Air Products has been awarded a contract with the University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES) in India, to build the country’s first solar powered renewable hydrogen fuelling station. The station is scheduled to be onstream in July 2013.
Air Products’ hydrogen fuelling technology and infrastructure will be part of a mass public transit bus fuelling and vehicle demonstration programme administered by UPES. The station, which will generate hydrogen using solar energy via an electrolyser, will be located at the Solar Energy Centre in Gwalpahari, near Delhi.
‘The hydrogen generated at this station will be 100 percent renewable, and illustrates both India’s commitment to developing greener alternative energy sources and Air Products’ hydrogen fuelling capabilities,’ says Nigel Gibson, Managing Director of Air Products India. ‘The UPES project will act as a springboard for many more opportunities in the automotive and telecommunication sectors in India.’
UPES is executing this project in collaboration with IndianOil, and it is entirely funded by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), which operates the Solar Energy Centre.
‘Although this is a demonstration project, this will be a major stepping stone for India to move towards the hydrogen economy,’ says Dr Niranjan Raje, former Director of Indian Oil and the Principle Investigator for this project.
The company has been involved in over 150 hydrogen fuelling projects in the US and 19 other countries, providing refuelling for cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, cell towers, material handling equipment, and even submarines.
The project is the first utility-scale solar power installation in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and will deliver 10 per cent of electricity capacity in Mauritania.
Masdar has announced the development of a 15-megawatt solar power project in Nouakchott, the capital city of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. The project will provide for the annual demand growth in the country, estimated to be at a rate of 12 per cent in 2012. It will also supply much needed power to Mauritania, which currently faces severe energy shortages.
The country has a low electrification rate of 60 per cent and an an installed grid capacity of just 144 megawatts, supplied mostly by diesel generators. However, the country also has significant untapped renewable energy potential in the form of both solar and wind. In fact, the country’s wind energy potential is almost four times its annual energy demand.
“Mauritania has some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, making it an ideal place for solar power installations,” said Mauritania’s Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Mines H.E. Taleb Ould Abdivall. “We are pleased to be working with such esteemed partners on this important project and remain committed to harnessing our abundant renewable energy resources. Masdar has gained tremendous experience in the renewable energy sector through its projects worldwide and we look forward to future opportunities for cooperation.”
The project is being built next to the university in Nouakchott, currently under construction, and will serve as a learning laboratory for solar energy development in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
Along with renewable energy projects in Tonga and Afghanistan, the Mauritania project is part of Masdar’s commitment to the United Nations’ Year of Sustainable Energy for All – a global initiative announced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which aims to ensure universal access to modern energy services, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Once construction on the project is complete, the Nouakchott solar power plant will be owned and operated by Société Mauritanienne de l’électricité (SOMELEC), the government-owned electric utility in Mauritania.
DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar have announced that the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the 630MW London Array located in the Thames Estuary, has produced its first power.
The development has been under construction since March 2011 and 152 of the 175 turbines have now been installed, with construction on schedule to be finished by the end of the year. The turbines will produce enough power to supply over 470,000 UK homes with electricity, according to the project partners – DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar.
“With its 630 MW the London Array project will be the first of the next generation of larger offshore wind farms and we are pleased to have reached first power” said Benj Sykes, Wind UK Country Manager at DONG Energy. “Being able to efficiently develop large offshore wind farms and harvest the scale advantages in both construction and operation is an important element in our continuous efforts to bring down costs of energy of offshore wind.”
London Array is being built around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex. The wind farm will be installed on a 245km2 site and will be built in two phases. Phase One will cover 90km2and include 175 turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW. The consortium plans to complete the first phase by the end of 2012. If approved, the second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total to 870MW.
“This is not only a very important milestone for the London Array development but also a major landmark for the global renewables sector” said Dr. Tony Cocker, CEO of E.ON UK. “We firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us to deliver energy in a way that is sustainable, affordable and secure and this is why we are aiming to reduce the costs of offshore wind by 40% by 2015.”
Masdar entered into the London Array scheme when it purchased 40% of E.ON’s half share of the London Array scheme, giving the company a 20% stake in the project overall. The London Array investment is part of Masdar’s global alternative energy strategy which includes solar, wind and other renewable technologies.
TSML Engineering, a division of Tuwairqi Steel Mills, which operates under the renowned Saudi Group, Al-Tuwairqi Holdings (ATH), has signed a sole distributorship contract with SolarWorld, AG, according to a statement on Saturday.
“This contract makes TSMLE an exclusive distributor of SolarWorld’s Photovoltaic Modules in Pakistan,” it said. In the presence of Horst Roeslor, consultant to the board, Pakistan German Business Forum and Hans Juergen Paschke, consul and deputy head of mission, Consulate General of Germany, the contract was signed by Asad Malik and Kai Klingenhagen. Zaigham Adil Rizvi, director (Projects) of TSML was also present on the occasion.
SolarWorld AG is one of the biggest manufacturers of solar modules and solar power systems worldwide and contributes to a cleaner energy supply across the world.
The company employs approximately 3,000 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, US. SolarWorld Asia Pacific, based in Singapore, is the regional office of the SolarWorld group for Pakistan, it added.
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have strongly protested suspension of electricity in Punjab with the APTMA threatens to take workers to streets if power situation is not restored within a week, according to a statement on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference after an emergent general body meeting of APTMA, Shahzad Ali Khan, chairman of APTMA Punjab Chapter, said that he was shocked by the abrupt and threatening power shut down by the Lahore Electric Supply Company on Friday that continued today, as well.
The Lahore region was already facing gas suspension for three days and the power cut brought the entire industrial sector to a halt.
“We tolerated six hours power outages in Punjab since May because there is genuine power shortage as against the supply of 15,000MW the demand was over 17,000MW,” he said, adding that with dependable power production capacity of 14,000MW, Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) is producing only 11,000MW.
“This is not tolerable,” he said, and threatened to take extreme measures if power supply is not restored within a week.
Khan said till now the industry has retained the workforce, despite closures due to electricity outages. “We are not in a position to continue paying our workers, while our industries remain closed,” he said, and warned that it would be nightmare for the federal government if 1.5 million workers agitated on the streets.
“The situation would be worse than what the government is facing in Karachi,” he said, adding that the textile workers in the age group of 18-25 years and drawing Rs9,000 per month would go out of control if they are deprived of even this meager income. The APTMA central chairman wondered as to why the Punjab industries are being targeted.
Gohar Ejaz, group leader of APTMA, said that the power crisis is due to the incompetence of the ministry of water and power. “There is gas shortage, as well in Punjab but Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has taken the industry into confidence and provided gas in the best possible way, keeping the interests of all consumers in mind,” he added.
Farooq Iftikhar, president of the LCCI, feared a surge in unemployment graph and crime rate in case of complete closure of steel mills that employ millions of workers.
The business community is foreseeing some betterment in the electricity supply after the assurance of the secretary water and power during her visit to Lahore a few days back but unfortunately the electricity situation has further aggravated. No schedule of restoration of power has been spelled out by Lesco, he said.
Iftikhar said that at a time when furnaces and re-rolling mills have already laid off workers and are operating with the skeleton staff because of non-supply of gas, the sudden suspension of electricity has sent a wave of shock to the workers and owners alike.
“How would the government be able to control crimes when a large number of people would be without jobs due to thoughtless decisions,” he wondered.
He said that it would have been wiser on the part of the government, if it had devised some foolproof strategy to stop power and gas pilferages that is one of the major causes of the shortage of these utilities.
Speakers at the Jang Forum have unanimously attributed inappropriate policies of the present and past governments as the prime reason behind the gas and energy shortages in the country.
Haroon Rashid, vice president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), said that the industry, which is the main employment generator, is the worst hit by gas shortage, particularly the fertiliser industry.
He categorically said that transport must be the least priority for gas allocation, as they have alternative fuels available.
Rashid said that the regulators have been pursuing corrupt practices, resulting in mushroom growth of compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations and now there is no gas for them.
Zahid Hussain, former managing director of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), said that the cumulative unaccounted for gas (UFG) of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) accounted for 20 percent as against the international standard of four percent.
“The UFG is out of control and always increasing. If it is contained to eight percent of both networks, the requirement of the CNG sector could be met easily,” he said.
Hussain said that the CNG sector has invested a huge amount of money and they should not be targeted, adding that the government should look for alternative gas supply resources, including imports.
Samir Gulzar, chairman of All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) Sindh, said that it is no more feasible for them to carry on their business after the decision of the Supreme Court reducing CNG prices by Rs30 per kilogram.
He said that in addition to the announced gas outages, the gas utility did not provide enough pressure due to which the processing time of their compressors has increased and they are unable to serve more vehicles.
Gulzar said that they have suggested the authorities and the regulator to process the “flare gas”, ie, high sulfur and moist gas and provide it to the CNG sector. He said that 75mmcfd of flare gas is being burnt every day.
They have also suggested to process and transport in containers gas from dormant wells but their suggestions were rejected, he said.
Gulzar was highly critical of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), which, according to him, is killing gas in its inefficient plants.
Haji Mohammad Tawab of Transport Ittehad said that they are left with no other option but to close their business.
Pakistan is presently facing a major problem with respect to power crisis. But this can be managed by exploiting our indigenous resources, i.e. natural resources like solar, wind, hydro and involving our energetic public. The solution would be long-lasting and sustainable because it will be based on our own resources unlike the power and gas supplies from other regional countries, such as from Central Asia or Iran.
The major component of Pakistan`s power demand is satisfied by fossil fuel, much of which is imported and therefore, by definition, is insecure. Therefore, in order to secure its energy, Pakistan must limit its use of fossil fuels to those it can produce within its boundaries, satisfy the balance of its consumption by either minimising its total demand, or maximising its generation from renewables, or both.
While global warming is the top reason to reduce or eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels, there are three other distinct reasons why we need to do that. Firstly, there is the fact that fossil fuels will run out, and therefore we will have to get our energy from elsewhere at some stage, although there are various estimates as to when this might be.
Secondly, Pakistan has significantly less fossil fuel within its boundaries than it consumes, and most of what it has got is coal. Therefore, Pakistan is compelled to import large quantities of fossil fuel. This situation is sustainable so long as other countries wish to sell us their fossil fuels. The fact that they can refuse to sell it to us means that Pakistan has an insecure supply of energy.
And thirdly, if Pakistan switches from fossil fuel imports to renewables, the balance of payments will be improved, and jobs will be created. This makes it a strong economic argument for going green.
Pakistan is ideally located in a tropical region and most of the area receives year-round strong solar irradiance (approximately 800 W/m2). If we cannot find ways to exploit it, it may be our unwillingness or incompetence. Present-day technology has made it possible for us to quite efficiently (at about 30 per cent) convert this sunshine into electricity, to power most of our appliances.
Given the fact that Pakistan`s economy—mainly based on agriculture—is being highly affected by the present energy crisis, immediate measures must be taken to address the issue. Directly coupled DC water pumps with solar panels have been very successful and economical for irrigation purpose. A small-scale solar water-pump, for instance, would discharge about 100,000 litres from a depth of about 100 feet on a typical day in Pakistan. This is a far better choice, when compared with diesel generators or even with grid power, which is not available in many areas anyway.
Pakistan can quickly overcome the present shortfall of about five GW of power if people go for microgeneration from renewable energy (RE) resources. This would engage common people in contributing towards a national cause of power shortage and a global cause of reducing carbon emission and therefore the change in weather patterns. Throughout the world, the microgeneration from RE resources has been encouraged in the masses, and various governments have introduced incentive legislation, including feed-in tariff (FiT) or net-metering. Broadly, the FiT has to take care of the energy payments to the power producers. In many advanced countries, this was not for the power shortage but was meant for replacing fossil-fuel power with green energy. However, for countries like Pakistan it can serve both purposes.
One important limiting factor in the case of all forms of renewable energy options (solar, wind, hydro and biofuels) is the requirement of large area for the deployment of their generators as compared with fossil-fuel powered generators. Fortunately, in Pakistan, while this may be a limiting factor in the cities, it creates no issues for most of non-urban Pakistan.
Another drawback in RE power is the fact that wind and solar resources are intermittent and non-dispatchable. So there should be a grid in place to integrate the generation as well as the power consumption, i.e., for demand and supply. The energy storage is also a setback and is still quite costly and inefficient for batteries to be used for the purpose.
However, hydropower can be used to store energy, which is very useful when significant wind or solar power is being exploited. Any energy strategy should, therefore, aim to maximise generation from this resource. In Pakistan, hydropower could be used in the night time while solar power during the day. The new plans would ideally be of run-of-river type, which do not need reservoirs and dams and all the associated ills.
The conservation measures both at the supply and demand could lead to a sustainable solution, regardless of the type of power generation. On the supply front, heat loss, transmission and distribution losses, including theft, should be reduced. The demand front includes the use of energy-efficient appliances as well as conserving energy at peak hours.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning a visit to Pakistan soon, said Consul General of the Russian Federation, Andrey V. Demidov. He further said that Russia could help Pakistan address its energy crisis as it ranks high in energy solutions, according to a press statement on Wednesday.
Putin’s visit will mark the signing of various memorandums of understanding and cooperation documents between the two countries.“Russia is ready to help Pakistan out of the energy crisis, as it is the number one country in the energy sector across the world,” said Demidov while addressing members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
He said there were good prospects for Pak-Russia Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and the Russian Mission could prepare a feasibility study on PTA as deliberations were required on certain legalities, according to the KCCI statement.
“Pakistan can export potato, rice, vegetables and fruits to Russia. Further, there is great demand for Pakistani natural pharmaceutical products in Russia. Pakistan can also be provided Russian-made helicopters and commercial jets,” he said.
“Non-availability of direct shipping-lines, airlines and a banking channel are major obstacles impeding bilateral trade,” said Demidov.To execute transit trade from Gwadar Port, adequate infrastructure, railways, highways and bridges were essential, he said. Moreover, Pakistani students would continue to benefit from Russian scholarships programmes, he said.
KCCI President, Haroon Agar, said there is a dire need for Pakistan-Russian inter-governmental arrangements to develop direct shipping and air-links and to establish banking channels to multiply bilateral trade. Recalling Pak-Russian cooperation in the past, he said there was need to enhance cooperation in the areas of heavy machinery, engineering, automobiles, revamping railways, energy from coal, corporate farming, mining, health, education and other areas of national interest.
“Pakistan could seek the Russian help to integrate and boost its energy and engineering sector with technologies transfer,” said Agar.There could be a big share for the Russian Federation in the mining and manufacturing of coal-based power generation, particularly in Thar Coal, he said.
Russia is the third largest textiles importing country of the world after USA and EU. Given that Pakistan is the third largest textile exporting country, there is great potential exist for the Pakistani textiles industry and its products to be exported to Russia. With the multilateral cooperation of Central Asian Republics, Russian trade can be facilitated from the ports of Pakistan to other countries of the globe. “KCCI is considering creating a high-level business delegation to Russia,” said Agar.
Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) has signed two additional strategic contracts with international vendors, for its generation fleet, according to a statement on Tuesday.
These service agreements are aimed at augmenting the generation capacity and enhancing the efficiency of KESC’s Combined Cycle Power Plant at Korangi. The agreement also ensures the provision of OEM maintenance spares for its plants in SITE and Korangi, it said.
KESC has signed a contract for the efficiency and capacity improvement project, with the Slovakian-based Istroenergo Group (IEG), which is well known for providing worldwide professional, technical and scientific services in the field of power generation.
According to contract details, KESC will convert two open cycle gas turbines at its CCPP-II Korangi into combined cycle operation, it said. IEG is the same company, which had earlier designed the Phase-I of engineering, procurement and construction work of this power plant and would now execute the current, strategically important closing cycle project at a cost of Rs4 billion in a period of 18 months, according to the statement.
The project would add 27MW generation capacity to the Combined Cycle Power Plant at Korangi; enhancing its total capacity from 220MW to 247MW and, at the same time, increase the complex efficiency from 42 percent to 45 percent. Simultaneously, KESC has also signed a five-year maintenance spares supply agreement (MSA) with OES General Electric Jenbacher for its GEJB gas engines plants at Korangi and SITE areas.
KESC has made strategic investment to secure these agreements with the core objective to increase efficiencies and availability of its generation fleet, it added.