent in 2007 to 2,613 million tons of oil equivalent in 2011 and in India from 415.5 million tons of oil equivalent to 559.1 million tons of oil equivalent under the same period.
The World Bank has agreed to provide financial assistance for 4,320MW Dasu hydropower project, following the signing of an agreement with the government of Pakistan to provide $840 million for 1,410MW Tarbela 4th extension project, a statement said on Thursday.
It has also been agreed that the project will be constructed in phases after the initiation and finalisation plan of the 4,500MW Diamer-Bhasha dam project, it said.
Shakil Durrani, chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) stated this, while presiding over a meeting at the WAPDA House to discuss the report submitted by the international panel of experts, it said.
The chairman said that the international financial institutions were taken keen interest in providing funds for WAPDA projects due to excellent economic internal rate of returns (EIRR) of these schemes.
Dasu hydropower project is a part of least-cost energy generation plan, being executed by WAPDA to harness indigenous hydropower resource of the country with a view to improve the ratio of hydel electricity in the national grid.
The project is proposed to be constructed on the River Indus, 7km upstream of Dasu village and 74km downstream of Diamer-Bhasha dam project, the statement said, adding that the site of the project is situated at Karakoram Highway, about 350km away from Islamabad.
WAPDA’s priority is to construct Diamer-Bhasha dam for which land acquisition had already started and 13 contracts for offices, colonies and roads have been awarded. Dasu hydropower project would follow the initiation of Diamer-Bhasha dam project, it said.
Detailed engineering design, PC-I and tender documents of the project are likely to be completed in early 2013. Afterwards, the construction work on the project will commence, it said.
The World Bank is providing funds for preparation of detailed engineering design. On completion, the project will generate 21.3 billion units of electricity per annum, the statement said, adding that the completion of the project will also have a positive impact on the existing hydel power stations, including Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha and Chashma.
Amid violent protests against the crippling power outages the government, on the on the advice of Ch Ahmad Mukhtar, is contemplating a greater role for Wapda chairman Shakeel Durrani in efforts to overcome the electricity crisis.
According to sources privy to the development, electricity generation companies (Gencos), NTDC (National Transmission Dispatch System) and CPPA (Central Power Purchase Agency) would be directly brought under the control of Wapda chairman and to this effect a notification is expected soon.
These sources, however, are not sure whether it will be a step forward towards unification of Wapda, which had earlier been divided into three Gencos, NTDC, CPPA and nine Discos. The Wapda spokesman also confirmed that Shakeel Durrani has been given the task to monitor the power situation and supervise the electricity load management to contain the crisis. He said the distribution companies had also been directed to report to Wapda chairman on load management.
The copy of the order says that Mr Shakeel Durrani should also locate himself in NPCC (national power control cell) to monitor the power situation and dispatch of electricity to the distribution companies.
The spokesman, however, offered no comments when asked if Wapda chairman has been made in-charge of Gencos, NTDC and CPPA but sources claim he might be given the charge of these entities on a temporary basis.
All the three Gencos, NTDC, CPPA and nine Discos are being supervised under the umbrella of Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco). Since the unbundling of Wapda, the power crisis has aggravated.
Ch Ahmad Mukhtar during his visit to Lahore had suspended the Pepco chief for his inability to overcome the power crisis. The challenges for Mr Durrani include: i) improvement in cash flows to ensure sustained supply of reasonable quantity of furnace oil, RFO and HSD to run the thermal power plants; ii) arrangement of 207 mmcfd additional gas to get additional 1100 MW of electricity and iii) strict vigilance over 6-hour supply of electricity to the industrial sector from the quota meant for domestic sector.
The News has already reported how officials of various electric power distribution companies (Discos) have been found involved in providing uninterrupted electricity to some units of influential industrialists by subjecting domestic consumers to prolonged and unscheduled loadshedding.
The government under the load management plan is extending 6-10 hours power outages to urban domestic sector, 14-hour load shedding in the rural areas and 6 hours to the industrial sector.
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