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WAPDA plans to generate 20,000 MW till 2022: Chairman

Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Syed Raghib Abbas Shah on Friday said that WAPDA plans to generate 20,000 megawatt (MW) electricity till 2022. The projects would also bring the prices of the electricity down to Rs. 3 per unit from Rs 14, he said while talking to Pakistan Television. He said that 13 new small hydro power projects including Sadpara, Jinnah and Gomal Zam would be completed till 2013.

These projects would generate 400 MW electricity to facilitate people, besides helping the agriculture sector.

He said that Bunjee hydro project would produce 7000 MW, while Diamer hydro project would generate 4000 MW electricity.

He said that USAID, Asian Development Bank and International Development Bank and the United States would provide financial assistance for the mega projects.

Replying to a question, Chairman WAPDA said that in the past regimes, functional activities of WAPDA were given to some other institutions.

He said that WAPDA was presently only concentrating on hydro power generation projects, while PEPCO, HUBCO and CPPA were working to improve other areas of energy sector, like thermal and furnace sectors.

Replying to another question, he said there were two main reasons for energy shortage – line-losses and power pilferage. PEPCO had the responsibility to check the losses.

To a question he said that WAPDA has made a plan to manage flood disaster strategy for minimizing the losses.

He said that foreign companies and consultants were working on different power projects and they have been provided full security.

The Chairman said that Chinese, German and Korean companies are working on hydro power projects in the country.

He said that Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on hydro projects would be signed between Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government and Korean companies soon. These projects will produce 1200 MW electricity, he added.

Around 500 villages to be illuminated with solar energy

More than 500 villages will be initially electrified though promotion of clean and renewable solar energy through photovoltaic process. Director General Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) Khalid Islam said this in his briefing at a inauguration ceremony of production of high quality solar panel at (PCRET). Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali who was the chief guest at the Inaugural ceremony of the solar panel production project, addressing on the occasion, said social and political struggle for economic development cannot be fully realized without active support and cooperation of research and development organizations.

He said leadership at all levels have to enhance and promote science and technology (S & T) in tangible shape.

“Incumbent government is fully aware of the need and necessity of development of S & T infrastructure, strengthening of the research and development institutions and raising the educational standards,” he added.

Additional Secretary Ministry of S & T Najeeb Khawar Awan said it is heartening to learn that PCRET has already taken some serious programs regarding the development and use of renewable energy technologies including solar energy, wind mills, bio gas and thermal solar devices.

“New energy policy of the government also envisages the harnessing of this new and clean source of energy to support conventional methods”.

The basic objective of this project is up gradation of silicon crystal growing and wafering, cell fabrication and lamination facilities. It will enhance the indigenous production of solar cells and modules up to 80 kW per anum along with promotion of clean and renewable solar energy through photovoltaic process.

Photovoltaic (PV) is a clean and environment friendly technology that converts the sun energy directly into electric power.DG PCRET said during last five years, the PV sector has seen a growth rate of about 50% per year.

There is now awakening realization in Pakistan about the importance of the use of PV, for providing electric power to the people living in far flung area to improve their socio-economic conditions.

OGDCL discovers 1.06 TCF new gas reservoir in Dera Bugti

Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) in collaboration with Zin Exploration, Government Holdings Pvt Ltd (GHPL) has discovered new gas reservoir of 1.06 tcf in district Dera Bugti of Balochistan province. This was informed by Managing Director OGDCL who called on Advisor to the Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain. Dr. Asim Hussain congratulated the OGDCL and GHPL, saying that the Government is providing substantial incentives to the oil and gas exploration companies.

He said successful roadshows were held in USA and UK to attract foreign oil and gas exploration companies. He emphasized on balancing the current energy mix of Pakistan, which is heavily dependent on Natural Gas. It is worth mentioning that the Zin SML-I well was drilled down to depth of 1050 meters targeting to test the potential of Sui Main Limestone formation. The target zone age has tested 8.05 MMSCFD gas through 128/64 choke.Advisor on Petroleum expressed confidence that this discovery will add to the hydrocarbon reserves base of the Joint Venture Partners, brining significant earnings for the country. MD OGDCL briefed Dr. Asim Hussain that preliminary assessment shows an estimated reserves in place of about 1.06 TCF, which would be confirmed by further appraisal wells. It is of low calorific value gas but with the right technology, can be enhanced to better quality gas.

Government praised for promoting green energy

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday lauded Government, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Fauji Fertiliser Company Energy Limited (FFCEL) for promoting green energy in Pakistan. All the stakeholders have played a very positive role in introduction of green energy in the country facing acute power shortages which has sent very positive signals, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. President Zardari’s resolve to fully exploit Gharo-Keti Bundar wind corridor to produce 50,000MW electricity is very positive at a time when shortage of electricity has become a major challenge for the economy, he said. Completion of Pakistan’s first ADB funded 50MW windmill project in Jhimpir is a great step in the right direction which will send positive signals across and prompt other investors, he added. Dr Murtaza Mughal said that the government’s encouraging gestures towards the implementing Company will go a long way in luring local and foreign investors which will benefit Pakistan. Around 106 Megawatt electricity would be included in the national grid through NTDC when the wind energy projects of FFCEL and Zorlu Energy would become operational which is a small additional having a great symbolic value, he opined. He said that Pakistani and foreign companies can develop more wind energy projects if they are encouraged by government and the Alternative Energy Development Board. Dr Murtaza Mughal said that Gharo-Keti Bundar wind corridor can become hub of wind power sector attracting billions of dollars of investment to produce power from free and clean energy source. The funding by ADB will not only improve energy situation, balance energy mix and reduce oil import bill but also attract heavy investments to reduce poverty by creating thousands of jobs. He demanded of the government to pay special attention to the sustainable energy resources through favourable policy and regulatory environment which will push the growth of renewable green energy in Pakistan. Grid access is not available to majority of people in Pakistan due to proximity who can be benefited from renewable green energy sources.

Solar energy generation is real solution to energy shortage

Solar energy generation is the real time solution to Pakistan’s growing energy scarcity problem whereby environment-friendly renewable energy can be produced in the shortest possible time, sources told Daily Times here on Tuesday.

“If renewable energy generation options are not adopted, the power shortage will become more acute – to 19,000 megawatts (MW) by 2020,” the sources maintained. In this regard the government is active in promotion of solar energy in the country. The Ministry of Science and Technology, Water and Power and Ministry of Climate Change and Higher Education Commission (HEC) through public and private universities are involved in promotion of solar energy and biogas so as to overcome the acute energy shortage in the country.

The steps taken by the Ministry of Science and Technology to produce and use of solar energy and biogas in the country during the several years and their results achieved are for the promotion of solar energy in the country, Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) an organisation of Ministry of Science and Technology has taken following steps during the period.

Installed Solar Photovoltaic Power Units of 62 KW capacity for electrification of mosques and remote area houses mostly in Balochistan and Sindh provinces for demonstration purpose to raise awareness among public.

Disseminated 215 solar cookers (Dish Type), 653 solar cooker (Box Type) of family size and 13 solar dryers (seven solar dryer of 50 kgs per day capacity) three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and four in Punjab, remaining are used in the country as a prototype.

The PCRET carried out research and development reverse engineering and developed various solar energy products indigenously such as high intensity low powered solar lights, solar desalination units, flat plate solar collectors for solar water heaters, solar dryers etc.

Established ‘Solar Test Lab’ for provision of services to test the solar thermal products, batteries and invertors etc for private and public sector organizations/ companies for quality assurance of solar energy products in the country, the sources maintained.

During the last several years the PCRET started mega project (at a cost of Rs 418.498 million) for production of solar photovoltaic panels up to 80 KW per annum. This project is near completion. The panels produced under this project will be installed mainly for remote village electrification.

Biogas: The PCRET has installed 1,705 domestic biogas plants on cost sharing basis, during the last several years for demonstration purpose.

Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) has developed small scale portable Biogas plants at PCSIR Laboratories complex Lahore and process for compression/filling of methane gas has also been developed.

Solar Energy Centre of the PCSIR at Hyderabad (now named as PCSIR Laboratories Hyderabad) had developed solar water desalination plants for coastal areas and solar dehydrators for fruit and vegetable dehydration especially for dates and chilies.

PCRET collaborated with various national, international and private organisations for imparting training, conducting seminars and workshops, exchange visits and other solar technology and biogas related activities for their promotion in the country.

Work on Tarbela-4 project to be kickstarted early next year

Secretary Ministry of Water and Power Nargis Sethi, along with senior officials, visited the Tarbela dam and other power generation units to assess the hydel generation situation and take note of the 1,400 MW Tarbela-4 project’s preparation work.

The secretary directed all the concerned officials at the Ministry, Water and Power Development Authority and project management of Tarbela-4 to take extra measures and utilise their energies to start work on the project by early next year.

“After the successful operation of energy conservation drive and power distribution management phases, time has come when medium and long-term measures are being taken to increase affordable hydel generation capacity of the country,” said Sethi, while talking to officials at the project site.

She emphasised that the authorities concerned with hydel generation should conduct a survey of other hydel projects and identify additional power generation prospects. “This would add additional megawatts to the national grid at an affordable cost,” she said.

She also directed the general manager of Tarbela to complete all type maintenance of the generation units during the low water season to increase their generation efficiency for the coming months. She also urged them to focus on using modern techniques for regulating water releases to produce maximum power with less wastage.

During the visit, Sethi was apprised about the current water flow, storage and power generation situation. She was told that the generation capacity has been maintained at a reasonable level to provide power to the national grid.

In view of the startup work on the Tarbela-4 project, it was said that it would commence by early next year as all formalities for its financing are in the final stage. It is being financed by the World Bank and it would be built by employing state-of-the-art excavators and high -tech machinery. There would be no additional displacement due to the project as it would be built at a site that has been redund­ant for more than two decades. Furthermore, it would also offer a large number of employment opportunities to the people of surrounding areas.

Flawed load-management plan to sink power sector

The ill-conceived power load-management plan, being executed by the Ministry of Water and Power for the last one month, by severing supply to a big chunk of industry, will result in reduction in revenue generation of the power distribution companies (DISCOs), add to the circular debt and increase line losses, said sources here Tuesday.

Under a new ploy to eliminate the menace of never-ending outages, the federal government diverted a major portion of scarce power resources to domestic category of consumers, cutting power supply to vital industry including export-oriented units. However, policymakers sitting in Islamabad apparently forget that industry is used to contribute significant share to revenue generation for power distribution companies while consuming comparatively less electricity. Their system losses are almost nil with about 100 percent recovery of billed amount, added the sources.

For instance, sources said industrial load in the areas of Lesco and Fesco that comprised of one of the hubs of industry in the country, very low if compared with total demand of electricity. On the other hand, these DISCOs get around 40 per cent of its revenue from industrial sector. Now with shutting down of most of these industrial units, these DISCOs are going to suffer big revenue losses, claimed sources.

The federal government will have to pay additional amount for subsidising high tariff of electricity as revenue collection from industry would be at its ebb.

Not only this, there are virtually no distribution losses in industrial clusters against high ratio of such losses in domestic and other categories of consumers.

At national level, a senior official of a department concerned said, it is estimated that additional Rs10-12 billion would be added to circular debt in a month for cutting supply of electricity to high-end consumer of industry alone. Industry’s share in national power load power is calculated at about 30 per cent of total, he added. On increasing tendency of distribution losses due to policy flaw, the senior official observed, as high as three per cent increase is feared in distribution losses due to diversion of electricity to network of domestic consumers.

Another recently retired senior official shared similar views while citing power figures of first quarter of 2012. He said it is feared that line losses would be increased by 50 per cent keeping in view latest trend in electricity consumption by various categories. In the first quarter of 2012-13, industrial sector on national level consumed 4,919 million units while line losses were 21 per cent.

President inaugurated the country’s first ever 50MW Wind Power Project

President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said that people’s problems are addressed in a democratic government, and with the support of the masses the country has to be made strong.

The president inaugurated the country’s first ever 50MW wind power project here on Monday and termed it an important milestone and landmark achievement in the country’s efforts towards finding environmental-friendly, indigenous and low-cost energy solutions.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the president said that with the commencement of the first ever wind power project, Pakistan has entered into a new era.

He termed the commencement as the first concrete step towards tapping the country’s vast renewable energy resources.

He congratulated the FFC Energy Ltd, Ministry of Water and Power, the Sindh governor, chief minister, Alternate Energy Development Board, federal and provincial agencies and all others who were associated with the setting up of the power project.

The president remarked that the Thatta region was bestowed with immense potential of wind energy. He said once Thatta was a hub of civilisation, a seat of learning and a centre of arts and crafts; however, it remained in oblivion for centuries, adding that now Thatta will soon become the wind power centre of Pakistan.

The president said that commencement of commercial operation of FFC Wind Farm was the beginning of exploiting the wind potential of Gharo-Keti Bandar Wind Corridor.

This is an area that has power generation potential of 50,000 MW, he added.

The president said that it was a matter of great satisfaction to learn that many more wind power projects were in pipeline and would commence commercial operations soon.

He said Pakistan was an energy deficient country and continued population and economic growth has placed great demands on energy.

He said reversal of previous energy policies, depleting oil and gas reserves and price hike has made the country vulnerable. “We cannot afford inaction as it was not an option,” he said.

He said: “We need to have similar successful projects in producing energy from waste, small hydro and sugar co-generation.”

He said that promotion of alternate modes of energy generation would not only reduce country’s dependence on costly fuel import but would also address many environmental issues caused by burning of fuel.

He also expressed satisfaction that Fauji Fertiliser would be adding 10 MW Solar project to this 50 MW Wind project.

The president expressed satisfaction that the government has proceeded in the right direction and with a strong will to succeed.

On this occasion, the president also recounted various measures undertaken by the government in the energy sector, which included addressing policy and technical issues, initiating supportive measures, developing infrastructure, offering lucrative incentives, collecting bankable data and creating enabling environment and investor confidence.

He said the government also took measures seeking support of international financial institutions and attracting top manufacturers of the world through a cooperative approach.

While, acknowledging the role of all the partners in efforts to overcome energy shortage, the president said, the government provided a level playing field to all investors, both local as well as foreigners.

He called upon the private entrepreneurs to take great advantage of the incentives being offered by the government.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the president also advised the Sindh government to set up an industrial zone in the area so that the business community could take advantage of uninterrupted and continued availability of power.

He said that the government would continue to facilitate the business community through one-window facility as to help them take maximum advantage of the available business opportunities.

MoU signed for hydropower projects

To harness water resources for electricity generation, two memoranda of understanding (MOU) have been signed by the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and Korean firms. The agreement involves developing two hydropower projects in a public private partnership with a cumulative power generation capacity of 1,161 MW. According to an announcement made here on Monday, this agreement emerged from President Zardari’s recent visit to Korea.

The first MoU was signed with Korea Midland Power Company (KOMIPO) for the 496 MW-Lower Spat Gah Hydropower Project and the second with K-Water/Daewoo consortium for the 665 MW-Lower Palas Valley Hydropower Project. The MoU was signed by Wapda Chairman Raghib Shah, KPK Shydo Managing Director Bahadur Shah, KOMIPO Chairman and CEO Choi Rak and K-Water representative in Pakistan, No Hyuk Park.

Korean Ambassador to Pakistan, Choong Joo Choi, was also present. Addressing the ceremony, he termed the signing of the MoU a milestone that would bring the two countries closer.

Shah said that the Korean firms, which were selected through international competitive biddings, will bring in with them an investment of more than two billion dollars for the construction of the two hydropower projects. This shows the confidence that international financial institutions have in Wapda for the implementation of projects in the water and hydropower sectors, he added.

Shah further said that the two projects will contribute more than 4.5 billion units of electricity to the National Grid annually. He said that they are part of the strategy for optimum utilisation of the water resources to help overcome electricity shortages and stabilise power tariff for the consumers. He said that Wapda is implementing more than 20 projects to generate roughly 20,000 MW of electricity and store 12 million acre feet of water.

Lower Spat Gah Hydropower Project is located on a left bank tributary of River Indus with its confluence some eight kilometers downstream of Dasu town in district Kohistan. Moreover, Lower Palas Valley Hydropower Project is located on another left bank tributary of River Indus with its confluence some 12 kilometers upstream of Patan town in Kohistan district.

ADB approves third tranche of $245m loan for power distribution companies

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan worth $245 million as third tranche for eight power distribution companies to improve distribution system in Pakistan, according to a statement on Monday.

According to ADB, the investment is part of the ongoing $810 million power distribution enhancement investment program agreed in 2008.

The multi-tranche financing facility targets investment in priority areas to reduce losses and increase the reliability of the distribution system, it said.

Through this facility, the ADB has already provided financial assistance for the upgradation of 250 grid stations (66kV and 132kV) across the country, of which work relating to 125 grid stations has been completed.

The third tranche approved on December 14 will increase the distribution capacity of 106 grid stations, including construction of 14 new grid stations, it said.

“Pakistan’s energy sector is suffering due to shortages in generation and system bottlenecks at distribution and transmission levels. The ADB has made available four multi-tranche financing facilities, amounting $2.9 billion to address these system constraints and will continue to assist Pakistan in the energy sector,” said Werner E Liepach, country director of ADB in Pakistan. The project will help distribution companies improve reliability and quality of power supply to customers. The outcome will be removal of power system bottlenecks through distribution system rehabilitation, augmentation, and expansion, according to the statement.

“Energy conservation and efficiency is the fastest and cheapest way to increase electricity supply. This project will not only reduce electricity losses during delivery to the customers but will also improve the quality of service,” said Rune Stroem, director for energy division of ADB. He encouraged the government to continue with more focused reforms in the sector.

Without effective reforms, the investment in the sector will lose its real impact, he said.

The project will add 1,881 megavolt-amperes (MVA) of transformer capacity and will improve the transmission system by adding 791 kilometres of new transmission lines and upgrading 399km of the existing 66kV and 132kV transmission lines.

“The investments are divided among all eight publicly-owned distribution companies, totaling 106 subprojects. The first tranche is already completed and has shown satisfactory results. The second tranche is also on the track. The newly approved tranche is expected to further improve the distribution system,” said Adnan Tareen, senior project officer at the ADB Pakistan Resident Mission.