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Bharat Heavy Electrical offers to set up 2,000MW power plants

Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited made an offer to setup 500 to 2,000 megawatts power plants in Pakistan. Secretary Commerce Pakistan Munir Qureshi said that the stakeholders from both the sides will now sit together to explore the possibility.

While responding to a question regarding India’s earlier offer to sell 500MW electricity, Indian Commerce Secretary SR Rao said that for setting up a 500MW grid station at least one and half years was required. He added for immediate energy trade a technical group would review the possibility to exchange 220 KV transmission line in next six months.

India also showed its willingness to sell five mmcfd gas per day to Pakistan. It extended its cooperation in the areas of wind and solar energy.

Regionalism: Provinces support proposal to divert power from KESC

Balochistan and Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa (K-P) have voiced their support to a proposal put forward by Punjab, which seeks to cut power to the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) currently being supplied by the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC).

Punjab wishes to curtail 650 megawatts (MW) of power supplied to KESC in order to enhance its own provincial share of power supply.

Sources told The Express Tribune that Punjab once again reiterated the demand in a meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI)’s Committee on Equitable Distribution of Electricity, which was held on September 10.

“Balochistan and K-P endorsed the proposal, which called for power supplied by the NTDC to KESC to be curtailed and diverted to the national grid, in a bid to overcome the energy crisis,” one of the participants of the meeting said.

However, he said that the committee made no formal proposal in this regard, and that the observations of the provinces would be tabled before the CCI, which will decide whether KESC’s power supply should be curtailed or not.

Representatives of the three provinces were of the view that since KESC had been privatised, it was now its responsibility to generate power from its own plants to meet requirements of consumers in Karachi.

However, Sindh was of the view that a cut in power supply to the KESC would add to the misery of Karachiites, resulting in eight more hours of load-shedding. Representatives also said that the KESC had a legally-binding agreement with the NTDC, which guaranteed it 650MW of electricity supply until 2015.

Nevertheless, there was consensus in the meeting that the energy crisis was a national issue, and can only be resolved through the joint efforts of the federal and provincial governments.

During the meeting, the provinces agreed in-principle to a proposal to invest in large-scale hydroelectric power generation projects. An in-principle agreement was also reached on a proposal that said a percentage of the provincial development budget be allocated by provinces for hydel, alternative and coal power projects.

Provinces also informed the attendees that a police force will be deputed in distribution companies’ headquarters, in order to help in relevant matters and to file cases against power theft under the respective company’s jurisdiction.

The meeting was also informed regarding an arrangement with the KESC for priority utilisation of 300MW idle generation capacity at its power plants.

Attendees were also given briefings on possible management of distribution companies by provincial governments; enforcement of the draft Electricity Act, 2012; participation of provinces in Thar Coal development; the conversion of street lights to solar power; and the National Energy Conservation Bill.

Pakistan, India ink key accords in trade, power sectors

Pakistan and India have agreed to scale down Islamabad’s specific restrictive trade list by 30 percent for removing non tariff barriers, explored options to set up 2,000MW power plant by an Indian firm and selling 5 mmcfd gas per day to Pakistan.

India also offered to provide 100 locomotives to Pakistan during the two-day commerce secretary-level talks that concluded here on Friday. Both sides also signed three agreements on customs cooperation, certification issues and the resolution of trade grievances.

However, according to the joint declaration, India will reduce the list by 30 percent only after Pakistan notifies removal of all restrictions on trade by Wagah-Attari land route.

In a major breakthrough, significant progress has been achieved on key issues including trade through land route, connecting both the capitals via air, removal of non-trade barriers (NTBs) and cooperation in the telecommunication sector during the conclusion of seventh round of bilateral talks.

Both sides agreed that the next round would be held in New Delhi by April next year.The commerce secretaries of both countries also inked joint declaration for setting up roadmap for implementation of decisions taken during the two days parleys.

“The talks are progressing in accordance with our needs and programme, mainly manifested by gradual removal of bottlenecks,” Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim said, who was present for witnessing the signing ceremony on the three agreements.

Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited offered to set up 500 to 2,000MW power plants in Pakistan as per the country’s requirements and the stakeholders from both the sides will now sit together to explore its possibility.

Addressing a joint press conference on the occasion, Commerce Secretary Munir Qureshi said that India agreed to provide level playing field to Pakistani exporters by bringing down its sensitive list maintained under South Asia Free Trade Agreement (Safta) by 30 percent.

The decision to this effect, he said, would be implemented before end of this year, paving the way for giving Most Favoured Nation status to New Delhi. He stressed that India will exclude the restrictive items in consultation with Pakistan.

India has maintained a 614-item list under Safta and it will bring down the list to only 100 items by April next year. Pakistan has also maintained a sensitive list comprising 936 tariff lines, which will be brought down to 100 in next five years.

India Commerce Secretary SR Rao said, “India has been assured that by end of October Pakistan would significantly expand the list of the goods that could be traded through Wagah border”. Both the countries have also decided that Wagah route will remain operational for seven days a week as against six-day a week current operations.

Both the sides emphasised to further strengthen infrastructure on both sides of the border for better road access. Both the sides also agreed that a meeting of Joint Working Group will be held in end October in New Delhi to review the possibility of opening Munabhao-Khokhrapar land route.

While responding to a question regarding India’s earlier offer to sell 500MW electricity, SR Rao said for setting up a 500MW grid station at least one and half years were required. He said for immediate energy trade a technical group would review the possibility to exchange 220KV transmission line in next six months.

India also showed willingness to sell 5 mmcfd gas per day to Pakistan. It extended its cooperation in the areas of wind and solar energy.

India also made an offer to meet the requirements of Pakistan Railways up to 100 locomotives. The issue of availability of sufficient number of rakes for interchange was also highlighted by Pakistan. Islamabad also asked India to allow High Capacity Wagon, which carries three times more load than regular wagons.

Connecting both capitals via air is very important for normalisation of relations. A six-month timeline has been set up for opening up and connecting Islamabad-New Delhi route.For banking channels the banking regulators will exchange the list of the branches to be opened in respective countries in next two months.

Mangla Dam Raising to help contribute 120MW

The government is set to add another 120 megawatts of electricity to the national grid as the Mangla Dam Raising project is nearing completion. After raising of Mangla Dam by 30 feet, water conservation level will be raised from 1202 resulting in enhanced water storage capacity of the Dam by 2.9 million acre feet, according to an official of the ministry. After enhanced capacity, the facility will generate additional energy of about 120 MW per annum that is 12% increase in the present energy of 1000 MW. He said the main dam, spillway and its allied works have been completed since December 2009 while resettlement works are in progress and physical progress is almost 96.50 percent.

Early completion of water,power projects foremost priority of Wapda

Besides initiating new projects in water and hydropower sectors, completion of the under-construction projects in the shortest possible time is the foremost priority of the management of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), said chairman of Wapda, Syed Raghib Abbas Shah.

He was addressing the senior officers of Wapda at the Wapda house on Thursday.

During the address, the chairman said that on time completion of the projects is vital considering the increasing needs of water and electricity in the country.

He directed the project authorities to expedite their efforts in completing the projects, so that their benefits could be accrued to mitigate water and power shortfall.

“Wapda should come up to the expectations of the people, as it deals with the two most vital sectors of the country, water and hydropower,” said Shah.

KESC strongly rejects TIP’s charges, says they are baseless

Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) has categorically rejected the frivolous allegations made by the controversial NGO, Transparency International Pakistan (TIP), whose own credibility, the company says, is questioned by many.

KESC has said that the TIP has never bothered to confirm or take the power utility’s version over the charges that it always levels in its various so-called research reports and letters. Most of its stated allegations are in direct opposition to the actual facts and have no substance at all. It clearly shows that the TIP is driven by some ulterior motives at the behest of its masters or supporters.

KESC pointed out that the Pakistan Chapter of the TIP had been found involved in such kind of ill-informed, ignorant and mala fide studies and self-contradictory stories which not only make its own credibility doubtful but also force one to question its very purpose. Despite repeated answers and available facts on KESC’s website and published reports which have been verified through independent auditors and other entities, the TIP always chose to come up with the same old rejected charges against KESC, only to serve vested interests.

KESC stated that the contents of the TIP’s report/complaint were baseless, mala fide and false. KESC strongly rejected every single allegation leveled against it by TIP and said it reserved its right to take all the legal steps to safeguard its business and reputation at the expense of TIP.

KESC clarified that the NGO did not seem to be aware of the fact that the power utility had invested more than $1 billion during the last three years and had added over 1,000MW of electricity to its grid through additional power generation.

TIP is either completely ignorant of basic facts or deliberately ignores ground realities around Nepra’s working and tariff determination role, tariff structure of the KESC, fuel surcharge, tariff differential subsidy, fuel supply issues, power purchase agreements of KESC, load shedding regime being followed by KESC and various other visible accomplishments of the utility. Just to highlight TIP’s ignorance, the tariff differential subsidy passed on to the end users by the government, has been attributed to KESC, in order to create the false impression that the benefit is going to KESC.

TIP’s own reputation and credibility is not open from doubt, so KESC considers it important to inform the public at large that dubious allegations from the NGO are groundless and should be ignored.

Jabban powerhouse to be completed in 2013

Convener Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power Senator Nisar Khan has said the Jabban Powerhouse in Dargai would become functional in 2013.

Talking to reporters after visiting the powerhouse, he said the powerhouse in Malakand Agency was destroyed when it caught fire in 2006. He said it was generating 19.06 megawatt electricity before its destruction.

The senator said delay in the reconstruction work due to poor law and order situation in the area had caused loss of 687.21 million.“Had the project been completed in time, the residents would not have faced prolonged power outages,” he said, adding that the reconstruction work on the project was made possible after restoration of peace in the region.

969MW Neelam-Jhelum power project

Azad Jammu Kashmir minister for local government and Hydel Power generation, Chaudhry Yasin has said that the under- construction Neelam-Jhelum hydro power project will complete in 2016 and it will generate 969MW of electricity. Speaking to a ceremony here, he said that this mega hydel project will also generate a huge annual income of Rs450 billion for federal and Rs20 billion for AJK governments.

Senate body on S & T appreciates working of PCSIR

Successful demonstration of production of electricity from coal at Thar by Pakistan Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (PCSIR) may help overcome current energy shortage in the country. Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Science and technology Senator, Professor Sajid Mir said this while presiding over a meeting held here Thursday at PCSIR. He said PCSIR can play a pivotal role in meeting tenergy requirements in long and short term. While briefing the Committee, Chairman, PCSIR Dr.Shaukat Pervez said out of the large number of research publications (over 4000) that PCSIR produced during the period, 70 percent relates to the evaluation of local materials.

He said the data thus generated is the single most important contribution of the PCSIR, which no other organization in the country can claim.

The Chairman said the Scientists and Technologists of PCSIR developed 684 industrial processes and products and 350 numbers of patents, mostly based on the locally available raw materials.

He said a large number of formulated products are being imported at exorbitant rates resulting in the expenditure of costly foreign exchange by the textile, leather, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, household chemicals, food additives and consumer products industries in the form of emulsions, surfactants, resins, adhesives, plastic parts, perfumes, flavors and other chemical and non-chemical products.

Members of the Committee showed their concern that the organization was fully facilitating research projects but these research projects were not utilized on larger scale.

The Chairman said that their research was open for all and anyone can take advantage and apply these research projects on highest level.

Federal State Minister for Science and Technology Raheela Baloch was also present on the occasion.

Other members included Senator Adnan Khan,Senator Karim Ahmad,Senator Zaheer-ud-Din Babar,Senator Mrs.Almas Parveen,Senator Mrs.Naseema Ehsan and Senator Mustafa Kamal were present.

Members of the committee also visited National Physical and Standard Laboratory( NPSL).