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The government has recently announced many mega projects, including the Gadani Energy Park, the Lahore-Karachi Motorway and the Khunjerab-Gwadar corridor. All these projects will be executed by Chinese companies. The government has, however, not disclosed how much financing will be required for these mega projects and from where and on what terms this financing will be made available.

Have any feasibility studies, mandatory environmental impact assessments, traffic studies been carried out for these projects? The prime minister desires the completion of almost 1300 kilometers of a six-lane motorway from Lahore to Karachi in the next 30 months. This will be a world record of some sort if accomplished. What about PPRA rules? Will these be followed or will they be conveniently brushed aside? The government needs to take the public into confidence otherwise we may be in for a period of lavish spending on these projects without following the established procedures and hence none or very little accountability.

Engr Hafeez Ullah Awan


Hydrogen Centre can resolve energy crisis thru environment friendly solutions

The International Association of Hydrogen Energy (IAHE) has asked the government to approve special funds for establishing Hydrogen Research Centre with a view to resolve energy crises through environment friendly solutions.

The IAHE Pakistan Chapter president Dr. Syed Zafar Ilyas, in a letter to Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, has observed that looking at the present scenario of energy crisis, the govt has to take colossal decisions, harnessing the alternate sources of energies to improve the growth rate of economy.

“The only solution is to exploit renewable energy sources preferably the clean energy source, i.e., hydrogen energy (the future energy). There is already an innovation made to use hydrogen gas as a source of energy despite the fact the gas is inflammable but hydrogen fuel based combustion engines are in operation today on a limited scale. The people of Pakistan get most of its energy (about 80pc) from fossil fuels and wood at the expense of great damage to the forests of the country and environment. Renewable energy technologies are initially expensive but the conditions of weather in Pakistan would make it acceptable provided scientific efforts are put in a right direction.”

Dr. Syed Zafar Ilyas maintained that the hydrogen energy is considered as a solution to the interrelated global problems of depletion of fossil fuels and environmental damage caused by the combustion of fossil fuels through the greenhouse effect, acid rains, ozone layer depletion, pollution and oil spills. The emerging concept caught the imagination of many scientists, engineers and research projects on the hydrogen energy, he added. Projects on hydrogen energy were started in many universities and research organizations around the world.

“Our neighboring country, India has already spent billions of dollars on hydrogen energy research and education programmes. The hydrogen energy was found to be a viable system to replace the present fossil fuel consumption not only by researchers, but also by established industries and industrial entrepreneurs. As a consequence of its unique properties, hydrogen has been making roads in many sectors of the energy system.”

He observed that more than 38 years have passed since the hydrogen energy was formally proposed at The Hydrogen Economy Miami Energy (THEME) Conference, March 1974, Florida, as an answer to the global energy and environmental problems. Since then, there have been many accomplishments in every front from the acceptance of the concept as an answer to the energy and environment related global problems to research, development and commercialization. Dr. Zafar Ilyas stated that Pakistan is a fast developing country with growing energy requirements. The country would greatly benefit from the hydrogen energy conversion system for electricity production. “Govt has consistently supported research and development pertaining to the solutions of energy and environmental problems. We need a strong R&D Program on Hydrogen Energy. At the same time, the energy requirement of Pakistan is growing, while the environmental problems, especially pollution, caused by the combustion of fossil fuels are increasing at an alarming rate.

Energy crisis:‘Govt has a strategy to overcome power shortage’

The government is working on war footing to bridge the gap between demand and supply of electricity,” State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said on Saturday.

He was addressing a gathering of parliamentarians, industrialists, traders and Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) officers.

The minister said that the government had chalked out a comprehensive strategy to overcome the shortage of electricity.

“Short-, medium- and long-term projects have been identified. These included Nandipur, Satpara, Dasu, Gomal Zam Dam and Diamir Dam.”

Ali said the country would be on the road to progress if uninterrupted electricity supply to the industrial sector could be managed.

He said the government was providing a Rs365 billion subsidy to the power sector. The cost of Neelam Jhelum Project had increased 10 times. “We could generate 775 Megawatt from Guddu Power Project within two months but there is no transmission line to connect it with the national grid,” he said.

The minister said the campaign against power theft had been launched across the country. He called electricity theft a crime against the nation. He said that the government was encouraging the use of energy savers.

He said the ministry had proposed deduction of electricity charges from the provincial governments NFC allocations.

The businessmen told the minister that Faisalabad was facing more load shedding than other parts of the country. The minister constituted a high level committee including local parliamentarians to propose a solution.

The committee will propose an alternative schedule of load management within one week. The PEPCO managing director will supervise the committee.

Ali also said supply of gas be ensured for steam power stations and ordered that FESCO’s quota of electricity be increased.

FESCO Chief Executive Officer Rana Abdul Jabbar Khan told the minister that a recent meeting of the ECNEC had approved the construction of two new grid stations in FESCO region and upgrade of four grid stations from 66 to 132KV in Faisalabad and Mianwali. He said four transmission lines had also been approved by the ECNEC.

Energy conservation: Chinese firm installing 100 solar-powered lights

A Chinese company is to install 100 solar-powered streetlights on Wahdat Road and Allama Iqbal Town’s Main Boulevard over the next 10 days, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The Punjab government and Chinese government signed a memorandum of understanding for the installation of the solar-powered LED lights and the work is being done for free, officials said.

Workers began installing the streetlights in Iqbal Town six days ago and several have been set up. Eighty lights are to be installed in Iqbal Town and 20 on Wahdat Road.

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Steering Committee of the Punjab government had already been considering a project to convert all the city’s streetlights to LED bulbs (not powered by solar energy), said District Officer (Street Lighting) Abdul Qayyum Niazi.

He said that the Planning and Development Department and National Engineering Services of Pakistan (Nespak) would study the project and look at the viability of converting other streetlights in the city in a project executed in PPP mode.

He said that the Chinese company was “hopefully” installing 60-volt LED lights. The streetlights currently in use require 250V.

Asked about the cost per streetlight, Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning (Tepa) Chief Engineer Saeed Akhtar said that he could not say because the Chinese company was installing them for free and had not revealed the cost. He said that this project would not gain the company any favour when and if the government should decide to invite bids for the conversion of streetlights in the rest of the city.

The contract would be awarded strictly on merit and in accordance with procurement rules, he said.

The National Highway Authority has previously installed solar lights at a number of places, as has the Gujranwala district government.

The Lahore city traffic police and Tepa had earlier this year been seeking investors to convert several traffic signals here to run on solar power, but only two have been installed, at Faisal Chowk and at Garden Town.

Akhtar said that they would look for more investors, but no further conversions were currently in process.

The PPP Steering Committee had in March decided to invite bids for the installation of LED streetlights all over Lahore, since the old sodium lights consume 120 per cent more energy than LEDs. K&N International Islamabad, a private company, placed an unsolicited bid to the city government to replace the streetlights.

Bids will be invited through official channels, said an official. Should a company placing a solicited bid match the offer from K&N International, the former’s bid would be accepted, he said. The government would pay the successful bidder over the next 10 years from the money it saves in electricity consumption, he added.

Siemens opens Denmark’s largest offshore wind power plant

Siemens has officially opened the Anholt offshore wind power plant, Denmark’s largest wind power project, with a total electrical generating capacity of 400 MW.

The plant comprises 111 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 3.6 MW and a rotor diameter of 120 m. The wind project is owned by Danish utility company (50 per cent) as well as the two pension fund companies (30 per cent) and (20 per cent). In addition, together with DONG Energy, will handle the wind projects’ maintenance for a period of five years. The total electrical generating capacity will be sufficient to supply about 400,000 Danish households with clean electricity, covering about four per cent of Denmark’s overall power demand. The Anholt offshore wind power plant is located off Denmark eastern coast, about 20 km northeast of the Jutland peninsula. Over a period of less than nine months, Siemens installed all 111 wind turbines over a surface area of 88 square km in water depths of up to 19 m. ;So far, Siemens has installed more than 3,900 megawatts of offshore wind power capacity, said Markus Tacke, CEO of the wind power division at Siemens’ energy sector. Our projects are reaching the magnitude of fossil-fuel power plants and we are making significant progress with efforts to industrialize offshore wind power, thereby further reducing the costs of offshore wind power.Currently, Siemens has orders for offshore projects totalling a capacity of about 5 GW. The Danish government is planning to meet one half of the country demand for electricity with wind power by 2020. As of 2012, wind power already accounted for about 30 per cent of that nation generated electricity. Denmark target is to become independent of fossil fuels for electrical power generation by 2050.

62 countries have biofuels friendly policies

According to the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA), 62 countries now have biofuels friendly policies in place, by which ethanol production alone has replaced the need for over 2 million barrels of crude oil per day.

The significant growth in the global biofuels industry to 62 countries with biofuels friendly policies can be viewed on the GRFA’s new Interactive World Biofuels Map.

“It is amazing to watch the growth of the biofuels industry from a global perspective,” said Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the GRFA. “Today, governments have embraced biofuels in every corner of the world, from Australia to Zimbabwe.”

One of the latest countries to enact a biofuels mandate is India. Currently their mandate is set at 5% ethanol content and scheduled to increase to 10% as soon as production capacity is in place. India has ultimately set a goal of 20% for all biofuels content by 2017.

“Enacting biofuels friendly policies in developing countries and growing economies like India will be crucial for the continued growth of the global biofuels industry and reducing our reliance on crude imports,” stated Baker. “The GRFA applauds the government of India for taking the steps to reduce its reliance on crude oil and setting a plan in place to become a global leader in biofuels use and production.”

Several African countries now also have biofuels friendly policies in place. Countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan and Mozambique all now have biofuels-friendly policies in place to encourage the use and production of renewable fuels. In total, ten African countries have implemented biofuels friendly policies to reduce their crude oil reliance.

New University Institute to focus on the ‘life cycle’ of Energy

The University of Aberdeen has established a new institute of energy to create a global centre of energy research, industry collaboration and education.

Industry facing and partnering also with government and other stakeholders, the Aberdeen Institute of Energy will build on its existing reputation for excellence in research to provide a multi-disciplinary environment to respond to the major energy challenges facing society.

The institute will maintain and enhance the highest quality research, emphasising innovation and the transfer of new ideas, whilst also representing a one-stop-shop for industry collaboration and continuing professional development.

To spearhead the exciting new project, the University has appointed Mr John Scrimgeour as Executive Director of the Institute. Mr Scrimgeour is a well know figure in the oil industry and boasts expertise in field development, operations, and subsurface.

An advisory board containing strong representation from industry will work alongside Mr Scrimgeour in his new role. Academic energy activity will be drawn together from a broad cross-section of disciplines involving physical, environmental and social scientists, engineers, economists and lawyers. Every stage of the energy life cycle will be covered, from demand through exploration, production and generation, distribution and consumption, to environmental impact, and the choices and behaviours which in turn influence demand.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “This is a hugely exciting development for the University. Building on our strengths in research, teaching, innovation, and collaboration with industry and other partners to create a highly distinctive Institute targeted at tackling the major challenges we face in meeting the growing demand for energy against a background of increasing environmental and sustainability awareness.

“The result will be a centre of excellence in interdisciplinary research, professional development and education that is a one-stop shop for the energy sector. It will be the principal source of information and guidance for those charged with making energy policy, and a symbol of the University’s commitment to playing a leading role in securing a safe, sustainable energy future for generations to come.”

A centre of excellence for a multitude of stakeholders, the Institute will be located in a purpose built facility of c15,000sqm on the University’s ancient King’s College campus, occupying the northwest corner between the Sir Duncan Rice Library, the Fraser Noble Building, and the students’ Hub.

It is the product of an extensive and expanding portfolio of national and international partnerships and collaborations with both the public and private sector and adds further value to a research reputation already at the forefront of the disciplines involved.

Internationally a growing number of partnerships with universities and research organisations in south-east Asia, China, South America, the Gulf and other energy regions are delivering research collaborations, student and academic exchanges, and new scholarship opportunities for students include those established by Halliburton, BP, Talisman, Chevron, with more currently in discussion.

“When the ambition and scope of the Aberdeen Institute of Energy was revealed to me, I realised straight away what an exciting opportunity this was”, said Mr Scrimgeour. “It’s exactly what the industry, government and policy holders need – a single point of contact right here in the Energy Capital of Europe to link up with all the latest multidisciplinary teaching and research concerning the energy sector, building on the expertise built up through working closely with the Oil & Gas industry located on our doorstep. We’re looking forward to having an outstanding facility to showcase our excellent research.”

Professor Jim Anderson, leader of the University’s Energy Research theme, added: “We have a long track record in working with the oil and gas industry, and the Institute is built upon this. As we move towards a low carbon society this strong foundation stands us in good stead for tackling the challenges we’re meeting across the whole picture of energy systems – including economic modelling, licensing and regulation, environmental impact and energy transmission.

“And we’re strengthening even further our research capacity. This year already the University has made 20 appointments further to enhance energy-related research capability, including new Chairs and senior appointments in energy law, geophysics, geology, engineering, chemical engineering, and energy politics.”

Max Bögl Wiesner GmbH Installs GE 2.5-120, World’s Most Efficient High Output Wind Turbine

Representatives from GE (NYSE: GE) and Max Bögl Wiesner GmbH announced the official start of installation of the first GE 2.5-120 wind turbine in Schnaittenbach, a town in Bavaria, Germany.

  • GE’s First Commercially Installed 2.5-120 Wind Turbine Would Generate Power to Help Meet the Energy Needs of Approximately of 2,000 German Homes
  • Investor: Max Bögl Wiesner GmbH
  • The 2.5-120’s Advanced Control Technology and New Tower Configuration Make it Advantageous for Low-Wind Locations

Schnaittenbach/Frankfurt am Main – September 3, 2013 – Representatives from GE (NYSE: GE) and Max Bögl Wiesner GmbH announced the official start of installation of the first GE 2.5-120 wind turbine in Schnaittenbach, a town in Bavaria, Germany.

“We are pleased that, thanks to GE’s new turbine, we are able to use the most efficient inland wind turbine worldwide for our project. We are going to harvest plenty of wind in the future and wind is readily available – if we do not use it, we are missing a huge opportunity,” said Michael Bögl and Ludwig Wiesner, CEOs of Max Bögl Wiesner GmbH.

This is the first commercial use of the 2.5-120 turbine worldwide and it is expected to start operation in late October. Its anticipated production rate of 8 million kilowatt-hours is equivalent to the required average energy needs of approximately 2,000 German households.

“We are pleased that Max Bögl Wiesner GmbH selected the 2.5-120 precisely because we had engineered it for locations such as Schnaittenbach,” said Stephan Reimelt, CEO of GE Energy Germany. “GE’s goal was to facilitate the generation of wind energy in densely wooded regions with low-wind intensity such as the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate area). The 2.5-120 meets these requirements and additionally contributes to the successful implementation of the ‘Energiewende’ on a regional level.”

The 2.5-120 is GE’s first “brilliant” wind turbine to utilize the power of the Industrial Internet. The Industrial Internet uses data analysis to connect machines and equip them with intelligence, helping to position them for enhanced performance.

“The turbine’s advanced controls, paired with the 120-meter rotor and a custom-built tower with a hub height of 139 meters, allow for a more efficient energy output,” said Andreas von Bobart, general manager, GE Wind Energy Germany. “The 2.5-120 analyses tens of thousands of data points every second to drive higher output and improve service productivity, ultimately helping to manage wind’s variability.”

Michael Bögl, CEO of Max Bögl Wienser GmbH; Stephan Reimelt, CEO of GE Energy Germany; Andreas von Bobart, general manager of GE Wind Energy Germany and Ludwig Wiesner, CEO of Max Bögl Wiesner GmbH, attended the event.

Shahbaz approves Quaid-e-Azam solar park

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that overcoming the energy crisis is of great importance for the development of the country as well as a strong economy and in view of this importance, the government has planned energy generation from alternative sources.

According to a handout issued on Saturday, the CM stated this while presiding over the fourth meeting of the Punjab Energy Council in which formal approval was given to the master plan of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park consisting of 10,000 acres of land. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that development work on the project will be started immediately and completed on an emergency basis.

He said that third party audit system of all development works has been declared essential. The meeting fixed the beginning of next year as the target of starting energy production from the solar park. The meeting also gave approval to setting up of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Company. The CM will be the chairman of the company while the provincial minister for energy will be its vice chairman. Six members each from public and private sector will be included in the company.

The chief minister while giving approval to establishment of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Company said that this company will ensure speedy implementation on solar projects whereas Punjab Industrial Estates Development and Management Company will be responsible for infrastructure development which will be completed expeditiously. He said that all necessary facilities would be provided in solar park, including school, playground, community centre, mosque and dispensary so that engineers and other persons could perform their duties devotedly. Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government will set up projects of 700 megawatts in solar park from its own resources and in the first phase, work will be started on eight projects of 50 megawatts each. The CM said that Punjab government will complete work on the projects set up in solar park on emergent basis from its own resources and the beginning of next year is being fixed as target of generating energy from the project. He directed that departments concerned should ensure achievement of this target by working round the clock on the project. He said that Chief Executive Officer having best abilities should be posted for the project. He directed Irrigation Department to complete work of laying pipeline and installing tube-wells for the provision of water from canal to solar park within four months and NTDC to complete the laying of transmission line and the evacuation of electricity to be generated from solar park within six months. Shahbaz Sharif said that besides laying transmission line, up-gradation work of grid should also be completed and no delay will be tolerated. He said that the bank in consultation with Finance Committee of Energy Council should submit practicable recommendations with regard to project financing in the next meeting. The CM said that rapid progress should also be made with regard to setting up Punjab Energy Fund.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister was given detailed briefings by various departments with regard to master plan of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, construction of infrastructure, evacuation of electricity, laying transmission line, provision of water and other projects.

UK investors call on Punjab CM

Directors of a British Investment Company Renoir Investment, Stephan Petry and Ken Browne called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday.

According to a handout, prospects of investment in energy sector were discussed during the meeting.

The chief minister while talking to the directors of British Investment Company said that vast opportunities of investment exist in energy sector in Punjab.

He said that government has provided an atmosphere conducive to investment in the province and all facilities are being provided to the investors under one roof.

The chief minister said that British Company should invest in energy sector in Punjab as all-out facilities would be provided to it by the Punjab government. British investors expressed their interest in investment in various projects.