Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Renewable Energy to Tackle Pakistan's Electricity Crisis

In June 2007, the power cuts in Pakistan lasted no more than 3 or 4 hours a day. Today, in extremely hot weather, Pakistanis have to endure without electricity for 8 to 10 hours a day. Industrial production is suffering, exports are down, jobs are being lost, and the national economy is in a downward spiral. By all indications, the power crisis in Pakistan is getting worse than ever.

Extended Load-shedding:
Extended electricity load shedding in Karachi's five major industrial estates is causing losses in billions of rupees as the production activity has fallen by about 50 per cent. KESC, Karachi's power supply utility, is dealing with with a shortfall of around 700MW against a total demand of 2200MW. Almost all forms of power generation from fossil fuel-fired thermal to hydroelectric to nuclear are down from a year ago. As a result of the daily rolling blackouts, the economy, major exports and overall employment are also down and the daily wage earners are suffering. The KESC and PEPCO owe more than Rs. 10b to the independent power producers (IPPs) and paying them will help bring them into full operation and ease the crisis at least partially.

Electricity Demand:
As discussed in an earlier post, Pakistan's current installed capacity is around 19,845 MW, of which around 20% is hydroelectric. Much of the rest is thermal, fueled primarily by gas and oil. Pakistan Electric Power Company PEPCO blames independent power producers (IPPs) for the electricity crisis, as they have been able to give PEPCO only 3,800 MW on average out of 5,800 MW of confirmed capacity. Most of the IPPs are running fuel stocks below the required minimum of 21 days. IPPs complain that they are not being paid on time by PEPCO.

Per capita energy consumption of the country is estimated at 14 million Btu, which is about the same as India's but only a fraction of other industrializing economies in the region such as Thailand and Malaysia, according to the US Dept of Energy 2006 report. To put it in perspective, the world average per capita energy use is about 65 million BTUs and the average American consumes 352 million BTUs. With 40% of the Pakistani households that have yet to receive electricity, and only 18% of the households that have access to pipeline gas, the energy sector is expected to play a critical role in economic and social development. With this growth comes higher energy consumption and stronger pressures on the country’s energy resources. At present, natural gas and oil supply the bulk (80 percent) of Pakistan’s energy needs. However, the consumption of those energy sources vastly exceeds the supply. For instance, Pakistan currently produces only 18.3 percent of the oil it consumes, fostering a dependency on expensive, imported oil that places considerable strain on the country’s financial position, creating growing budget deficits. On the other hand, hydro, coal, wind and solar are perhaps underutilized and underdeveloped today, as Pakistan has ample potential to exploit these resources.

The country's creaky and outdated electricity infrastructure loses over 30 percent of generated power in transit, more than seven times the losses of a well-run system, according to the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank; and a lack of spare high-voltage grid capacity limits the transmission of power from hydroelectric plants in the north to make up for shortfalls in the south.

Gilani Government's Response:
Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project, first formally announced by former Minister Omar Ayub on June 10, 2007, is finally starting in earnest under the PPP government of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. This hydro project is expected to add 963MW power generating capacity at a cost US $2.2 billion, according to Business Wire. Prior to this project, the new Pakistani Prime Minister signed a deal with a Chinese company, Dong Fong, for setting up 525 MW thermal power plant with an investment of $450 million at Chichoki Mallian (Sheikhupura). Both of these projects are expected help partially close the 3000 MW gap that exists today between supply and demand in Pakistan.

Green Energy Opportunities:
In response to the warnings of energy crisis in Pakistan, President Musharraf's government recognized the need and the potential for renewable alternatives and, in 2006, created Alternative Energy Development Board to pursue renewable energy. In particular, AEDB is focusing on wind and solar as viable alternatives. AEDB is facilitating setting up of small renewable energy projects in line with government’s policy of promoting the use of renewable energy in the country’s power generation mix, says the board’s chief executive officer Mr Arif Alauddin. AEDB has recently issued Makwind Power Private Ltd (MPPL) a Letter of Intent for the setting up of 50MW wind farm at Nooriabad in Sindh, as part of its efforts to facilitate 700 MW wind energy by 2010.



According to data published by Miriam Katz of Environmental Peace Review, Pakistan is fortunate to have something many other countries do not, which are high wind speeds near major centers. Near Islamabad, the wind speed is anywhere from 6.2 to 7.4 meters per second (between 13.8 and 16.5 miles per hour). Near Karachi, the range is between 6.2 and 6.9 (between 13.8 and 15.4 miles per hour). Pakistan is also fortunate that in neighboring India, the company Suzlon manufactures wind turbines, thus decreasing transportation costs. Working with Suzlon, Pakistan can begin to build its own wind-turbine industry and create thousands of new jobs while solving its energy problems. Suzlon turbines start to turn at a speed of 3 meters per second. Vestas, which is one of the world's largest wind turbine manufacturers, has wind turbines that start turning at a speed of 4 meters per second. In addition to Karachi and Islamabad, there are other areas in Pakistan that receive a significant amount of wind.

In only the Balochistan and Sindh provinces, sufficient wind exists to power every coastal village in the country. There also exists a corridor between Gharo and Keti Bandar that alone could produce between 40,000 and 50,000 megawatts of electricity, says Ms. Katz who has studied and written about alternative energy potential in South Asia. Given this surplus potential, Pakistan has much to offer Asia with regards to wind energy. In recent years, the government has completed several projects to demonstrate that wind energy is viable in the country. In Mirpur Sakro, 85 micro turbines have been installed to power 356 homes. In Kund Malir, 40 turbines have been installed, which power 111 homes. The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has also acquired 18,000 acres for the installation of more wind turbines.

In addition to high wind speeds near major centers as well as the Gharo and Keti Bandar corridor, Pakistan is also very fortunate to have many rivers and lakes. Wind turbines that are situated in or near water enjoy an uninterrupted flow of wind, which virtually guarantees that power will be available all the time. Within towns and cities, wind speeds can often change quickly due to the presence of buildings and other structures, which can damage wind turbines. In addition, many people do not wish for turbines to be sited near cities because of noise, though these problems are often exaggerated. Wind turbines make less noise than an office and people comfortably carry on conversations while standing near them.

As is painfully evident in summers, Pakistan is an exceptionally sunny country. If 0.25% of Balochistan was covered with solar panels with an efficiency of 20%, enough electricity would be generated to cover all of Pakistani demand. In all provinces the AEDB has created 100 solar homes in order to exploit solar energy.

Solar energy makes much sense for Pakistan for several reasons: firstly, 70% of the population lives in 50,000 villages that are very far away from the national grid, according to a report by the Solar Energy Research Center (SERC). Connecting these villages to the national grid would be very costly, thus giving each house a solar panel would be cost efficient and would empower people both economically and socially.

Coal Power and Hydroelectricity
In addition to high winds and abundant solar potential, Pakistan has the fifth largest coal deposits in the world. The negative environmental effects of coal burning can be be mitigated by making use of the latest clean coal technologies that limit noxious gas exhaust into the atmosphere.

Pakistan also has some deposits of natural gas in the Potwar Plateau region and near the border between Balochistan and Sindh, but these are likely to disappear within 20 years.

Because of the presence of many rivers and lakes, it makes sense for Pakistan to build dams to support water management and electricity generation projects. However, it must be done with care to avoid damage to the environment or loss of farmland.

Financial and Policy Incentives
Despite the fact that Pakistan is so well endowed with wind and solar potential, only a few projects such as those mentioned above have been completed. One of the reasons why this has occurred is that Pakistan does not have major financial incentives available for those who want to install wind turbines or solar panels. Let us look at the case of India, Pakistan's neighbor. Despite having less potential for wind, India now has the world's fourth largest number of wind turbines installed at 7,093 MW, according to India: Renewable Energy Market report. Ahead of India are Germany at 21,283 MW, Spain at 13,400 MW and the US at 12,934 MW. In Germany, Spain and India, those who install wind turbines and solar panels are guaranteed a certain rate per kilowatt hour. In India, this varies according to the technology and the area. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India reports that in most areas, between 2500 and 4800 rupees are guaranteed for solar panels, and for wind turbines, between 250,000 and 300,000 rupees are awarded.
Because of the above incentives, the cost of wind in India is between 2 and 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour while in Pakistan, the cost is 7 cents. In December 2006, President Musharraf announced a national renewable energy policy. This policy means that small projects do not need approval and that any person can put up their own project. However, there are no financial incentives for doing so. At the moment, all renewable energy equipment has no sales or income tax and is free of custom duty, but these incentives are not enough to stimulate major growth in the renewable energy market where ROIs and other financial ratios have a long gestation or breakeven period. In certain situations, such as the textiles and other Karachi industrial units losing production and export opportunities due to power cuts, it may make sense for the owners to join hands and build power generation capacity they can rely on.

Conclusion
In addition to coal and hydro electricity generation, Miriam Katz argues that it is clear that Pakistan is a suitable country for the installation of wind and solar: due to high winds near cities; the presence of rivers and lakes as well as the availability of wind turbines from nearby India. There are also other reasons for installing renewable energy. It is quite normal for extended power outages to happen on a daily basis in the country, but this cannot continue if the Pakistani economy is to grow. In March 2007, President Musharraf stated that renewable energy should be part of the push to increase energy supplies by 10 to 12 percent every year. The government also set a target of 10 percent of energy to come from renewables by 2015. If the new PPP-led government follows through with aggressive renewable energy push, Pakistan could be an Asian leader in renewable energy given its natural resources of wind and solar as its strategic endowments.

Related Links:

Renewable Energy Businesses in Pakistan

Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technology

Renewable Energy for Pakistan

Pakistan Policy on Renewable Technology

Sugarcane Ethanol Project in Pakistan

Community Based Renewable Energy Project in Pakistan

115 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great article Riaz. Pakistan should be bullish on alternative energy. NOW IS THE TIME!

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

A good outline of ongoing efforts in the area of renewable energy.
When consumers would have the benefit ,any info on time line?

Riaz Haq said...

There is a ton of money and effort going into renewable, alternative energy sources backed by US government and private sector. I think the wind and solar are almost ready for prime time, as shown by German experience. Now it's a matter of Pakistani government's financial incentives and private sector's willingness that will determine how quickly wind and solar take off to make up a significant percentage of electricity generation in Pakistan. If done right, this sector can boost the economy by creating lots of jobs and electricity for consumers and industry.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a comment received via email on Pakistan's power crisis:

My Dear Riaz Haq Sahib..............

A Salamu Alaikum



I hope you are fine…….



I am sorry to disturb you as I wish to consume your some important time……



I am Raja Naveed Sarwar, from Pakistan….. I am writer and a researcher………I used to propose advices to the Government of time, on different issues………whether one acts or rejects, but as a citizen, I think it is my duty to play a role in every national issue that creates hindrance in my country’s progress…….



Sir, regarding the current electricity crisis in Pakistan, I wish to place some advices, and I hope you will also present your opinion in this regard…….



“The electricity crisis is the biggest crisis nowadays in Pakistan….. Government must pay the arrears of the electricity producing companies or IPPs…….. Government should negotiate with these companies and give them surety to pay their arrears as soon as possible… at the instance; Government should pay their arrears in the installments…



For the Thar Coal Project, I think we neither have finance nor the infrastructure to utilize this treasure…… So, it is better to invite the world’s largest companies to Pakistan and introduce our Coal reserves….. Any company can explore, invest and generate power, and plus utilize this coal for the production of Cement……Government of Pakistan can negotiate with these companies, and by the mutual partnership at the sharing basis, an agreement specifying the terms and conditions can be accomplished…….

For this, Government can also publish the open tender in the International newspapers……..



Government can even invite the present Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to use this coal reserves for the generation of Power, and in return they will less their present arrears, in the indemnity of this they should be directed to expand their present generation capacity…..so that the electricity problem can be lightened …….

We should allow the IPPs to use the coil reserves for the generation of the power at the mutual partnership with the Government (according to terms and conditions)…….



I think Government should call a national conference of electric companies, IPPs and renowned technical experts………then formulate a committee of high profile technical experts, who will draw the Power Policy in continuation with the Power Policy of 1994 and consider the current Supply/ Demand mechanism and the available options……



I know all this havoc is happening due to the weak economy……… In my last letter to Government, I advised:

“Pakistan also requires the “Economic Bail-Out Package”……… for this, Pakistani community around the World, Pakistani companies & organizations, Pakistani banks can play a positive role….. Through the “Round Table Conference of Economists” Pakistani Government can appeal to the stated parties…..

Government can launch a transparent “International Fund” that will also be connected with all the Pakistani Embassies and Consulates around the World…..”



President Zardari should address the nation as soon as possible and not only appeal to the Pakistani community around the World for financial support, but also enhance the confidence and morale of the depressed nation, that is going to the way of an insurgency….

I remember the time, when Mr. Nawaz Sharif addressed the nation as the PM, and appealed to the Pakistani community for “Qarz Utaro, Mulk Sawaro”, it was a successful step ……

I do admit, now people are clever and they can not come into these kinds of schemes easily, but, at least Government should try, in the different form……..”



Dear Sir, I am waiting for your reply……..



Regards,

Raja Naveed Sarwar

Pakistan………..

solarage Technologies said...

I have read the Articles on Energy Crises in Pakistan. As an Consulatnt in Power Sector, I agree and suugest that Solar is the Best Solution to meet these Energy Crises.

We at SOLARAGE TECHNOLOGIEs, Islamabad, Pakistan has initiated introduction os Solar Power Technologies in Pakistan. If any one interested can contact at:

M. M. HASSAN
Chief Executive Officer
SOLARAGE TECHNOLOGIES
A Group Company of:
NEWAGE GROUP
(An Independent Consulting Group in Pakistan in Power Sector)

Contact: 0333 - 850 7474
E-mail: mmhassan_pk@yahoo.com CC: solaragetechnologies@yahoo.com
MSN: mmhassan_pk@hotmail.com / solaragetechnologies@live.com (For CHAT)
SKYPE: mmhassan7474

Postal Address:

House # 1016, Street # 67,
G-9/4,
Islamabad-44000,
Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece of news that caught my attention:

"Pakistan, Turkey sign wind energy pact"

Islamabad, Jan 17 (Xinhua) Pakistan Saturday signed a wind energy pact with a Turkish firm.

Pakistan’s water and power minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and chief executive of the Turkish company signed the agreement in Islamabad, the News Network
International news agency reported."

Here's a rather skeptical assessment I received from a person involved in the energy sector in Pakistan:

I reached the conclusion that based on economics,wind energy was best option and even Government Of Pakistan issued 80 letters of intent in this respect .I was trying to sell GE wind Turbines from Germany.But it took so long that when it comes to the stage of final negotiations,we found that all factories in the world are booked for two years and delivery not possible before 3 years.Most American companies found partners in India who capitalized on the situation and started manufacturing under license from foreign companies.We could not even get from India and chapter was closed.Then there was political mess in Pakistan ,not yet get cleared. Only this week Water And Power Ministry announced that it has made an agreement with a Turkish Company to build first Power Plant in Sindh using Wind Turbines.May God save this Turkish Company.

Riaz Haq said...

Oct 24, 2008: Pakistan will produce 1,000 megawatts of electricity through wind energy within the next few years, according to Irfan Afzal Mirza, Technical Director of the country’s Alternative Energy Development Board. He told the Voice of Germany that approval has already been given to over twenty-three projects producing 50 megawatts each.

http://www.windenergynews.com/content/view/1436/45/

Riaz Haq said...

President of Zorlu Enerji (Pvt) Ltd., Murat Sungar Bursa, who just signed a wind energy agreement with HESCO in Pakistan, said that the estimated cost of 50 MW project was 120 million dollars. He added the company was also considering to further expand the project upto 250MW.
He said incentives offered by Pakistan’s renewable energy policy was a major factor in the company’s decision to invest here. He said that capacity of the wind farm will be enhanced upon successful completion of 50 MW phase.
Zorlu Enerji was the first company to establish wind farm for power generation in Pakistan after signing Energy Purchase Agreement with Hyderabad Electric Supply Corporation for purchase of six MW electricity generated at the company’s facility in Jhimpir.
NEPRA has awarded tariff of US cents 12.1057 Per KWH, which is cheaper than the electricity generated from thermal sources. The power generated from the first phase would be routed to the Jhimpir gird station by HESCO and would be sufficient to electrify 6,900 homes in Hyderabad region.
Harnessing the strong winds coming from South West, the wind farm is first commercial wind power project of the country, comprising five towers in the first phase with an installed capacity of 1.2MW wind turbine generator per tower.



http://www.pakistanhousing.pk/News/index.php/govt-of-pakistan-plans-additional-4000-mw-power-by-year-end/

Riaz Haq said...

It seems green energy projects are suffering along with the rest of the economy due to credit crunch. The wind turbine orders are declining and companies manufacturing wind power equipment are reducing workers.

Here's a NY Times report on this :

Factories building parts for these industries have announced a wave of layoffs in recent weeks, and trade groups are projecting 30 to 50 percent declines this year in installation of new equipment, barring more help from the government.

Prices for turbines and solar panels, which soared when the boom began a few years ago, are falling. Communities that were patting themselves on the back just last year for attracting a wind or solar plant are now coping with cutbacks.

“I thought if there was any industry that was bulletproof, it was that industry,” said Rich Mattern, the mayor of West Fargo, N.D., where DMI Industries of Fargo operates a plant that makes towers for wind turbines. Though the flat Dakotas are among the best places in the world for wind farms, DMI recently announced a cut of about 20 percent of its work force because of falling sales.

Much of the problem stems from the credit crisis that has left Wall Street banks reeling. Once, as many as 18 big banks and financial institutions were willing to help finance installation of wind turbines and solar arrays, taking advantage of generous federal tax incentives. But with the banks in so much trouble, that number has dropped to four, according to Keith Martin, a tax and project finance specialist with the law firm Chadbourne & Parke.

Wind and solar developers have been left starved for capital. “It’s absolutely frozen,” said Craig Mataczynski, president of Renewable Energy Systems Americas, a wind developer. He projected his company would build just under half as much this year as it did last year.

The two industries are hopeful that President Obama’s economic stimulus package will help. But it will take time, and in the interim they are making plans for a dry spell.

Solar energy companies like OptiSolar, Ausra, Heliovolt and SunPower, once darlings of investors, have all had to lay off workers. So have a handful of companies that make wind turbine blades or towers in the Midwest, including Clipper Windpower, LM Glasfiber and DMI.

Some big wind developers, like NextEra Energy Resources and even the Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, a promoter of wind power, have cut back or delayed their wind farm plans.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an excerpt from Pakistaniat website about the use of solar energy:

A practical example of the use of solar energy could be seen in some villages of Pakistan where each house has been provided with a solar panel that’s sufficient to run an electric fan and two energy saving bulbs. Prior to this arrangement, the whole village used to be plunged in pitch dark during night. One such example is the village with the name of Narian Khorian, some 50 kilometers away from Islamabad, where 100 solar panels have been installed by a local firm, free of cost, to promote the use of solar energy among the masses. Through these panels, the residents of 100 households are enjoying light and fan facilities. Had these panels not been installed, the people living in this area wouldn’t have even dreamt of getting this facility for decades as the provision of electricity from the national grid was a far cry due to the difficult terrain and high expenses involved.

To give you an example of the use of solar energy, you must have noticed solar panels installed on poles along with the telephone booths on your left hand side while commuting on the Motorway. Each of these telephones is being powered by this panel. A battery is installed beneath each solar panel to store energy for keeping the telephone in operation during night when there’s no sun light. It’s a stand-alone system, entirely powered by solar energy. During emergency, the commuters make use of these telephones and call for help.

To give you another example, if you happen to drive from Rawalpindi (Faizabad) towards Murree on the newly constructed Murree Road, you would see on your right hand side blinking red hazard lights installed at the top of each WAPDA pole. Each of these lights is being powered by a stand-alone solar system i.e. a solar panel and a battery. Just imagine, how much expensive and full of hassle it would have been if solar panels weren’t used for this purpose and these lights were provided normal electric connections!


To read more, please visit here.

UNDP- GEF WEP said...

Wind energy has been regarded as one of the most promising forms of renewable energy to be utilized for electric power generated for current and future needs. Historically wind energy has been harnessed for a vast number of human needs for approximately 5500 years. As a ‘futuristic green source of energy’, wind energy is now being harnessed at a growing rate globally, as we face a dramatic change in our environment.

In view of the above, The United Nations Development Program - UNDP has initiated the project "Sustainable Development of Commercial Scale Wind Power Generation Project” referred simply to as the Wind Energy Project (WEP). This project has been undertaken as an effort to curb the current global environmental crisis being faced in light of heavy emissions of green house gases to fuel a growing population. The project is focused on both developed and developing countries, and is in Phase I of its implementation in Pakistan. The project is being undertaken in association with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the Alternative Energy Development Board
(AEDB).

Please visit our website www.wep.org.pk for a detailed analysis into the implementation of wind energy in Pakistan based the UNDP directive, including specific and thorough investigations into wind energy, wind resource assessment, key financial instruments for tariff refinement, detailed EIA and EA guidelines with reference to potential windy sites in Pakistan, and a list of informative websites on wind energy. Also, please sign our guestbook http://wep-guestbook.org/guestbook/ and leave your comments.

Riaz Haq said...

PM inaugurates Pakistan’s first wind power project (Daily Times April 20, 2009)

* Gilani says 24 similar projects underway
* Hopes mid-term renewable energy policy document will get cabinet’s approval

JHIMPIR: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday inaugurated Pakistan’s first-ever wind energy scheme – the 50-megawatt ‘Zorlu Energy Wind Power Project’ – and said the government has created a fund to mainstream and implement alternative energy technologies in the country.

“The fund will be used partially to finance economically viable projects … and for the much-needed capacity building of the renewable energy sector,” said Gilani at the inauguration – which was attended by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and the water and power secretary.

The prime minister said that the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) – in collaboration with public and private stakeholders – had prepared a mid-term renewable energy policy document. He said the policy focussed on creating a feasible environment for power generation through renewable energy means in the country. “I hope the policy will be submitted to the cabinet and approved soon,” he said.

“The launch of the Zorlu wind farm is, indeed, a major milestone towards exploiting the wind potential of renowned Gharo-Keti Bandar Wind Corridor. This 60 kilometre long and 170 kilometre deep corridor alone has the potential to generate over 50,000 megawatts of electricity,” he said.

The prime minister said the launch of the project had heralded the beginning of a new era in Pakistan.

“We are keen … to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuel, control environmental pollution and achieve sustainable energy security,” he added.

“I am proud to narrate that apart from the Zorlu wind farm, 24 other wind projects, with a cumulative capacity of 1,200 megawatts, are under way.”

He also praised the Zorlu Energy Group for its plan to expand the project to 250 megawatts. “This will also send a very strong signal … that Pakistan offers great opportunities to do business and investment.” app

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't anyone thought of alternative power before? Seriously, just solar power alone can power the whole of Pakistan as it's such a warm country! I suggest next time overseas Pakistani's go to Pakistan, instead of taking gifts for their relatives, they buy some solar convertors which are pretty cheap in England

Riaz Haq said...

Power sector has been holding Pakistan back in recent years. Here's BMI assessment of energy sector prospects:

The new Pakistan Power Report forecasts Pakistan will account for 1.37% of Asia Pacific regional powergeneration by 2013, with a stable theoretical generation surplus before the country’s substantialtransmission losses are taken into account. BMI’s Asia Pacific power generation assumption for 2008 is7,093 terawatt hours (TWh), representing an increase of 3.2% over the previous year. We are forecastingan increase in regional generation to 9,099TWh by 2013, representing a rise of 28.3%.

Asia Pacific thermal power generation in 2008 totalled an estimated 5,570TWh, accounting for 78.5% ofthe total electricity supplied in the region. Our forecast for 2013 is 6,999TWh, implying 25.7% growththat reduces the market share of thermal generation to 76.9% - thanks largely to environmental concernspromoting renewables, hydro-electricity and nuclear generation. Pakistan’s thermal generation in 2008was an estimated 62.8TWh, or 1.13% of the regional total. By 2013, the country is expected to stillaccount for 1.13% of thermal generation.

For Pakistan, gas is the dominant fuel, accounting for 47.5% of primary energy demand (PED) in 2007,followed by oil at 30.7%, hydro-electric energy at 12.9% and coal with a 7.9% share. Regional energydemand is forecast to reach 4,859mn tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) by 2013, representing 24.9% growthfrom the estimated 2008 level. Pakistan’s estimated 2008 market share of 1.52% is set to ease to 1.45%by 2013. The country’s estimated 2.5TWh of nuclear demand in 2008 is forecast to reach 5.0TWh by2013, with its share of the Asia Pacific nuclear market rising from 0.49% to 0.75% over the period.

Pakistan is ranked third behind India in BMI’s Power Business Environment Rating, thanks to itsrelatively high level of renewables (mostly hydro) generation and healthy power consumption/energydemand growth prospects. Several country risk factors offset some of the industry strength, but thecountry is in a good position to keep clear of Malaysia below.

BMI forecasts Pakistan real GDP growth averaging 3.98% a year between 2009 and 2013, with the 2009estimate at 2.50%. The population is expected to expand from 161mn to 177mn, with per capita GDP andelectricity consumption increasing by 20% and 11% respectively. Power consumption is expected toincrease from an estimated 81TWh in 2008 to 99TWh by the end of the forecast period, which provides arelatively stable theoretical generation surplus (before transmission losses, etc.), assuming 4.3% annualgrowth in electricity generation.

Between 2008 and 2018, we are forecasting an increase in Pakistani electricity generation of 59.2%,which is mid-range for the Asia Pacific region. This equates to 27.2% in the 2013-2018 period, up from25.1% in 2008-2013. PED growth is set to increase from 19.1% in 2008-2013 to 25.8%, representing49.9% for the entire forecast period. An increase of 49% in hydro-power use during 2008-2018 is a keyelement of generation growth. Thermal power generation is forecast to rise by 52% between 2008 and2018, with nuclear usage up 380% from a low base. More details of the long-term BMI power forecastscan be found at the end of this report.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent Daily Times report about Bhasha Dam in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD: Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Sardar Asef Ahmad Ali on Thursday said some changes had been made in Bhasha Dam project, particularly in its power component. In an exclusive interview with Daily Times he said the power component of Bhasha Dam would be run on Public Private Partnership basis so that burden on the government kitty might be reduced. In this regard he said that a ‘Company’ would be established, which would be converted into an international consortium. The consortium would be able to get equity as well as funds from the International Financial Institutions (IFI), Kuwait Funds and others.

Once the Company is established, he said that there would be no problems for funding, as it would be able to borrow from the market and repay the loan. “The government has assigned me to structure the Company,” the Deputy Chairman said and added that he would invite all power distribution companies including KESC to purchase its shares. The government and WAPDA might also purchase its share and later, expatriates would also be offered shares in it. In this manner, it would enjoy the status of an International Company. Its marketing plan would be carried out at world-class top companies and arrangements would be made to conduct internationals show for it. In this way, all requirements for making it an ‘Equity’ would be fulfilled, he added. All these measures have been carried out for the first time in Pakistan.

About PSDP (Public Sector Development Programme) he said that as a routine, the government releases 19 to 20 percent developmental funds in first quarter of the current fiscal year (July-September 2009). Reason for low allocation was the slow process of revenue generation through new measures adopted in the annual budget. PSDP releases for second quarter (Oct to Dec 2009) was already in progress. If the funds are released in time, he expressed hope that the government would be able to achieve its targets. At present, he said there was no indication by the ministry of finance regarding cut in PSDP 2009-10.

Currently the country’s revenue generation remained stagnant at 8.5 percent of the GDP, which he termed as lowest in the world. The government wanted to increase it to the level of 11 percent of the GDP. “Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen informed me that the government identified 2 million new taxpayers in the existing system and if it remains successful, then the PSDP will be remain as it is”, he maintained.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Riaz
Thank you for having such a productive pro-Pakistan blog. Usually, overseas Pakistanis are busy complaining about Pakistan and how bad everything is. You on the other hand are concerned and trying to help. I appreciate your efforts and pray that others should also do the same. No country no matter how nice can be your home like Pakistan. My advice to others is no matter what passport they carry you will always be known as Pakistani. Be proud of it.

Riaz Haq said...

There have been widespread complaints in Islamabad, including by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, that the government had solutions to improve the power output but was refusing to implement them in order to benefit a handful of power plant operators, such as those supplying rental power at exorbitant rates, while the IPPs are not being paid for supplying power from currently underutilized installed capacity. Requests for information by Transparency International Pakistan regarding rental power contracts have been ignored by the Ministry of Water and Power. There are widespread corruption allegations against Mr. Zardari personally who has influenced the award of the 783 MW rental power contracts to a former governor of Oklahoma and his Pakistani partner.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an excerpt from a recent report from Pakistan Economist about rental power in Pakistan:

Pakistan People's Party led coalition government has opted the option of using Rental Power Plants (RPPs) to overcome persistent electricity crisis that is not only causing great amount of hardships for the fellow citizens but also hitting hard to country's economy. There is much hue and cry from political and other circles over alleged kickbacks in deals of RPPs. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has already announced to issue a White Paper on RPPs while another opposition party-Pakistan Muslim League (Q)- is also at the forefront in highlighting alleged wrongdoings in the execution of RPPs. Sources in PEPCO told PAGE that RPPs would provide electricity at a quick speed compared to IPPs which will reduce power deficit on an emergency basis. These rental projects are for five years and its costing responsibility rests with private sector investors.

The contract life of these projects is between 3-5 years, after which the government has no obligation to purchase power from these units. According to them, it is incorrect to suggest that rental power costs are substantially higher than that of IPPs. Due to different tariff of rental plants, even after taking into account the high fuel costs, the cost difference is almost equal or marginally higher in case of RPPs. Compared with IPPs, RPPs power generation cost ranges between 12-13 cents per KWh, and IPPs' power generation costs approximately 12 cent per KWh. Government circles are of the view that mere blame game is going on just for the sake of leg pulling. There is nothing wrong in RPPs and the only viable option to get rid of load shedding is rental power plants, they believe. They said rental tariffs for the projects depended on number of factors including location of the plants, system maintenance, and consumption of fuels. Others factors are variation in project cost due to difference in technology, age of machinery, and variations in financing. As many as, 14 approved RPPs with total generation capacity of 2250MW will start functioning by December, which would expectedly end the energy crisis.

However, critics of RPPs are of the sanguine view that highly controversial RPPs are proving last resort to overcome the power crisis, which has hit hard the economic growth of the country besides adding salt to public miseries at large. The political government has surrendered to public pressures on construction of Kalabagh Dam, the only way to survive ahead and instead preferred to go after a stopgap arrangement at a higher cost. The independent experts are of the view that RPPs would not only fail to meet rising electricity demand but also burden the national exchequer in general and power consumers in particular. The public is justifiable in questioning that if RPPs are the option, why it is adopted too late. According to Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) Managing Director Tahir Basharat Cheema, an investment of around US $2 billion is expected in power sector through RPPs. Apart from investment in power sector, additional electricity of 1675 MW will be added in the system by December 2009 when nine rental power projects will start generation.

However, overall 2250 MW electricity will be generated through RPPs in current fiscal year (2009-10). Two rental power projects that have already started generation include Atlas Power (213 MW) and Attock Generation (156 MW) while remaining seven will start functioning by December 2009. These RPPs include Nishat (196 MW), Engro (203 MW), Saif Power (213 MW), Fauji Foundation (176 MW), Sapphire Electric Company (213 MW), and Orient Power Company (213 MW). He said all proposals of RPPs were accepted only with bid bonds and performance guarantee by sponsors.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a blog post about "Power Politics" on "Teeth Maestro". It was produced by Center for Research and Security Studies:

Two questions: why have some private power producers completely shut down? Why are private power producers operating way below their full generating potential? Two answers: political score-settling plus the circular debt.

We at the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) have been trying for months to ascertain the crux of our power politics. Almost all roads lead back to the government. The federal government is the largest power defaulter, then come the four provincial governments, FATA, the KESC and the KW&SB. This is how the circular debt explodes into even bigger circles: the federal government does not pay its electricity bills to Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).

WAPDA is then unable to pay for electricity it buys from IPPs. IPPs are then unable to pay for their oil supplies. Refineries, short on cash, are unable to pay their foreign suppliers. Grow, grow, grow and we have a Rs200 billion time bomb.

Welcome to the rental power bonanza; the government’s ingenious – canny, crafty and cunning – all-in-one solution for the crux of our power politics. What we need to do is to re-start the power producers that are shut down. That’s 800 MW at US 11 cents per MW. What we need to do is to resolve our circular debt puzzle. What we need to do is to get our sugar mills connected to the national grid which could generate an additional 2,200 MW at less than US 11 cents per MW.

Riaz Haq said...

Here' Reuter's analysis of rental power in Pakistan:

Aides of Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said he almost resigned after failing to persuade the cabinet against renting, an option he considered expensive and inefficient.

Here are some questions and answers about the plight of the power sector in Pakistan and leasing plants.

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

Pakistan has about 20,000 MW of installed power production capacity, but that falls short of demand by roughly 4,000 MW. Lengthy power cuts, dubbed load shedding, have become commonplace.

Past governments failed to anticipate the growth in demand and delayed clearing power project proposals and big dam projects that would have boosted hydro power.

Lack of investment in existing plant, outdated grids and rampant electricity theft mean that some grid companies experience line losses of up to 30-40 percent, analysts say.

Many independent power producers (IPPs) operate well below capacity because they cannot pay their fuel bills regularly as grid companies owe them money.

The crisis has crippled industry, notably textiles, the main export sector and largest employer in the manufacturing sector.

There have also been violent protests that some analysts see as a bad omen both for the government and democracy in a country struggling to contain the growth of Islamist militancy.

WHAT IS BEING DONE TO BOOST SUPPLIES?

The 18-month-old civilian government has vowed to increase supplies but needs huge finances.

It recently reached an agreement with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to phase in power tariff increases.

The government is working on a multi-pronged strategy to address the problem through building new dams and setting up new permanent power plants. It sees Rental Power Plants (RPPs) as the "only solution", while completing medium and long-term projects.

WHAT IS RENTAL POWER PLANT?

Countries can hire power units from overseas manufacturers that can be shipped in kit form and installed.

It takes four to six months to set up a rental unit, while two to five years may be needed for an Independent Power Producer to build a plant.

Surging emerging economies like China and Turkey have gone the short-term rental route to bridge power supply gaps. And Pakistan, according to official documents, had two rental units commence operation in 2007.

Under the new plan, additional RPPs would be set up to generate 2,250 MW by the end of the year.

HOW WILL RENTAL POWER PLANTS IMPACT FUEL DEMAND?

The rental power plants would increase the Pakistani power sector's furnace oil needs by 29 percent, driving up its import bill and adding to pressure on the rupee and currency reserves.

Pakistan requires 35,000 tonnes a day to feed its thermal power plants and the installation of the RPPs will increase demand to 45,000 tonnes, officials say.

The country imports about 80 percent of its oil. It spent $9.5 billion on the import of 10.6 million tonnes of petroleum products and 7.8 million tonnes of crude oil in the 2008/09 (July-June) financial year.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS?

Rental plants can provide breathing space for Pakistan to focus on medium- and long-term projects.

Advocates say rental plants are efficient, will help quickly meet growing needs, and end-consumers will pay the same or a bit less for their electricity.

Opponents say the mostly second-hand equipment will be less efficient and that the tariff will rise. They argue that the government would be better off spending money on upgrading and using idle existing capacity.

Some opponents also say the option is being supported by corrupt politicians hoping for kickbacks.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an explanation offered by the News for gas and CNG shortage in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD: The multi-million dollar mystery shrouding the serious shortage of gas in the country, which has already led to twice a week closure of CNG stations, seems to have finally been resolved, as millions of cubic feet of gas per day is now being supplied to powerful owners of the controversial rental power plants in the country as the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (tomorrow) has been asked to approve additional supplied for these plants.

The official sources said these expensive rental power plants, which were being installed with tall claims to address the energy crises in the country, were said to have now become one of the major reasons behind a new sorts of energy crises in Pakistan, as their gas requirements are bound to hit other sectors of economy running on gas supplies. The cement sector has already been hit as its gas supply is now being diverted to one such power plant at Naudero.

Under the agreed deal which was subjected to criticism both within and outside the Parliament, these rental power plants will continue to get gas supplies for five years till the completion of their agreements with the Ministry of Water and Power.

The formal approval of this gas supply is being given in the Economic Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) meeting tomorrow (Tuesday). Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin will preside over the meeting as Petroleum Minister Naveed Qamar is out to get the approval for these plants as proposed in the official summary of his ministry.

The sources said the supply of gas would become a huge issue in the coming days for even the domestic consumers after the government would divert more gas to these rental power plants after diverting it from the sectors which were now regularly getting the supplies. Now ECC was asked to give supply of gas only for one plant. Sources said, more demands from other power plants will soon follow and then the country would really experience the burden of these power plants, which were ironically being installed to address the very energy crises of the country.

The official papers to be laid in the ECC meeting revealed that the gas meant for the cement sector in particular was being drastically reduced and diverted to the rental power plants in the country. One source said, certain other sectors which are already getting the gas in the country soon may also face similar kind of cuts in their approved supply to accommodate the privileged and powerful owners of the plants having direct links at the top levels.

The huge gas supply is being supplied as a part of deal struck with these rental power plants by the Ministry of Water and Power in controversial circumstances.

According to the official papers to be tabled in the ECC meeting, the Ministry of Petroleum was now seeking the approval of diversion of gas from cement to power plants and initially a power plant of 51 MW was being provided with 30MMCFD. The papers said earlier the ECC has decided on October 2 to place 12 MMCFD gas from SSGC system at the disposal of PPIB/Ministry of Water and Power for five years for power generation in accordance with the natural gas allocation and management policy of 2005. The official summary said the Ministry of Water and Power have now informed that 12 MMFCD gas been allocated to the power plants project.

The summary said, based on SSGCL commitment, it is proposed that 15 MMCFD additional gas from SSGCL system which includes diversion of 14MMCFD gas being supplied to cement sector may be placed at the disposal of PPPB/ Ministry of Water and Power on the “ as and when available basis for five years” for power generation subject to following conditions.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Wall Street Journal report about India trying to reduce dependence on China in power sector:

MUNDRA, India—India is trying to rein in its heavy reliance on Chinese equipment and know-how for the ambitious expansion of its power sector. The shift casts a shadow over what has been a healthy partnership in an often tense relationship between the giant neighbors.

India wants to boost electricity output by 60% in the five-year span ending March 2012 to alleviate severe shortages and help fuel a rapidly growing economy. But it doesn't have enough of its own equipment and engineers to meet that goal, so power companies have looked overseas for help. U.S. and European suppliers are too expensive, but low-cost Chinese contractors are a good fit.

Chinese companies are now supplying equipment for about 25% of the new power capacity India is adding to its grid, up from almost nothing a few years ago. They have sent thousands of skilled workers to Indian plant sites, some of which boast Chinese chefs, Chinese television and ping pong.

But now India is reining in cooperation with China as it seeks to build up its own manufacturing base to service power plants. The Central Electricity Authority, India's top planning body for power projects, recently asked government-controlled power companies to use Indian equipment on all upcoming big projects.

The Indian government is also considering a plan to tax Chinese power imports. And Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's aides have told power regulators to make sure India has enough spare parts on hand to fix Chinese equipment when it needs repairs, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

"It's better that we depend on our own capabilities rather than depend on those from the outside," Rakesh Nath, chairman of the Central Electricity Authority, said in an interview.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has one of the highest "transmission losses", a euphemism for rampant power theft by consumers. Now Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister and PML(N) chief, is being accused of addressing a supporter's rally lit by "kunda", a hook-like device commonly used to steal electricity.

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz found itself entangled in a controversy on Monday that threatened to undermine its claim of occupying the high moral ground, according to a report by DawnNews.

As Nawaz Sharif addressed supporters in the run-up to a Lahore by-election, his large rally was lit up by extensive use of illegal connections using ‘kunda’ (hooks that are attached to live power cables to secure supply without having to pay for it).

Power utility officials told DawnNews that they would estimate the number of units consumed and bill the user based on that, while Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah tried to distance his party and government from this outrage by blaming an unnamed contractor.

PML-N spokesman Siddiqul Farooq told DawnNews that an inquiry would be held to fix responsibility for what was “clearly” a crime.

In a damage-limitation exercise well past midnight, PML-N leader Saad Rafique told a news conference his party was not at fault and that ‘kunda’ connections had been made by the administration to provide security lighting.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's more from the BBC about power theft at Nawaz Sarif's Lahore rally and the low-level official being made the fall guy:

A low-ranking Pakistani official has been punished for stealing electricity to provide power for lights used at an opposition night rally.

An inquiry by the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) blamed the theft on a junior municipal officer.

The unnamed official has been fined 3,000 rupees ($35) for ordering illegal connections for powerful searchlights.

The discovery that power was being stolen came as opposition leader Nawaz Sharif was denouncing corruption.

Lesco says it has also suspended a low-ranking official for failing in his duty to ensure that power supplies to the rally were not illegal.

The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says critics are bound to see the inquiry as a whitewash because the officials involved have been made into scapegoats.

Our correspondent says that electricity theft and other forms of corruption plague Pakistan but it is generally only poorer or less influential people who are arrested for it.

Live wires

Mr Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party governs Punjab province, whose capital is Lahore, and was widely accused of siphoning off power to provide lighting for the rally.

Television footage showed that metal hooks had been illegally connected to live wires to secure the electricity supply.

The PML-N denied wrongdoing, saying the power supply had been arranged by Lahore administration officials to ensure security at the rally. Mr Sharif denied being personally responsible for the theft.

The allegations were embarrassing for the former prime minister, who indirectly denounced President Asif Zardari in his speech for making illegal money and stashing it away in foreign bank accounts.

Both men have denied persistent accusations of corruption over the years.

Riaz Haq said...

General Electric (GE) has signed an MOU with Pak govt to participate in supporting the forecast 54,0000 MW of electricity demand by 2020. Here's the report from Daily Times:

ISLAMABAD: The government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with General Electric (GE) in the Prime Minister House to help promote the modernisation of Pakistan’s infrastructure and economy.
Saleem H. Mandviwala, Chairman Board of Investment and Nani Beccalli-Falco, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE International singed the MOU on behalf of the government of Pakistan and General Electric Company respectively.
The prime minister welcomed the initiatives of General Electric to support Pakistan’s national objective for development. He expressed the democratic government’s commitment of making Pakistan a trade, investment and financial hub.
“This is a landmark day that we have signed the MoU with one of the most renowned conglomerates of the USA, and this will certainly open another productive era of economic ties and people to people contacts,” the Prime Minister said.
The agreement focuses on the development of Pakistan’s energy resources to meet projected demand of 54,000 megawatts by the year 2020. “General Electric is helping build the energy, water, transportation and technology infrastructure of the new century,” says Nani Beccalli-Falco, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE International. “There are huge synergies between the products and services GE businesses provide in energy and infrastructure and the needs and goals of Pakistan to modernize its economy with cleaner, more efficient and better infrastructure technologies.” GE has similar agreements with a number of other governments, including Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Qatar and the province of Ontario, Canada.
The government of Pakistan aimed to meet projected energy demands using diverse sources and tactics. Possible solutions include renewable sources, such as, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, coal, hydro and conventional thermal through gas and steam turbines, rehabilitation of existing power generation facilities, along with transfer of technology for manufacture and repair of turbines, developing more efficient and environmentally sound rail transport systems, developing water purification and reuse, wastewater treatment, and process system programs.
According to the MOU’s terms, GE would assist Pakistan in achieving its goals by engaging in Pakistan’s energy, transportation and water sectors and would work to identify potential sources of funding and explore potential investment opportunities in those sectors. Pakistan has committed to meeting with GE regularly to facilitate the goals of the MoU and provide support to the establishment and operation of the GE facilities in Pakistan, transparently and consistent with the laws and regulations of Pakistan. Pakistan would also facilitate the issuance of work permits and visas for the GE employees and contractors as needed in order to support the objectives of the signed MOU.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from Fareed Zakaraia's interview with US Energy chief, Nobel Laureate Dr. Stephen Chu:

"I see the cost of [solar] photovoltaics going down and down. Right now it's about $4 per watt for full installation. In a decade it will certainly be less than $2. If it's $1 or $1.25, then everyone will put it up without subsidy. What else do I see? A new generation of biofuels that are direct substitutes for gasoline—so, better than ethanol—using agricultural waste: weed straw, rice straw, corncobs, wood surplus."

"We're at about 4 percent now (renewables sources). President Obama made a target to double that by 2012, and we are on target. I expect that to continue. In 10 years' time we hope to have carbon-capture-and-sequestration technologies starting to be deployed. Hopefully, we'll have restarted the nuclear industry and we'll be building several nuclear reactors."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's are excerpts from a report about "Solar India" initiative in Pakistan's neighborhood:

The country is blessed with radiant sunshine: it ranks at the top among the world's countries in in terms of annual solar energy
yield, according to recent studies.

But it is also a country where 412 million of its 1.1 billion people live without electricity, faces an energy deficit of 16 per cent and needs power desperately to drive its high economic growth.

Aiming for long-term energy security, the government has unveiled plans to boost solar output almost 1,000-fold to 20,000 megawatt by 2022.

The 'Solar India' initiative, to be implemented by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, would power cities and rural areas and could revolutionize the domestic solar-energy industry.

Fossil fuels currently account for 70 per cent of India's energy mix, while renewable sources provide about 9 per cent.

'Given the ground realities, major challenges include effective financing, advancing R&D in technologies for solar modules and components and human resources like training engineers and technicians,' said Rajinder Kumar, secretary general of the Solar Energy Society of India.

'We have to bring in a balance of system, distribution and maintenance to realize our solar dream,' Kumar said.

The investment
required for the three-phase programme is around 50 billion dollars, of which the government would contribute about 40 per cent.

There is little clarity on where the remainder should come from, with Indian expecting that rich countries with a responsibility to assist renewable projects in the developing world would provide the funding.

The strategy currently framed would include a long-term policy to purchase power and shift subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable-power generation.

'We need to reduce high-initial costs for solar-power generation and build grids of scale to allow rapid diffusion of solar technologies and large-scale domestic manufacture of equipment,' renewalbe energy ministry spokeswoman Prabahvati Akashi said.

The ministry says there is 'tremendous interest' from companies and entrepreneurs for the pilot programme based on feed-in tariffs.

Following a recent launch of small commercial solar farms, the Clinton Foundation is setting up 3,000- to 5,000-megawatt (MW) solar energy parks in northern Rajasthan.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn report on US plans to help Pakistan's power sector:

LAHORE: Help for Pakistan’s energy sector will be a top priority in plans for direct US investment in the country under the Kerry-Lugar Bill, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr Rajiv Shah, said here on Wednesday.

“The US will help refurbish three thermal and one hydel power plant that will add some 4,500MW to the national grid,” Mr Shah said while talking to this correspondent at Lahore airport before leaving for Islamabad. USAID’s Pakistan Mission Director Robert Wilson was also present.

Dr Shah said the US would invest directly in Pakistani institutions in a wide range of areas. “It is time to take immediate action to aggressively meet education and health needs also.”

He dispelled a perception that a large part of the funding would go to consultants and contractors in the United States. “It will be utilised in water, education, health and agriculture sectors that are in tremendous need of development through short-, medium- and long-term infrastructural reforms.”

He said the initiatives would help create employment, especially in tribal areas where small and medium projects relating to infrastructure development, livelihood support and technology transfer would be launched.

The quality of education would be improved through teachers’ training, curriculum development programmes and provision of textbooks in other less developed areas, especially southern Punjab, he said.

In health sector, he said, the focus would be on strengthening professional institutions and USAID would arrange for capacity building of lady health workers and paramedical staff and higher education of physicians.

Dr Shah said reinvestment in agricultural research would be another major area of attention. “We are proud to be partners in research activities at the agriculture universities of Faisalabad and Rawalpindi. Now plans are afoot to improve training facilities and marketing skills of farmers as agriculture contributes more than 25 per cent to Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product.

“We will work on the critical issue of water with programmes aimed at helping Pakistan better manage its water resources to ensure maximum water access to the people.”

Dr Shah said: “President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton launched strategic dialogue with Pakistan to make sure that our relationship is a broad and deep partnership defined by mutual respect and cooperation in a broad range of areas, especially energy, water, education and health sectors that are very important for development of cooperation.

“This trip was really an effort to follow up that strategic dialogue. We are here to meet Pakistani leaders in government, private sector and civil society. We also have a chance to meet professors at universities and hold discussions to explore effective means and ways to work together.”

Iftikhar A. Khan adds from Islamabad: Addressing a press conference in the federal capital, Dr Shah said aid to Pakistan was not tied to the country’s performance in stemming militancy. He underlined the need for financial management control to ensure that the aid was spent to achieve the defined objectives.

He said the US had significantly enhanced investment portfolio for Pakistan without setting any specific conditions.

He said the purpose of his visit was to learn about priorities in development and put in place many principles discussed during the recent round of strategic dialogue in Washington.

Dr Shah hinted at the possibility of helping Pakistan augment its water reservoirs. “We are looking at a broad range of options and will do everything which makes economic sense.” He said the US was working with other donors and international partners to help Pakistan improve its hydro infrastructure.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report about Pakistan government's latest plan to tackle power shortages:

According to government sources, Pakistan's energy shortfall comes to around 3,668 megawatts (MW) per day.

BBC correspondents say officials hope the new measures will save 1,500 MW a day.

Mr Gilani said that Pakistan's government would pay 116 bn rupees ($1.38bn) to the power sector to help resolve the issue of debt owed to various power producers within the industry.

Measures include extending the official weekend from one to two days, early closure of street markets, and a 50% cut in power to government offices.

Pakistan's energy crisis is due to a surge in demand and a failing power distribution infrastructure.

The shortages have crippled industry and led to rioting across Pakistan.

Electricity supplies to homes and businesses across Pakistan are often cut for several hours a day because of the power shortfall.

Extending the weekend will shorten the working week and so cut electricity use by businesses.

Mr Gilani says the government will take the lead in cutting demand for energy.

"We are taking these decisions in the best national interest," he told reporters.

Other energy-saving measures include:

* The power supply to Karachi, Pakistan's main port and industrial capital, will be reduced by 300 MW a day
* Marriage halls will no longer be able to host all-night wedding parties
* Neon signs and brightly-lit billboards are to be banned

All the measures will be reviewed at the end of July.

Mr Gilani said he would introduce government units and 13 independent power producers as part of the plan.

He said the steps were necessary and that the government now had a long-term strategy to deal with the power crisis.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says that the energy crisis is also seen as a threat to Pakistan's security situation.

Pakistan's leadership has been examining alternatives to its hydroelectric power-based energy producing sector.

One option they are looking at is more civilian nuclear power plants, our correspondent says.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times report about Pakistan's growing power crisis:

Pakistan is in the throes of an energy crisis, with Pakistanis now enduring about 12 hours of power cuts a day, a grueling schedule that is melting ice, stopping fans and enraging an already exhausted populace just as the blast furnace of summer gets started.

In an effort to stem that frustration, Pakistan’s government held an emergency meeting last week, bringing together top bureaucrats from across the country. But instead of easing the problem, it aggravated it, ordering power-saving measures that seemed calculated to smother some Pakistanis’ last remaining pleasures.

“They are playing a joke on us,” said Amina Ali, the mother of a bride at a wedding hall that was under orders to close early as part of the new energy-saving restrictions. Her brother chimed in: “The Pakistani people are a toy in the hands of the government.”

The power failures could prove destabilizing if they go unchecked, analysts said. Pakistan badly needs its economy to expand to make space for its bulging young population, and chronic power cuts work against that.

It is a concern for the United States, which is trying to help steady Pakistan’s wobbly finances and keep its democratically elected government afloat. The Obama administration has pledged about $1 billion for energy over the next five years.

The crisis is a snarl of unmet responsibilities, and untangling it will not be easy. It has a cast of guilty characters that goes back years: governments that are incapable of planning ahead; bureaucrats who take bribes; even ordinary people who steal about 30 percent of all the power produced. The tribal areas in the west, for example, have no meters and have never paid for power.

The result is about $2 billion a year in energy that is generated but not paid for. Industry experts said they were skeptical the government had a way to close the growing gap between Pakistan’s demand for power and the energy sector’s ability to produce it.

“There is nobody in Islamabad who is working on a coherent, integrated plan,” said one industry executive who asked not to be identified because he did not want to be seen as being critical of the government. “The discussion just keeps going in circles.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece on plans for wind turbine domestic manufacturing in Pakistan published in Dawn:

PROPOSALS for local manufacturing of wind turbines and allied equipment on commercial basis from foreign and domestic companies for partnership with Pakistan Machine Tool Factory (PMTF) at Karachi are in advanced stage of evaluation. The initiative has been launched by the State Engineering Corporation.

In July 2009, the expressions of interest (EOIs) were invited by the Corporation internationally. World reputed manufacturers in the USA, China and the European countries were also contacted directly seeking their collaboration for progressive manufacturing of wind turbines.

Enormous potential for power generation from wind energy has been identified in various parts of the country.. In 2006, the Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) had announced an attractive investment policy for promotion of renewable energy and many manufacturers of wind turbines like GE Energy (Canada), Vestas (Denmark) and Siemens/Fuhrlander (Germany) had shown interest in setting up wind farm projects in partnership with domestic entrepreneurs.

This is not for the first time that efforts have been made for manufacturing of machinery for wind mills. In response to the Energy Policy 1994, two wind power projects were proposed to be established in Sindh and Balochistan. The American sponsors of Kenetech wind power project of 100 mw capacity, who are also the manufacturers of wind turbines, had collaborated with the PMTF for local manufacturing of wind turbines, under technology transfer arrangement. No physical progress was achieved as none of the projects was approved by the government, courtesy the powerful lobby of oil-based thermal power plants.

Again, in 2006, Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) planned to diversify its wide-range production programme of power plant machinery to cover wind energy projects as well. The pioneering efforts by HMC to obtain requisite technology for one or two megawatt capacity wind turbine from any global key player however, were thwarted by the AEDB, which instead supported private sector participation for local manufacturing. The AEDB had claimed to have signed agreements with a few Western companies for the design, engineering and manufacturing of wind turbines and accessories. Based on these agreements the AEDB was said to be looking for qualified companies to commence assembly-cum-manufacturing of equipment locally. Nothing happened.

In the recent past, New Park Energy Limited proposed to establish a wind turbine generator assembly plant at Nooriabad, Dadu. The sponsor has obtained approval for the development of a wind farm of 1,000 mw in phases, the first phase project being of 400 mw capacity.

The government has allocated 1,000 acres of land to the company in the Gharo-Keti Bunder wind corridor on concessionary rates. The first wind energy project was thus launched in December 2004, but only of 45 mw capacity, proposed to be installed with 30x1.5 mw General Electric (GE) wind turbines. The project, which was to attain commercial operations in 2007, still remains on paper and even the Letter of Support (LOS) has not yet been obtained by the sponsors, despite a lapse of five years......

If the indigenisation programme is successfully implemented it would prove to be precursor for rapid development of the wind power projects for its low cost, high reliability and for being environmental friendly. India has over 10,833 mw installed wind power capacity, as in September 2009, with majority of wind turbines produced locally. Today, India has nine principal manufacturers and suppliers of wind electric generators in the range of 225 kw to two mw units.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a report on the cost of wind turbines in 2011:

Wind energy, it appears, has never been so competitive. Prices for wind turbines last year dropped below €1 million ($1.36 million) per megawatt for the first time since 2005, due largely to over-capacity, greater manufacturing efficiency and increased scale, according to the market researcher Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The group’s most recent Wind Turbine Price Index, based on confidential data provided by 28 major purchasers of wind turbines, shows that prices remain under pressure in most parts of the world. The survey includes more than 150 undisclosed turbine contracts, totaling nearly 7 GW of capacity in 28 markets around the world, with a focus on Europe and the Americas.

While the news is good for wind farm project developers hoping to save money, it’s troubling for manufacturers and component suppliers trying to make money – they have seen their margins shrink over the past couple of years. Global turbine contracts signed in late 2010 for the first six months of this year averaged €980,000 per MW, down 7 percent from €1.06 million per MW in 2009 and a peak of €1.21 million in 2008 and 2007.

All manufacturers covered by the survey showed “aggressive pricing, according to New Energy Finance, which was acquired by Bloomberg in 2009. Low-priced power-purchase-agreements in markets exposed to competitive electricity prices – rather than fixed feed-in tariffs – appear to have put additional pressure on turbine contracts. Average prices in Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States were well below €1 million per MW for contracts signed in 2010 and slated for delivery in the first half of this year.

The cost of electricity generated by wind is now at record low levels, according to the survey. “For the past few years, wind turbine costs went up due to rising demand around the world and the increasing price of steel,” Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in a statement. “Behind the scenes, wind manufacturers were reducing their costs, and now we are seeing just how cheap wind energy can be when overcapacity in the supply chain works its way through to developers.”

Overall, the annual 2010 global wind market shrunk for the first time in two decades, down 7 percent from 38.6 GW in 2009 due mainly to a disappointing year in the U.S. and a slowdown in the Europe, according to figures released earlier this month by the Global Wind Energy Council. The U.S. which is traditionally one of the strongest wind markets, saw its annual installations drop by 50 percent from 10 GW in 2009 to just over 5 GW in 2010, GWEC said in a statement.

“Our industry continues to endure a boom-bust cycle because of the lack of long-term, predictable federal policies, in contrast to the permanent entitlements that fossil fuels have enjoyed for 90 years or more,” Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said in the same statement.

GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer believes 2011 will be better. “Orders picked up again in the second half of 2010 and investments in the sector continue to rise,” he said.

On that note, French manufacturer Alstom won a contract this month from Traianel to build Germany’s 80-turbine Borkum West II wind farm offshore farm. The project is scheduled for completion in March 2012.

Riaz Haq said...

US Energy Secretary Chu believes solar and wind will be competitive with energy from fossil fuels without subsidies by 2020. Here's a report:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled initiatives aiming to make solar power as cheap as fossil fuels, and stimulate 10 GW of offshore wind development, in the next decade.

The DOE said the solar initiative, dubbed as a “sun shot” by energy secretary Steven Chu – in reference to John F. Kennedy’s “moon shot” goal of landing a man on the moon in the 1960s – would reduce the cost of solar power by 75 percent.

Chu said that would put the price of installed solar power at about $1 per watt, or about six cents per kWh, and allow solar energy systems to be broadly deployed across the country.

“That would make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of energy without subsidies of any kind,” Chu said, according to Reuters.

The initiative includes $27 million awarded to nine projects to support the development, manufacturing and commercialization of solar energy technologies.

The DOE and Department of the Interior yesterday also announced up to $50.5 million for projects that support offshore wind energy development, and identified several high-priority Wind Energy Areas (pdf) in the mid-Atlantic.

The areas are offshore of Delaware (122 square nautical miles), Maryland (207), New Jersey (417), and Virginia (165), and will receive streamlined reviews to lessen the time for project approval and leasing, the DOE said.

The Department of the Interior said it could offer leases in these areas as early as the end of 2011.

The Interior said it hopes to identify Wind Energy Areas off of north Atlantic states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, in March. The department said it will carry out a similar process for the south Atlantic region, especially North Carolina, this spring.

The $50.5 million, spread over five years, is aimed at developing breakthrough offshore wind technology and removing market barriers.

The departments also published a joint plan called the National Offshore Wind Strategy (pdf). The plan calls for deploying 10 GW of offshore wind by 2020 and 54 GW by 2030, with development in both oceans, the Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes.

The plan focuses on three key challenges to offshore wind: the high cost, technical challenges, and lack of site data and expertise with permitting processes.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Business Monitor International (BMI) 2011 report on power sector in Pakistan:

The new Pakistan Power Report forecasts Pakistan will account for 1.12% of Asia Pacific regional power generation by 2015, with the chance of possible generation surplus if investment rises and the country’s substantial transmission losses can be brought under control. BMI’s Asia Pacific power generation assumption for 2010 is 7,761 terawatt hours (TWh), representing an increase of 5.1% over the previous year. We are forecasting a rise in regional generation to 9,901TWh by 2015, representing growth of 21.2% in 2011-2015.
In 2010, Asia Pacific thermal power generation totalled an estimated 6,187TWh, accounting for 79.7% of the total electricity supplied in the region. Our forecast for 2015 is 7,704TWh, implying 18.6% growth that reduces the market share of thermal generation to 77.8%. This is thanks largely to environmental concerns promoting renewable sources, hydro-electricity and nuclear generation. Pakistan’s thermal generation in 2010 was an estimated 64.2TWh, or 1.04% of the regional total. By 2015, the country is expected to account for 0.83% of regional thermal generation.
Gas is the dominant fuel in Pakistan, accounting for an estimated 50.9% of primary energy demand (PED) in 2010, followed by oil at 31.0%, hydro-electric energy at 9.6% and coal with a 6.9% share. Regional energy demand is forecast to reach 5,508mn tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) by 2015, representing 20.0% growth from the estimated 2011 level. Pakistan’s estimated 2010 market share of 1.54% is set to ease to 1.51% by 2015. Pakistan’s estimated 2.9TWh of nuclear demand in 2010 is forecast to reach 7.0TWh by 2015, with its share of the Asia Pacific nuclear market rising from an estimated 0.53% to 0.90% over the period.
Pakistan now shares eighth place with Malaysia in BMI’s updated Power Business Environment Ratings, thanks to its relatively high level of renewables (mostly hydro) usage and healthy energy demand growth prospects. Several country risk factors offset the industry strength, but the country is in a good position to keep clear of the Philippines below.
BMI now forecasts Pakistan real GDP growth averaging 3% a year between 2011 and 2015, with the 2011 growth assumption being 1.5%. The population is expected to expand from 173mn to 194mn, with GDP per capita increasing by 24% and electricity consumption per capita rising by 5%. Power consumption is expected to increase from an estimated 75TWh in 2010 to 87TWh by the end of the forecast period. After power industry usage and transmission losses, there is scope for a supply surplus by 2015 of around 4TWh, assuming 2.9% average annual growth in electricity generation during 2011-2015.
Between 2010 and 2020, we are forecasting an increase in Pakistani electricity generation of 32.3%, which is below average for the Asia Pacific region. This equates to 15.3% in the 2015-2020 period, up from 14.8% in 2011-2015. PED growth is set to increase from 20.5% in 2011-2015 to 22.4%, representing 47.4% for the entire forecast period. An increase of 50% in hydro-power use during 2011- 2020 is a key element of generation growth. Thermal power generation is forecast to rise by just 8% between 2011 and 2020, with nuclear usage up 314% from a low base. More details of the long-term BMI power forecasts can be found at the end of this report.

Mohan said...

Some two years back there was a huge debate in India about the nuclear deal with US. The major opposition came from the communist party, which did not like India having a stratagic partnership with US, the champions of world capitalism. They organised several workshops which was intented to educate the public about renewable energy, a few of which I also attented.

Several professors and activists explained, like if we convert all the wind, all the hydral power etc, we can produce more energy than from the proposed nuclear reactors and we should protest aganist the nuclear deal. Sounds good, but not practical. India is a corrupt country. Thus buliding several units that produce small amounds of energy will provide more room for corruption and inefficancy than building a single unit which produce huge power (nuclear reactor). Single units that produce huge power is also the best solution in an energy short, but rapidly growing economy. Situation being similar or even worse in Pakistan, in my opnion, its better not to go in the renewable energy direction. Like India, nuclear power is the best option for Pakistan. Many viewed my arguments politically biased as I am a firm supporter of the ruling Congress party which initiated the nuclear deal, but I belive there is some truth in what I said.

Riaz Haq said...

Sindh govt allocates Rs. 3.7 billion for Thar coal development in 2011-12 budget, according to Dawn:

KARACHI, June 11: Tormented by the power shortages the Sindh government focuses on developing indigenous coal reserves. In the next Annual Development Plan it has earmarked Rs3710.937 million for Thar coal project.

For energy sector a total of Rs1214.499 million has been kept in the ADP 2011-12. This include Rs1100 million for the coal gasification project.

Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while explaining salient features of the budget for 2011-12 said: “Thar coal reserves of 175 billion tons are ample for provision of cost-effective energy for centuries”.

He said that once the reserves were properly exploited they could help in generating 20,000MW by 2020.

Recently, in international competitive bidding, two Chinese companies, an Australian company, and Pakistan Petroleum Limited participated.

As a result, two Chinese companies have been selected to undertake coal exploration, power generation and establishing petro-chemical complex at two blocks of Thar.

He said the bankable feasibility study for joint venture project of the Sindh government and Engro was created to boost the potential in a record period of eight months.

The Sindh government and the federal government have included this project in the list of projects to be taken up with the Pak-China Joint Energy Working Group (JEWG) formed during the last visit of the Chinese prime minister to Pakistan, he said.

Leading Chinese companies have shown strong interest in executing this project. The mining and power generation from this project is expected in 2015-16 depending upon the financing arrangements for the project.

The test burn at Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is expected during coming financial year. After successful testing, the project will be scaled up to produce 2x50MW electricity.

He said the government has made serious efforts to provide critical infrastructure for development of Thar coal.

A scheme for bringing water to Thar from Makhi Farash has been approved by ECNEC, feasibility studies for effluent disposal and laying of broad-gauge railway line are to be completed in June, 2011.

Work on improvement and widening of road for movement of heavy machinery from Karachi to Mithi-Islamkot is expected to start in next year.

According to rough calculations an amount of $1.20 billion is needed over a period of next five years to develop the required infrastructure for Thar.

Serious efforts are also in place to exploit the Gharo-Keti Bandar wind corridor.

During the Sindh chief minister`s recent visit to South Korea an MoU to generate 2000MW of wind energy was signed with Korea Southern Power Company.

The issue of electric power is of great priority for Sindh. The CCI has given approval to the removal of a limit on the ceiling of 50MW, which was earlier set at which provinces could construct power plants.

The Sindh government has signed a letter of intent with the Three Gorges Project Corporation, China`s premier electricity producer, to help explore the hydro power potential in Sindh.

A team from CWE, a subsidiary of the Three Gorges, recently visited Sukkur Barrage to gauge the potential for constructing a power plant.

Under the village electrification programme 446 villages were provided electricity during 2010-11, while the process for providing power to 350 more villages is underway.

Riaz Haq said...

ADB targets solar power projects in Pakistan: Daily Times:

ISLAMABAD: Asian Development Bank (ADB) will launch the Asia Accelerated Solar Energy Development Fund with $2.25 billion as it targets solar power projects in countries including China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Thailand to add another 1,000 megawatts next year and 1,500MW in 2013, said a statement of the ADB.

“By providing an enabling environment for commercial lending and private investment in the solar energy market, we hope to encourage its rapid growth and bring solar energy nearer to grid parity-making solar energy competitive in price to conventional sources,” ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said at a clean energy forum in Manila.

Asia needs to invest around $10 billion in the next few years to make solar power generation competitive with conventional energy sources and called for radical steps to fight climate change.

ADB wants Asia, home to about two-thirds of the world’s population to add 3,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity by the end of 2013, he added.

Already this year, it has helped countries add 500 megawatts, doubling the region’s solar capacity. Fast-growing Asian economies rely heavily on fossil fuels. ADB has forecast Asia-Pacific imports of fossil fuels will more than double between 2005 and 2030, with oil accounting for more than 90 percent of such imports.

“The total cost of this 3,000 MW is about $10 billion, of which we are planning to commit $2.25 billion,” sais S Chander, Principal Director at ADB’s Office of Information Systems and Technology.

“Our job is to catalyse enough projects to increase volumes and to make sure that the manufacturers (of low-carbon technologies) have an incentive to invest in research and development,” Chander said.

ADB invested $1.76 billion in clean energy across 29 projects last year and said it is on track to meet a goal of $2 billion in clean energy investments annually by 2013. It plans to inject $60 million into three venture capital funds that will provide early-stage financing support for new climate technology products. It expects this initiative to leverage over $400 million in private sector investment.

Kuroda said Asia had a lot to lose from climate change and needed to act quickly to develop alternate energy source. “A big push is needed to accelerate this transition,” he said. “The climate fight will be won or lost by decisions made in this region.” app

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is ready to approve a Norwegian company’s request to build a 150-megawatt wind farm, the first part of a $1 billion plan that could boost by a third the announced capacity for clean-energy power plants, according to Bloomberg News:

Pakistan is seeking to diversify its energy supplies away from oil and gas and boost electricity production. The nation has a power deficit of 3.6 gigawatts a day, or more than the output of two nuclear reactors, triggering 12-hour blackouts that cause riots and close factories in cities nationwide.

The Alternative Energy Development Board is willing to allow a project proposed by NBT AS, a Lysaker-based clean energy company that plans to build the facility in the Sindh province “wind corridor” north of Karachi, according to Said Arif Alauddin, chief executive of the government agency.

“They came to us saying they have got the money and relationship with the Chinese and they want to invest,” Alauddin said from the port city of Karachi. “As soon as they pay the fee, we will issue that letter to them. We will be able to give them the land if we can see they can deliver.”

Pakistan has almost 1 gigawatt of projects under construction or with financing agreed and 498.5 megawatts more of wind programs announced, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data. Only 6 megawatts of wind energy facilities are operating in the nation. It’s the ninth-poorest in the Asia- Pacific region with a 2009 gross domestic product per capita of $2,609, according to Bloomberg data.
Chinese Financing

NBT Chief Executive Officer Joar Viken said he plans to tap financing for his project from one of three Chinese turbine makers that his company is talking with about supplying machinery for the facilities.

“We think Pakistan is a very good environment and has a very good framework,” Viken said in a phone interview from New York. “Because we get everything in U.S. dollars, we don’t have a huge currency risk.”

Viken said NBT would issue a tender to Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Sinovel Wind Group Co. and China Energine International Holdings Ltd. (1185) to supply the turbines. Each of the companies have credit lines with the China Development Bank Corp., a state-owned lender.

“Goldwind now is actively seeking more cooperation opportunities with domestic as well as foreign wind farm developers to expand Goldwind’s presence in overseas markets,” Thomas Yao, a spokesman for the company, said in an e-mail. “Norway’s NBT AS is among the international opportunities we are currently considering.”

A spokesman for China Energine, who asked not to be named in line with company policy, said he doesn’t know about the talks and can’t comment. Officials at Sinovel couldn’t be reached.
Financing ‘Feasible’

The financing arrangements are “feasible” because the Chinese turbine makers would not develop the projects themselves, said Eduardo Tabbush, an industry analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London.

“This is something we’ve seen happening more and more,” Tabbush said.

NBT envisions developing as much as 650 megawatts of wind power in Pakistan over the next few years. It already has purchased land suitable for 50 megawatts in Sindh province and is seeking a partnership with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, a university in Karachi, for land for the other 100 megawatts, Alauddin said.
Support Mechanism
-------
The country’s electricity shortfall reaches as much as 3,628 megawatts per day, according to demand-supply data available on the ministry of power and water website.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-13/pakistan-set-to-approve-1-billion-plan-to-boost-wind-energy-production.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report of venture fund CapAsia investing in Pakistani wind energy projects:

CapAsia, a joint venture private equity fund manager between CIMB Group and Standard Bank Group, has announced a $20.5 million investment into two wind parks in Pakistan. The capital will be deployed from its Islamic Infrastructure Fund (IIF). The assets are 50MW each wind parks currently in development in the Sidh province of Southeast Pakistan, being built by domestic corporates Fauji Foundation, Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim and the Tapal Group.

Construction will begin at the end of 2011, with a completion date targeted in March 2013. The project is part of the government's push for renewable energy investment, first announced in 2006, but only taken up in earnest in the past six months.

In 2007, former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, said he hoped alternative energy could help increase power generation by 10-12% per annum in a country where many of the 150 million people still live off the grid.

Mirza Arshad Ali Beg, President of the Pakistan Environmental Assessment Association previously said in an interview with media that he worried about the government's policy because it could not be accomplished without the help of foreign capital and goods. "For solar power we will depend on imported photovoltaic cells, for windmills we shall have to depend on an investor to bring in the necessary technology, equipment and parts, and we will see similar scenarios with biogas or energy from solid waste, or even nuclear energy."

He appears to be right. In November of 2010, Pakistan and the United States signed a wind power generation project agreement slated to be completed in 2012, which would cost $375 million for a wind farm capable of producing 150MW of electricity. It was the first of its kind, using a public-private partnership model often employed for infrastructure projects in countries like India and China. And, last month the ADB agreed to lend up to $200 million to help fund several wind farm projects that would produce 250MW per annum of power.

The potential for the use of alternative technologies to produce energy in Pakistan has never been fully explored, but the regions of Gharo and Jhimpir in the Sindh Province have better wind resources than other areas, with wind speeds averaging nearly 7 meters per second.

The IIF was developed jointly by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and now counts CapAsia as fund manager.


http://www.avcj.com/avcj/official-record/2036244/capasia-goes-pakistan-wind-energy

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts of an interesting paper on solar energy published in Scientific American:

The sun strikes every square meter of our planet with more than 1,360 watts of power. Half of that energy is absorbed by the atmosphere or reflected back into space. 700 watts of power, on average, reaches Earth’s surface. Summed across the half of the Earth that the sun is shining on, that is 89 petawatts of power. By comparison, all of human civilization uses around 15 terrawatts of power, or one six-thousandth as much. In 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day.

The numbers are staggering and surprising. In 88 minutes, the sun provides 470 exajoules of energy, as much energy as humanity consumes in a year. In 112 hours – less than five days – it provides 36 zettajoules of energy – as much energy as is contained in all proven reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas on this planet.

If humanity could capture one tenth of one percent of the solar energy striking the earth – one part in one thousand - we would have access to six times as much energy as we consume in all forms today, with almost no greenhouse gas emissions. At the current rate of energy consumption increase – about 1 percent per year – we will not be using that much energy for another 180 years.
-----------
The cost of solar, in the average location in the U.S., will cross the current average retail electricity price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour in around 2020, or 9 years from now. In fact, given that retail electricity prices are currently rising by a few percent per year, prices will probably cross earlier, around 2018 for the country as a whole, and as early as 2015 for the sunniest parts of America.

10 years later, in 2030, solar electricity is likely to cost half what coal electricity does today. Solar capacity is being built out at an exponential pace already. When the prices become so much more favorable than those of alternate energy sources, that pace will only accelerate.


http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=smaller-cheaper-faster-does-moores-2011-03-15

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an assessment of Pakistan's electricity crisis as published in Dawn:

Renowned Scientist and Member Science and Technology, Planning Commission of Pakistan Dr Samar Mubarakmand on Tuesday said the development of Thar coal was the only viable long-term solution to energy crisis prevailing in the country.

“Only Thar Coal can provide guaranteed long-term energy security to Pakistan,” he said while speaking at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI).

He said that the solution to power shortage had to be found indigenously and in this regard the Thar coal was the best option.

He said the electricity generated through integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants would cost Rs7 per KWH. He said that coal could also be converted into coal gas above the ground in machines called surface gasifiers, and the efficiency of the conversion of coal gas to electricity is about 40 per cent.

Dr Samar said that Thar Coal reserves could play a pivotal role in meeting energy crises both in long term and short term which would enhance industrial competitiveness due to cost effectiveness.

He said that the industrial sector could not wait for long and the government should present quick solution to fill in the gap between demand and supply of energy

He said that the 41 per cent electricity of the world was being produced from the coal, adding that India was producing 64.6 per cent electricity from the coal, whereas Pakistan was only producing 2.27 per cent electricity from coal. He said that 95 per cent natural wealth was not being utilised, whereas not a single kg of coal was mined.

He said that the current energy crisis was causing loss of Rs230 billion and rendering 400,000 people jobless. Current dependable power supply hovers around 14,000MW in summer though it drops in the winter.

On the other hand power demand in 2030 would be more than 100,000MW, he added.

Meanwhile, Mahfooz Elahi, President ICCI said that energy was the key determinant of economic development of the country as Pakistan has been facing an unprecedented energy crisis for past few years.

The government must look towards building power plants and tap alternative energy resources for overcoming power shortage, he maintained.

ICCI President said that delay in fulfilment of export consignments has become a matter of routine due to power outages.

To meet the growing demands of energy, Government should exploit its domestic energy resources which would make the country self-reliant, he emphasised.


http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/06/solution-to-energy-crisis-lies-in-tapping-thar-coal.html

Riaz Haq said...

A renewable energy initiative led by Pakistan Engineering Council chairperson and PPP senator Rukhsana Zuberi is installing solar panels on many public buildings in Islamabad and elsewhere in Pakistan. She is an NED University mechanical engg alum.

Click here to see details of the program.

http://www.powerasia.com.pk/icaep2011/presentations/Session1/Senator_Rukhsana_Zuberi.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

US funding of huge dam project in Pakistan angers India, according to Miami Herald:

ISLAMABAD -- Even as U.S.-Pakistani cooperation on anti-terrorism programs is withering, the United States is considering backing the construction of a giant, $12 billion dam in Pakistan that would be the largest civilian aid project the U.S. has undertaken here in decades.

Supporters of a U.S. role in the project say American participation would mend the United States' tattered image, going a long way toward quieting widespread anti-Americanism amid criticism that the U.S. lavishes money on Pakistan's military while doing little for the country's civilian population.

Approval of the project still faces many hurdles. India objects to the dam because it would be in Kashmir, an area that India also claims. The project also is likely to face opposition from Pakistan's critics in the U.S. Congress, who've called for all aid to be cut off after Osama bin Laden was found hiding in northern Pakistan earlier this year. Recent Pakistani actions, including allegations this week that Pakistan had allowed Chinese military experts to inspect the wreckage of an American stealth helicopter that crashed in the bin Laden compound, are likely to inflame such criticism.

Still, proponents of U.S. aid for the project recall that the United States was popular in Pakistan in the 1960s and '70s, when Washington backed the construction of two enormous dams, Tarbela and Mangla.

"Getting involved in a long-term project like this is very compelling for us," said a senior U.S. official who asked not to be identified because no final decision on the project has been made. "This would be a huge demonstration of our commitment to Pakistan and our faith in the country's future."

The Diamer Basha dam would provide enough power to overcome Pakistan's crippling electricity shortage. Proponents of the project also claim that its water storage capacity, in a 50-mile-long lake that would be created behind the dam, would be so great that it would have averted last's years devastating floods, which deluged a fifth of the country, pushed 20 million people out of their homes and caused an estimated $10 billion in damage.

The U.S.-Pakistani alliance since 2001 has been plagued by accusations in Washington that Islamabad is playing a "double game" by secretly supporting Afghan insurgents, while Pakistan thinks it's been bullied into acting against its own interests and that it's been unfairly blamed for American failures in Afghanistan. The unilateral American raid that killed bin Laden in May humiliated Pakistan's powerful military, causing anti-terrorism cooperation to be all but halted.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/16/2361801/us-considers-funding-pakistani.html#ixzz1W4Cr14es

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a summary of BMI research report on Pakistan's electricity sector:

The new Pakistan Power Report from BMI forecasts that the country’s power consumption will rise from 77TWh in 2010 to 112TWh by the end of the forecast period, representing average annual growth of 3.9% in 2011-2020. After power industry usage and system losses, we see a supply surplus rising from the estimated 19TWh level seen in 2010 to 28TWh by 2020, assuming 3.9% average annual growth in power generation during the period.

Pakistan’s power generation in 2010 is put by BMI at 95.4TWh, having recovered strongly from the depressed 2009 level of 89.2TWh. BMI is forecasting an average 4.2% annual increase to 117.1TWh between 2011 and 2015. Thermal generation, comprising coal, gas and oil, is expected to increase by an average annual 2.3% during the period to 2015, but growth looks set to accelerate later in the decade.

We expect gas-fired power generation to climb 4.0% a year between 2011 and 2015, with an average annual growth rate of 4.7% forecast to 2020. Gas-fired generation should therefore reach 47.7TWh by 2015 and 62.1TWh by 2020. The share of total power generation should therefore increase from 41.1% to 44.4% by the end of the forecast period. Under the 25-year Energy Security Plan, the government is aiming for 77.8GW of new gas-fired generating capacity by 2030, representing by far the greatest area of growth for power generation. Over the longer term, conversion of older oil plants to gas should mean oil takes a smaller slice of the power pie. It currently accounts for around 30.4% of total generation, falling to a maximum of 24.5% by 2015 thanks to greater gas, hydro and nuclear expansion.

The 25-year energy security plan envisages an increase in nuclear power generation of up to 8.8GW by 2030. The plan predicts the share of nuclear power would increase to 4.2% of the country’s total energy mix. BMI suggests that 2010 nuclear power generation was 2.7TWh, rising to 2.9TWh by 2015 and to 3.2TWh by 2020. Pakistan has huge hydro-electric potential of an estimated 42GW, but currently boasts under 7GW of installed capacity. Power generated varies depending on the extent of the country’s droughts. It has been forecast that US$20bn would be needed to exploit fully hydro-power resources.

Pakistan now shares eighth place with Malaysia in BMI’s updated Power Business Environment Ratings, thanks to its relatively high level of renewables (mostly hydro) usage. Several country risk factors offset the industry strength, but the country is in a good position to keep clear of the Philippines below.


http://www.bizreportshop.com/product/bmi/Pakistan-Power-Report-Q2-2011_180580.html

Riaz Haq said...

ADB is financing a big solar power push in Asian nations, according to the Express Tribune:

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said it will launch the Asia Accelerated Solar Energy Development Fund with $2.25 billion as it targets solar power projects in countries including China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Thailand to add another 1,000 megawatts next year and 1,500MW in 2013.

“By providing an enabling environment for commercial lending and private investment in the solar energy market, we hope to encourage its rapid growth and bring solar energy nearer to grid parity – making solar energy competitive in price to conventional sources,” ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said at a clean energy forum in Manila on Wednesday.

He said Asia needs to invest around $10 billion in the next few years to make solar power generation competitive with conventional energy sources and called for radical steps to fight climate change.

He said ADB wants Asia, home to about two-thirds of the world’s population, to add 3,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity by the end of 2013. Already this year, it has helped countries add 500 megawatts, doubling the region’s solar capacity. Fast-growing Asian economies rely heavily on fossil fuels. ADB has forecast Asia-Pacific imports of fossil fuels will more than double between 2005 and 2030, with oil accounting for more than 90 per cent of such imports.

“The total cost of this 3,000 MW is about $10 billion, of which we are planning to commit $2.25 billion,” S Chander, Principal Director at ADB’s Office of Information Systems and Technology, told reporters.

“Our job is to catalyse enough projects to increase volumes and to make sure that the manufacturers (of low-carbon technologies) have an incentive to invest in research and development,” Chander said.

ADB invested $1.76 billion in clean energy across 29 projects last year and said it is on track to meet a goal of $2 billion in clean energy investments annually by 2013. It plans to inject $60 million into three venture capital funds that will provide early-stage financing support for new climate technology products. It expects this initiative to leverage over $400 million in private sector investment.

Kuroda said Asia had a lot to lose from climate change and needed to act quickly to develop alternate energy source. “A big push is needed to accelerate this transition,” he said. “The climate fight will be won or lost by decisions made in this region.”


http://tribune.com.pk/story/194487/adb-targets-solar-power-projects-in-pakistan/

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan set to announce incentives for renewable energy investors, according to Bloomberg:

Pakistan will announce its first tariff policy for clean-energy producers next month, offering premium payment rates as it seeks to attract investors to help overcome power shortfalls.

The country has given approval to 30 companies to install wind plants with an estimated capacity of 1,500 megawatts, said Arif Alauddin, chief executive of the state-run Alternative Energy Development Board.

“There will be a feed-in tariff based on a cost-plus approach,” he said in an Aug. 23 interview at his office in Islamabad. The tariff policy “offers an extremely good rate of return,” with most of the risks covered by the government, he said.

Developers may be able to get as much 18 percent returns on their investment, he said, declining to say what the feed-in tariff rates will be.

Pakistan is seeking to diversify its energy supplies away from oil and gas and boost electricity production. The nation has a power deficit of 3 to 4 gigawatts a day, or more than the output of two nuclear reactors, triggering 12-hour blackouts that cause riots and close factories in cities nationwide.
Financial Closure

The feed-in tariffs will speed the development of projects in the pipeline, Alauddin said. Companies that are close to achieving financial close include Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim AS (ZOREN), a Turkish power utility, China International Water & Electric Corp. and Fauji Foundation’s two plants in Sindh province, he said.

Pakistan has almost 1 gigawatt of wind-power projects under construction or with financing agreed upon and 498.5 megawatts more of plants announced, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data. Only 6 megawatts of wind-energy facilities are operating in the nation.

Commercially exploitable wind exists in many parts of Pakistan, especially in Sindh and the coastal area of Balochistan. Zorlu Enerji’s project is Pakistan’s first privately owned and financed wind farm.

Pakistan is the ninth-poorest country in the Asia-Pacific region with a 2009 gross domestic product per capita of $2,609, according to Bloomberg data. Its fight with Taliban militants in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, a debt pileup among energy companies and unwillingness of banks to finance power projects are creating some “barriers” for potential investors, Alauddin said.

“The engineering, procurement and construction cost and the turbine cost that are offered to Pakistani investors appear to be higher than what is being offered elsewhere in the world, maybe 20 percent to 25 percent higher,” he said.

Pakistan is seeking to derive at least 5 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, the development board said in March. Last year, 53 percent came from natural gas, 30 percent from oil and the rest from coal, nuclear and hydropower, according to data from BP Plc. The London-based oil company didn’t measure the sources of renewable energy there.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-25/pakistan-offers-renewable-energy-incentives-to-tackle-shortages.html

Riaz Haq said...

ADB assures to consider financing for Bhasha Dam,reports Daily Times:

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is considering various options in a positive direction to finance multi-billion dollars Diamer Basha dam project.

This was stated by ADB Director General Jaun Miranda, while talking to the Federal Minister for Water and Power, Syed Naveed Qamar here today. A three-member ADB delegation called on him here on Friday.

The ADB also agreed to provide counter guarantees to the investors for investing in the wind power generation projects in Pakistan, he assured the meeting. The wind power generation projects will generate cheaper electricity in the country. Miranda said that the bank is already providing financial assistance for power distribution enhancement project and will continue its support for the project in order to improve the energy efficiency. Transmission and distribution system and energy loss reduction programme are also being funded by ADB for all distribution companies (Discos). He said that the bank is ready to expand its funding for replacement of all obsolete distribution network. The bank will provide financial assistance for free distribution of 30 million energy saver bulbs in the country. These energy savers will help reducing peak hours demand over 1000 Megawatts. He also said that the bank would fully support the energy conservation initiatives of the government.

The Minister for Water and Power appreciated the role of the ADB for improvement in energy sector and said that the support of the bank for energy efficiency programme will help save energy and reduction in the transmission and distribution losses. The Minister also thanked for providing counter guarantee facility for wind power projects. The Minister also briefed the delegation regarding new energy sector improvement initiatives like operation and maintenance contract of generation companies through private sector and conversion of existing independent power producers to cheaper fuels. He also asked the ADB to finance mega-water and power sector projects to end the crises in these sectors.

The ADB director also discussed current status of power sector reforms, energy efficiency programmes, central power purchasing agency, independence of Discos. The Minister also assured that all efforts would be made to timely complete the existing projects being funded by ADB.


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\27\story_27-8-2011_pg5_2

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan will unveil a new renewables feed-in tariff (FIT) next month as it looks to narrow its economically-crippling energy gap, according to rechargenews.com:

The Pakistani government first launched a FIT in 2006, but the package bore little fruit and the country still has just 6MW of operational wind capacity.

The new FIT is aimed at jump-starting renewables in a nation that faces a 3-4GW energy shortfall, made worse by the devastating floods in 2010.

In sharp contrast to Pakistan’s paltry wind portfolio, neighbouring India had more than 13GW installed at the end of 2010, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

While Islamabad has not spelled out the new FIT rates, a spokesman for the state-run Alternative Energy Development Board says investors will be able to net internal rates of return of up to 18% under the new support regime.

The government has already given the go-ahead to 1.5GW of projects, with several developers near to reaching financial close. These include Turkish utility Zorlu Enerji and China International Water & Electric.

Zorlu Enerji’s 49.5MW project near Hyderabad will be Pakistan’s first privately-owned wind farm.

In 2010, for the first time, more wind capacity was added in emerging economies than in the traditional wind markets in the OECD countries.

Industry figures say attitudes towards wind energy have shifted dramatically in developing countries like Pakistan in recent years, as officials come to grips with the immense opportunity wind brings for rapidly adding generation capacity.

Pakistan has a target of a 5% share of power from renewables by 2030.


http://www.rechargenews.com/business_area/politics/article274782.ece

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting excerpt from a report about Pakistan's power sector published in Miami Herald:

There is no place where the country's energy shortage isn't profound. Rural areas are without electricity for up to 16 hours a day while towns often go without for as many as 12 hours daily, forcing factories to close and plunging homes into darkness.

Natural gas supplies are rationed, with factories in the country's most populous province, Punjab, going without two days a week.

Pakistan's economic output is cut by at least 4 percent because of the shortages, the government estimates, something that hampers the country's hopes to battle extremism by creating more economic opportunities. The outages also feed political discontent, triggering frequent, if local, street protests.

Solving the energy problems is a top priority for the United States' aid program, with a State Department delegation here this week, led by Ambassador Carlos Pascual, the Obama administration's special envoy on international energy affairs.

But Pakistan's plans for a 1,700-mile natural gas pipeline from Iran, which would provide Pakistan with a cheaper source of fuel for electricity generation, is a stumbling block.
-------------------
Despite Pakistan's huge hydroelectric potential, it hasn't built a big dam project since the 1970s. Since the U.S.-backed government of President Asif Zardari was elected in 2008, a mushrooming chain of "circular" debt has enveloped the power sector.

The government has assumed $3.6 billion of the power industry's debt. The government-owned power grid owes another $2.5 billion to private-sector generators, even as the government, according to Finance Ministry figures, spent at least $7.4 billion on electricity subsidies during the 2008-2010 period.

Washington and international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund have repeatedly urged Pakistan to cut subsidies, which anemic government finances cannot afford.

Critics say that the government hasn't added to the electricity infrastructure in its three-and-a-half year term, while sinking billions of dollars into unproductive subsidies and taking on debt.

Of the $3.6 billion debt the government assumed, half were bills the government itself hadn't paid, said Ejaz Rafiq Qureshi, the spokesman of the Pakistan Electric Power Co., the state-owed national electricity grid. The rest is owed by private consumers.

At the end of August, a group of nine private power plants demanded that the government pay them within 30 days $540 million it owed for power generation.

Roughly half of Pakistan's current electricity output of 13,000 megawatts comes from the private generators. But there is more capacity that the government doesn't use. Government-owned equipment that could generate another 2,000 megawatts has been sidelined because of poor maintenance. Private equipment that could generate another 2,500 megawatts has been taken out of service because the government hasn't paid its bills, said Abdullah Yusuf, who represents the private producers. Combined, that amounts roughly to the entire immediate shortfall.

"If you had this capacity available, straight away your problem would be solved," said Yusuf.

A longer-term energy project is Pakistan's proposed $12 billion Diamer Basha dam, which would add 4,500 megawatts to Pakistan's electricity generating capacity. Washington is considering providing significant funding to the project. Separately, the U.S. Agency for International Development is currently working on projects that will add 900 megawatts to the Pakistani grid next year.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/16/2410787_p2/pakistan-search-for-energy-could.html#ixzz1YBKY4KxS

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a US State Dept blog post on US AID efforts for energy projects in Pakistan:

The United States and Pakistan reviewed progress on ongoing energy programs and recommitted themselves to pursuing practical solutions to Pakistan's energy needs during the latest Pakistan-United States Energy Dialogue this week. Ambassador Carlos Pascual, U.S. Department of State Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs, joined Pakistani Minister of Water and Power Naveed Qamar to reaffirm the partnership. They met September 14-15 in Islamabad.

"As all Pakistanis know, reliable and affordable energy is critical to Pakistan's prosperity. Without it, businesses can't operate and families can't light and cool their homes. Pakistan's future depends on power," Ambassador Pascual said at the opening of the Dialogue. "There are no quick fixes to this crisis, but the United States and international partners are willing to help. We will continue to support Pakistan in its efforts to resolve this energy crisis."

Ambassador Pascual reaffirmed the United States' long-term commitment to working with Pakistan to establish a commercially-viable and sustainable power sector. During the Dialogue, the U.S. and Pakistan reviewed ongoing cooperation in the energy sector. USAID highlighted its ongoing energy programs, which will bring more than 900 MW of power to the Pakistani grid by 2012. The programs include construction and rehabilitation of three hydropower plants (Satpara, Gomal Zam and Tarbela) and three thermal power plants (Guddu, Muzafargarh, and Jamshoro).

This extra energy will bring power to approximately 7 million people, eradicate 20 percent of Pakistan's existing power shortage, reduce annual oil imports by more than one million barrels and help store water for irrigation and flood control. The increases to the energy sector will also bring job opportunities for as many as 2.5 million heads of households.

The U.S. delegation welcomed Pakistan's plans, elaborated in the Integrated Energy Sector Recovery Report and Plan, to put the power sector on a commercially-viable and sustainable path. In the Dialogue, Pakistan underscored its commitment to strengthen energy sector governance and efficiency, pursue regulatory reforms, improve financial management, and create a business climate that helps drive investment.

Key topics of discussion at the energy dialogue included: an overview of the power sector and challenges it faces; the current policy and regulatory framework, and possible reforms; availability of primary fuels; the role of the private sector; and regional energy initiatives.

The U.S. underscored that these measures will help develop a stronger foundation for investment. Both sides agreed to continue technical exchanges in areas that can help improve power availability. The U.S. also welcomed Pakistan's continued engagement with international financial institutions and the private sector to assess feasibility of viable hydropower projects and appreciates its commitment to international environmental and societal standards, while also focusing on the importance of water management.


http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/site/entry/us_pakistan_energy_solutions

Riaz Haq said...

Increased load shedding in Pakistan alone has cost 400,000 jobs in recent years, according to the World Bank. Although the World Bank report does not address it directly, the anecdotal evidence suggests that almost all of Pakistan's job growth for the decade occurred from 2000-2007 when the economy showed robust gdp growth. During 2000-2007, Pakistan's economy became one of the four fastest growing economies in Asia with its growth rate averaging 7.0 per cent per year for most of this period. As a result of strong economic growth, Pakistan succeeded in reducing poverty by one-half, creating almost 13 million jobs, halving the country's debt burden, raising foreign exchange reserves to a comfortable position and propping the country's exchange rate, restoring investors' confidence and most importantly, taking Pakistan out of the IMF Program. Contrary to its public criticism of the Musharraf-era economy, the preceding facts were acknowledged by the current government in a Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) for 2008/09-2009/10, while signing agreement with the IMF on November 20, 2008.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2011/09/pakistan-tops-south-asia-jobs-growth.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a report in The Nation about an International Coal Conf in Karachi:

The international conference was told that Thar region of Sindh province is endowed with mammoth coal (lignite) reserves estimated to be 175 billion tonnes which can produce 100,000MW of electricity for next 300 years and can be a key to energy security and economic prosperity.
----------
“The government has started working on the policy of retrofitting 5300MW of furnace oil based power plants to coal-based initially on imported coal and then on indigenous coal when available,” he (Minister Naveed Qamar) informed the audience.
-----------
Removing the misconceptions about Thar coal, Dr Marcos Leontidis, mining expert from Greece, said that the stripping ratio in Thar is around 6.6: 1, which is much better than many lignite mines in the world including Greece.
Dr Larry Thomas, coal expert from United Kingdom, said that sulphur content in Thar is acceptable being at 0.7%, which is lower than found in many other lignite resources already being used in the world and its moisture levels are same or even less than found in most of the lignite mines in the world. He further said the coal from Thar although may not be exportable to other countries but can be transported to be used in other parts of the province after drying.
Nigel Pickett from SRK-UK in his presentation said renewable energy cannot provide Pakistan reliable energy supplies due to its seasonal and cyclic nature. It has to be part of our energy mix to meet the peak demands and reduce fossil fuel consumption. Volatility of oil prices in 2007 brought heavy stress on the economy and indigenous coal provides the only option to achieve energy security for the country.
Zubair Motiwala, Chairman Sindh Board of Investment, briefed the forum about investment potential of Thar coal and said many international companies from China, South Korea, Germany, Czech Republic, Australia, UK and Turkey have shown their interest in investment in coal mining and power generation in Thar coal and also in the infrastructure projects. He also informed that the Government of Sindh is conducting 3rd International Competitive Bidding for blocks VIII, IX and X of Thar Coalfield and also blocks in Sonda and Badin for attracting international companies to develop coal mining and power generation projects in Sindh.
Mohammad Younus Dagha, Provincial Secretary Coal and Energy Development Department/MD Thar Coal and Energy Board stressed the need to create an ideal energy mix by replacing imported furnace oil to indigenous coal for power generation.


http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Business/23-Oct-2011/5300MW-plants-will-be-converted-to-coal-Qamar

Riaz Haq said...

Here's David Brooks of NY Times on "shale gas revolution" in America:

The United States is a country that has received many blessings, and once upon a time you could assume that Americans would come together to take advantage of them. But you can no longer make that assumption. The country is more divided and more clogged by special interests. Now we groan to absorb even the most wondrous gifts.

A few years ago, a business genius named George P. Mitchell helped offer such a gift. As Daniel Yergin writes in “The Quest,” his gripping history of energy innovation, Mitchell fought through waves of skepticism and opposition to extract natural gas from shale. The method he and his team used to release the trapped gas, called fracking, has paid off in the most immense way. In 2000, shale gas represented just 1 percent of American natural gas supplies. Today, it is 30 percent and rising.

John Rowe, the chief executive of the utility Exelon, which derives almost all its power from nuclear plants, says that shale gas is one of the most important energy revolutions of his lifetime. It’s a cliché word, Yergin told me, but the fracking innovation is game-changing. It transforms the energy marketplace.

The U.S. now seems to possess a 100-year supply of natural gas, which is the cleanest of the fossil fuels. This cleaner, cheaper energy source is already replacing dirtier coal-fired plants. It could serve as the ideal bridge, Amy Jaffe of Rice University says, until renewable sources like wind and solar mature.

Already shale gas has produced more than half a million new jobs, not only in traditional areas like Texas but also in economically wounded places like western Pennsylvania and, soon, Ohio. If current trends continue, there are hundreds of thousands of new jobs to come.

Chemical companies rely heavily on natural gas, and the abundance of this new source has induced companies like Dow Chemical to invest in the U.S. rather than abroad. The French company Vallourec is building a $650 million plant in Youngstown, Ohio, to make steel tubes for the wells. States like Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York will reap billions in additional revenue. Consumers also benefit. Today, natural gas prices are less than half of what they were three years ago, lowering electricity prices. Meanwhile, America is less reliant on foreign suppliers.

All of this is tremendously good news, but, of course, nothing is that simple. The U.S. is polarized between “drill, baby, drill” conservatives, who seem suspicious of most regulation, and some environmentalists, who seem to regard fossil fuels as morally corrupt and imagine we can switch to wind and solar overnight.

The shale gas revolution challenges the coal industry, renders new nuclear plants uneconomic and changes the economics for the renewable energy companies, which are now much further from viability. So forces have gathered against shale gas, with predictable results.

The clashes between the industry and the environmentalists are now becoming brutal and totalistic, dehumanizing each side. Not-in-my-backyard activists are organizing to prevent exploration. Environmentalists and their publicists wax apocalyptic.

Like every energy source, fracking has its dangers. The process involves injecting large amounts of water and chemicals deep underground. If done right, this should not contaminate freshwater supplies, but rogue companies have screwed up and there have been instances of contamination.

The wells, which are sometimes beneath residential areas, are serviced by big trucks that damage the roads and alter the atmosphere in neighborhoods. A few sloppy companies could discredit the whole sector...........


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/opinion/brooks-the-shale-gas-revolution.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=brooks&st=cse

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan planning to purchase two nuclear power plants from China, reports The Express Tribune:

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan has planned to purchase two nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 2,000 megawatts from China, which will be utilised for setting up Karachi Nuclear Power Plant-2 (Kanupp-2) and Kanupp-3 and help mitigate the energy crisis.

According to documents available with The Express Tribune, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) are likely to enter into an agreement to conduct a joint study to finalise design modifications, which would enable Pakistan to acquire two nuclear power plants, each having power generation capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

After completion of this project, a contract for establishing Kanupp-2 and Kanupp-3 will be negotiated.

The Planning Commission has said CNNC may be asked to grant intellectual property rights for the existing 1,000-megawatt plant and suggest steps which could help Pakistan avoid violation of property rights.

China has three state-owned corporations, which can own and operate nuclear power plants, including China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Company (CGNPC) and China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC).

CGNPC currently operates four nuclear power plants of 3,758 megawatts in China and also involved in 16 other projects having capacity of 25,000 megawatts, which are under construction. The company’s focus has been on three-loop 1,000-megawatt plants.

The Planning Commission also questioned whether PAEC had approached the three nuclear power plant developers in order to ensure fair competition in offering the plants. “Moreover comparison of intellectual property rights of other nuclear power plant vendors may also be brought out,” the commission said.

In an attempt to increase power generation capacity, the government focuses on developing nuclear energy on a relatively bigger scale. Accordingly, the Energy Security Action Plan has envisaged increasing the share of nuclear power by installing 8,800-megawatt nuclear power plants by 2030.

The import of nuclear power plants will lead to electricity generation at cheaper rates compared to the thermal source, contributing to tackling the power crisis. About a month ago, power shortages reached their peak at around 8,000 to 8,500 megawatts, forcing long hours of outages across the country.

The load-shedding has disrupted industrial activity, denting overall economic growth of the country, which stood at 2.4 per cent last fiscal year.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/289908/energy-requirement-pakistan-to-buy-two-nuclear-power-plants-from-china/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Arab News report on Islamic Dev Bank funding a hydroelectric project in Pakistan:

JEDDAH: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has signed a $60 million lease finance deal with Pakistan for the development of the Patrind Hydropower Project.

The agreement was signed by Ahmed Al-Hariri, manager, country operations division, Southeast Asia and Farouk Javed, CEO, Star Hydropower Limited in Islamabad.

The power plant is expected to be completed by 2016 and add 147 MW of power to the country’s national grid, helping the Asian country increase utilization of its renewable resources and generate power in an economically sustainable manner to reduce dependency on imported fuel.

“The project represents 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country. After 30 years concession period the project will be handed over to the government of Pakistan,” a statement on the South Asian News Agency (SANA) said.

According to data from the IDB, Pakistan is the second-largest beneficiary of IDB financing.

Since the bank’s inception in the mid-1970’s the multi-lender has committed $7.6 billion including 85 projects worth $2.2 billion mainly in the transportation and power-generation sectors to the country.

In addition to the financing being committed by the IDB, funding is also being provided by the Export-Import Bank of Korea, the Asian Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation for a total injection of nearly $400 million for the project.

The project, according to a study carried out by its sponsors, Star Hydropower Limited, will call for the resettlement of 28 residences in the small village of Patrind on the Kumhar River.

“In Pakistan the increasing demand for electric power is now outstripping the supply. The gap between supply and demand has resulted in load shedding, causing serious setback to national economy. To close this gap, different possibilities for electrical power generation have been identified including a series of hydropower projects,” the report stated.


http://arabnews.com/economy/article555273.ece

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times story on India benefiting from plummeting prices of solar panels and solar energy:

Over the last decade, India has opened the state-dominated power-generating industry to private players, while leaving distribution and rate-setting largely in government hands. European countries heavily subsidize solar power by agreeing to buy it for decades at a time, but the subsidies in India are lower and solar operators are forced into to greater competition, helping push down costs.

This month, the government held its second auction to determine the price at which its state-owned power trading company — NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam — would buy solar-generated electricity for the national grid. The average winning bid was 8.77 rupees (16.5 cents) per kilowatt hour.

That is about twice the price of coal-generated power, but it was about 27 percent lower than the winning bids at the auction held a year ago. Germany, the world’s biggest solar-power user, pays about 17.94 euro cents (23 American cents) per kilowatt hour.

India still significantly lags behind European countries in the use of solar. Germany, for example, had 17,000 megawatts of solar power capacity at the end of 2010. But India, which gets more than 300 days of sunlight a year, is a more suitable place to generate solar power. And being behind is now benefiting India, as panel prices plummet, enabling it to spend far less to set up solar farms than countries that pioneered the technology.

In its solar power auctions, moreover, NTPC is not creating open-ended contracts. The last auction, for example, was for a total of only 350 megawatts, which will cap the government’s costs. The assumption is that the price of solar power will continue to decline, eventually approaching the cost of electricity generated through conventional methods.

Most Indian power plants are fueled by coal and generate electricity at about 4 rupees (7.5 cents) per kilowatt hour — less than half of solar’s cost now. In this month’s auction, the recent winning bids were comparable to what India’s industrial and commercial users pay for electricity — from 8 to 10 rupees. And solar’s costs are competitive with power plants and back-up generators that burn petroleum-based fuels, whose electricity costs about 10 rupees per kilowatt hour.

“At least during daytime, photovoltaic panels will compete with oil-generated electricity more than anything else” in India, said Cédric Philibert, a senior analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris. “This comparison is becoming better and better every month.”

In addition to the federal government, several of India’s states like Gujarat, where Khadoda is located, are also buying power at subsidized rates from solar companies like Azure Power.

Analysts do not expect India’s solar rollout to be problem free. They say some developers have probably bid too aggressively in the federal auctions and may not be able to build their plants fast or cheap enough to survive. Consequently, or because their bids were speculative, some developers are trying to sell their government power agreements to third parties, analysts say, even though such flipping is against the auction rules.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/business/energy-environment/in-solar-power-india-begins-living-up-to-its-own-ambitions.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=todayspaper

Riaz Haq said...

Vestas has received an order for a total capacity of 50.4 MW, consisting of 28 units of the V90-1.8 MW wind turbines for a wind farm project in Nooriabad in the Jimphir region of Pakistan, according to Reve:

The contract comprises supply of the wind turbines, supervision of the installation on site, commissioning as well as a VestasOnline® Business SCADA system and a two-year service and availability agreement. Delivery of the wind turbines is scheduled to start in the first half of 2012 and the wind power project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

The order has been placed by Zorlu Energy Pakistan Ltd., which is a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of the Turkish Zorlu Enerji Electricity Generation Inc. In 2006, the company signed an agreement with the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) of the Government of Pakistan to build the first wind farm in Pakistan for a total capacity of 56.4 MW. The first phase of the wind power project comprising 6 MW has been in operation since 2009 and the second phase comprising the 50.4 MW will be delivered by Vestas.

Murat Sungur Bursa, CEO of Zorlu Energy Group declares: “We take pride in building the first wind power plant in Pakistan, which will lead the wind industry in the country and, hopefully, will motivate other investors to seek opportunities in the region. In this wind farm, Vestas is a very strong technology partner offering us reliable and efficient products. We trust that they will deliver the best solutions with high-quality service and professional sector experience both locally and globally. Our partnership on this particular project will have a positive impact within the region in terms of social and economic welfare and it will strengthen our collaboration.”

“We are pleased to have been chosen as preferred partner for this project by Zorlu Enerji, one of the largest energy companies in Turkey. They have shown their trust in our capabilities and our team to support them in this new challenging project in Pakistan ensuring business case certainty and a high return on the investment,” says Olcayto Yigit, Director, sales region Turkey, Vestas Türkiye.

Juan Araluce, President, Vestas Mediterranean, concludes: “We are extremely proud to start our operations in a new market, such as Pakistan, through the development of this important project together with the Zorlu Energy Group. I am very confident that this project will pave the way for an even stronger relationship between both companies.”

Sean Sutton, President, Vestas Asia Pacific, concludes: “We are glad to be part of this prestigious project in Pakistan. We believe that this milestone puts Vestas in an advantageous position to encourage and support the development of wind power in this country going forward.”

Zorlu Energy Pakistan’s 56.4 MW wind power plant will have an estimated annual production of 159,000 MWh per year, which corresponds to the residential electricity consumption of approx. 350,000 persons in Pakistan. Moreover, the wind farm will save the environment from more than 90,000 tons of CO2 emissions on an annual basis.

As part of its short-term policy, the Government of Pakistan introduced in 2006 a Policy for Development of Renewable Energy for Power Generation with the aim of utilizing the unexploited wind resources in the country as well as of attracting new investments to Pakistan. This cooperation between Zorlu Enerji and Vestas will be a landmark to pave the way for developing wind energy in the country.

http://www.evwind.es/noticias.php?id_not=15518

Riaz Haq said...

Stored solar? Here's NY Times on storing solar energy for the hours when the sun is not shining:

..That would be solar thermal power, which harnesses heat from the sun and converts it to steam to make electricity as the need arises, especially when the sun has disappeared behind a cloud or dropped below the horizon.

Electricity is unique among major commodities in that it must be produced and consumed simultaneously. It can be stored in a battery, of course, but for now, that technology’s costs are so high that batteries are used mostly to smooth out production from renewable sources, not to save it for later.

The economics of a plant that can store bulk amounts of energy are a bit arcane. At the simplest level, the idea is to gather the sun’s heat when it is available and save it until prices for electricity reach a peak. At the moment, though, prices peak when the sun is high in the sky, because that is when the demand for power, mostly for air-conditioning, is highest. Some experts think it will be years before the power system is so saturated with solar photovoltaics that thermal storage becomes worthwhile.

“As the world exists now, what you’re doing with storage is taking high-priced peak potential generation and moving it to off-peak,” said George Sterzinger, director of the Renewable Energy Policy Project, a nonprofit group in Washington.

But one solar thermal plant with storage is already in service, near Seville, Spain. Built by Torresol Energy, the plant is small, just under 20 megawatts. And four are in construction or on the drawing boards in the American Southwest, as I explained in my article.

Their backers are betting that photovoltaics will get cheap and will drive down the price of electricity in daylight hours. But there are other reasons that energy storage might be a good deal from a financial point of view.

One is that the two biggest forms of renewable energy, wind and solar, have a tendency to gear up and then fall off very quickly, at least by the standards of conventional generators. If the rest of the system has to respond, then a lot of plants running on coal or natural gas would have to increase their output or cut it very quickly.

If the fraction of energy derived from renewable sources is small, that’s not a big problem; if solar makes up, say, 2 percent of production, and if it falls by half in a few minutes, the rest of the system can compensate. But if solar makes up 20 percent, the potential problem gets bigger.

Paul Denholm, a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Boulder, Colo., recently estimated that 5 percent of annual photovoltaic production might have to be shut off because it came at the wrong time or introduced too much instability into the system. Adding storage, he said, could be worth 0.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. (That sounds small, but it’s an appreciable fraction of the national average retail price of a kilowatt-hour, which is around 11 cents.)

Worth even more is the value of a source that can be counted on to produce when needed, as opposed to when the sun is shining; that’s worth 0.7 cents to 2 cents, he calculated.

There are other ways to store electricity, but all of them incur costs, both for equipment and the energy. The “round-trip efficiency” of a solar thermal system – that is, the ratio of energy recovered compared with the energy invested – is in the range of 95 percent. That’s far higher than the ratio for the biggest conventional form of storage, pumped hydro, which involves pumping water up a hill and letting it turn a turbine to make electricity on the way down later.

Another technique is storing energy by compressing air. But with either of these, the energy being stored might have come from a coal-fired plant, which will not help the environment or help a utility meet its quota for renewable energy.

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts from The Nation story on $513 million ADB loan for water and power projects in Pakistan:

Pakistan and Asian Development Bank (ADB) has singed two loan agreements worth of $513.24 million that included $270 million for the tranche-2 of the Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Investment Programme (PIAIP) and $243.24 million for tranche-3 of the Power Transmission Enhancement Investment Programme.

Secretary Irrigation Department Punjab and Country Director Asian Development Bank in Pakistan have signed the first agreement of "Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Investment Programme (PIAIP) Tranche-II". This agreement aims at sustainable improved delivery of services for irrigated agriculture and better water management in Punjab. The project aims to provide reliable irrigation supplies to the Lower Chenab Canal Command area.

According to the agreement this project would include construction of a new barrage complex to be located approximately 275 meters downstream of the exiting Khanki Headwork on the river Chenab, which new barrage complex shall include a main weir and under sluice; gats and hosting arrangements; and operating deck and access road bridge. Construction of a canal head regulator adjacent to the new barrage and a lead channel to the existing lower Chenab canal and the dismantling of the existing Khanki Headwork and provision of implementation support to the project executing agency for construction supervision and management expenses of PMO barrage. The project is expected to be completed by the 30th June 2016. Secretary Economic Affairs Division and Country Director Asian Development Bank in Pakistan singed the second agreement Power Transmission Enhancement Investment Programme tracnhe-III.

This agreement targets to enhance the efficiency of the overall power transmission system and to provide an adequate and reliable power supply to a greater number of commercial, industrial and residential consumers. The projects shall comprise following, a new 600km 500 KV transmission line from Jahmshoro to Moro, Daudu and Rahim Yar Khan, a new 500 KV grid stations a Moro and expansion/ augmentation of 3 existing 500 KV grid stations at Jamshoro. Dadu and Rahim Yar Khan. A new 125 KM 220 KV transmission line from UCH-II power plant to the 220-grid station at Sibbi, and a connection between the UCH-I and UCH-II power plants. A new 200 KV grid station at Mansehra and procurement of transmission system equipment. This project is expected to be completed by 31st December 2015.


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/business/19-Jan-2012/adb-signs-loan-deals-with-pakistan-513-24m-for-power-agriculture

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan wants to be leading producer of wind energy, says a story in Express Tribune:

Despite being a late entrant to the wind energy race, Pakistan is soon going to join leading wind energy producers because of growing interest of investors and forward-looking renewable energy policies of the government, says Fauji Fertilizer Company Energy Limited Project Director Brigadier (R) Tariq Izaz.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a briefing arranged for select media at the company site at Jhampir, District Thatta, on Thursday.

“With eight projects of wind energy in progress, the country is all set to take off in this area,” said Izaz. “This will not only reduce electricity shortages, but will also help ease the burden of oil imports that cost over $12 billion annually.”

Fauji Fertilizer Company Energy Limited (FFCEL) will start producing electricity on commercial basis from November this year, which will be the first addition of wind power to the national grid. The company initially plans to produce 50 megawatts and later expand the capacity to 250 megawatts.

Izaz said the future of wind power was extremely bright because of the wind corridors in Sindh. To substantiate his point, he said, the fair category of wind speed in most parts of the world is between 6.2 and 6.9 metres per second (m/s). There are a few places that come under the good category where wind speed is between 7 and 7.3 m/s.

Fortunately, the wind speed in the Sindh corridor is stronger than the above two categories and it stands in the excellent category that is between 7.5 and 7.7 m/s.

FFCEL, a subsidiary of Fauji Fertilizer Company, will start trial energy production from June, which will be provided to the national grid free of charge by the time commercial production starts in November.

According to a USAID report, Pakistan has the potential of producing 150,000 megawatts of wind energy, of which only the Sindh corridor can produce 40,000 megawatts. Jhampir, Gharo and Keti Bander are the three areas where Sindh has a huge potential for wind energy.

Fauji Fertilizer has acquired 1,283 acres of land for the project and invested $135 million since its start in March 2007. At present, the company is in the process of installing 33 wind turbines.

Izaz claimed that the project had achieved 60% completion target. Seventeen sets of wind turbines and blades have already arrived, while remaining 16 turbines and blades are scheduled to reach Karachi in March.

He said seven wind turbines had already been installed and the remaining 25 towers were in different stages of manufacturing at the Karachi Manufacturing Works at Bin Qasim.

Keeping in view the country’s energy demand, the government has decided to increase the share of renewable sources in the overall energy mix. The renewable energy policy was unveiled in December 2006 and the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has issued 97 letters of interest for wind energy – FFC got 24th for 50 megawatts and 96th for an additional 100 megawatts. AEDB also allotted land to 23 investors – 12 in Gharo and 11 in Jhampir.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/341000/pakistan-to-take-lead-in-wind-energy/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Power Engg website report on renewable energy potential in Pakistan:

Pakistan's geography is most conducive to exploitation of solar energy as it is 6th most fortunate country in the world in terms of solar irradiance and where sunshine availability is 8-10 hours per day over much of the plans of Sindh, Balochistan and Southern Punjab.

Solar energy intensity in sunbelt of Pakistan is approximately 1,800-2,200 Kwh per square meter per day which is most favourable for exploitation of solar energy. Potential capacity for installation of solar photovoltaic power by some estimates is 1,600 GW, which is 40 times greater than present consumption. Based on range of currently possible conversion efficiencies in area of one sq km has potential to produce 40-55MW power and can generate revenue conservatively estimated at Rs 1 billion per month at current average tariffs of Rs 10 per Kw-hr.

Since solar power is available only during times of sunshine, it can at most meet up to 30% of daily consumption without need for energy storage such as in underground salt deposits. Wasteland and desert of Thar, lower Sindh & Balochistan are prime contenders to establish large solar farms with capacities of generating more than 250 gigawatts electric power to meet energy shortfall over coming decades, says expert Samir Hoodbhoy who participated in technology breakthroughs in robotics systems, semi-conductors and first mobile cellular system developed. He directed creation of Central Design Bureau of Pakistan Steel Mills in 1988-92.

Hydrokinetic and solar thermal are two most promising alternate renewable energy solutions that can be used to reduce Pakistan's rising $10 billion annual fuel imports and energy deficits and at same time preserve environment by not adding to hazards of increased carbon gases emissions caused by use of furnace oil and natural gas. Deserts of Tharparkar & Balochistan have potential for producing several hundreds of GWatts power.
--------------
Alternate Energy Development Board AEDB says Nokundi in Chagai district is one of world's most ideal wind corridors where wind speed is almost constantly 12.5% higher than average required for energy generation. Other parts of wind corridor includes a 300-kilometre-long area with wide open spaces from Dalbandin to Taftan, a town on border of Iran, Gharo to Keti Bandar in Thatta district of Sindh province which is 60 km long and 170 km deep corridor and estimated to have a power generation potential of 50,000MW. Similar is case of Lasbela district of Balochistan province, where wind energy at sustainable speed, good for power generation is available with little variation in seasons (five meters per second in winter and eight meters per second in summer).

Hoodbhoy says in Balochistan potential for wind generation is attractive, current unsettled political, socioeconomic conditions are disincentives for construction of large wind turbines and solar farms with capacities of 1MW. Under settled conditions, this region could easily become attractive carbon gas free energy producing center.

Mini wind farming projects (1-50 kWatts) along with small solar farms scattered over remote inaccessible areas presents attractive proposition that will help mitigate localized needs of electricity for lighting, communications, pumping water with tube wells for irrigation, domestic consumption. Larger wind power and solar power farms with individual production capacity of 0.5-500 MW developed along wind corridors and desert hinterland of Balochistan, respectively, have capacity to radically alter socioeconomic plight of Pakistan by resuscitating agricultural and industrial sectors.


http://www.power-eng.com/news/2012/02/22/wind-power-and-solar-energy-in-pakistan.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some promises by WAPDA as reported in The News:

“WAPDA is also working on projects that will generate 35,500 MW of hydroelectricity including 22,800 MW run of the river projects,” WAPDA Chairman Sahkeel Durrani said.

“We are committed to ensure that Pakistan takes full advantage of its hydroelectricity production potential,” he said.

The first unit of 96 MW hydropower project at Jinnah Barrage has already been commissioned and it would start operating on full capacity by the end of this year, he said.

Durrani said that the 121 MW Allai Khwar project at Battagram is almost complete and would start generating power within few months.

“Duber Khwar - a 130 MW hydroelectric project at Kohistan, is scheduled to generate full power by December 2012,” he added. In addition Satpara Dam is generating 17.36 MW of hydroelectricity.

The 72 MW Khan Khwar hydropower project in 2011 is already generating its installed capacity, Durrani said.

“This is a humble contribution of WAPDA to reduce the gap between demand and supply of electricity,” he said.

Work on high capacity hydroelectricity projects is in full swing. He said the feasibility study and detailed engineering and design of 7,100 MW Bunji project in Gilgit Baltistan has been completed and is currently under review of WAPDA experts.

He said feasibility study of Dasu Dam in Khyber Pakhtunkwa has been completed. This dam he added would store 1.15 million acres of water and produce 4320 MW hydro electricity. “Consultants for preparation of detailed design and tender documents have been mobilized,” he added.

“Hydroelectric power projects having the potential to recover cost in short time are darlings of world donor agencies,” he said. Finances for such projects are available with much ease than other power projects.

There are 17 run of the river power generation sites that have been identified by WAPDA experts and work on the feasibility studies on most of them have been initiated.

These include some high power potential projects like 2100 MW Tungas, 2800 MW Yulbo at Sakurdu, 2800 MW Thakott at Besham and 2800 Patan at Patan.

He expressed confidence that the speed of work at Neelum Jehlum Hydroelectric Project would accelerate as the high tech tunnel boring machines have arrived at site. He said this would help WAPDA to complete the 969 MW power project on schedule in 2016.

Durrani said the 496 MW Lower Spat Gah; 665 MW Lower Palas Valley; and 600 MW Mahl; run of the river projects would be completed under Public Private Partnership. He hoped that the private sector would come forwards to grab this lucrative opportunity.

Chairman Water and Power Development Authority hoped that resources for 896 MW Tarbela (extension) and 1401 MW Munda Dam would be soon mobilized. Munda with a storage capacity of 1.3 million acres feet (MAF) would also act as buffer against floods in Khyber Pakhtumkhwa.

He said Mangla raising would add 2.88 MAF of water in the reservoirs. He said 34 MAF additional water storage would be available after completion of Munda Dam, Dasu Dam, Gomasl Zam Dam and Satpara Dam. He said Diamer Basha and Khurram Tungi Dam - both of which are ready for construction would add 9.3 MAF in water reservoirs.

He said the current water storage capacity in the country is 11.91 MAF after depletion of 4.37 MAF due to silting in the existing dams.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=92882&Cat=3

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn report on Pakistan's tremendous wind energy potential:

Pakistan’s first 50-megawatt wind energy project at Jhimpir in Thatta district will start its trial electricity production in June, which will be provided to the national grid free till the start of commercial operation in November.

This was stated by Tariq Izaz, project director of the FFC Energy Limited (FFCEL), on Thursday while briefing the media on the location, where the project is in its final stage of completion.

Pakistan had the potential to produce up to 346 gigawatts of electricity through wind energy alone provided we utilised the potential and more companies start building wind energy projects in the country, he said.

Mr Izaz said if Pakistan produced just 10 per cent of the available wind energy potential, that is 34GW, in the next 15-20 years, it would be well on the path to energy security and prosperity.

The company has acquired 1,283 acres for the project and spent about $135 million on the project. The FFCEL will subsequently increase the energy production capacity through wind power projects to 250MW. Currently the company is installing 33 wind turbines.

He claimed that the project had achieved 60pc completion target. Seventeen sets of wind turbines and blades had already arrived here, and the remaining 16 turbines and blades were scheduled to reach Karachi in March. Seven wind turbines had been installed and 25 towers were in different stages of manufacturing at the Karachi Manufacturing Works, Bin Qasim.

Concrete pouring of 23 turbine foundations had been completed and civil works were in different stages on the remaining 10 foundations, he said.

Besides, he said, the construction of three kilometres of access road, 18km internal roads, culverts over the gas line, and temporary site facilities had been completed.


http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/24/wind-energy-project-may-begin-trial-production-in-june.html

Riaz Haq said...

China's solar push has cut solar energy prices down to 17 cents per KWhr vs 12 cents per KWhr for wind, reports Bloomberg:

For years, solar took a back seat to wind as China’s preferred form of renewable energy. Solar was less efficient and cost about four times as much per kilowatt hour of production. As raw materials costs for panels have fallen, that gap has narrowed, says Ming Yang, vice president for business development at Shanghai panel maker JA Solar (JASO). Today, producing a kilowatt hour of solar power costs about 17¢, he says, vs. 12¢ for wind, and prices are falling fast.

That’s gotten the attention of Chinese officials. “There’s been a big change in the mindset of policy makers,” says Yang, whose company is on track to sell “north of 20 percent” of its production in China this year, more than double last year’s share. Like most in the industry, JA has benefited from an initiative dubbed Golden Sun that offers state support to developers of solar installations. Although introduced in 2009, Golden Sun started to take hold last year, when the government approved more than 600 Mw of projects. NPD Solarbuzz says there will be about 1,000 Mw of new Golden Sun projects in 2012.

Like Europe, China has started requiring “feed-in tariffs”—guaranteed prices utilities must pay solar power producers for their electricity. Though the rate fell to 16¢ per kilowatt hour this year from 18¢ in 2011, with production costs falling the lower amount is plenty, says NPD Solarbuzz analyst Ray Lian. “If this rate is maintained, we expect to see another surge in installations,” he says.

A larger Chinese market should be good news for renewable energy worldwide, with growing demand from China helping shore up prices at a time Europe is reassessing its solar energy policies. On Feb. 23, German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said his country would cut its assistance by as much as 29 percent. Although U.S. producers such as First Solar (FSLR) have made little headway in China, the country’s growth “will open up a much-needed source of demand,” says James Evans, a senior analyst with researcher Bloomberg Industries in London. A bigger Chinese market “will continue to allow the cost of solar technology to come down,” Evans says, “even without the European subsidized markets.”


http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-15/firing-up-chinas-solar-market

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story on financing of the Neelum-Jhelum project:

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan desperately needs $704 million to complete the strategic Neelum-Jehlum hydropower project on time as the current available capital is only enough for four to five months, sources in the ministry of water and power told The News.



“The cost of the project has swelled to over Rs333 billion for which the Planning Commission is evaluating the revised PC-1 of the project which will be given approval by Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec),” a senior official, who is directly involved in the project, said.



“Pakistan needs a credit line at any cost to maintain the ongoing pace of construction of the project, otherwise project would get delayed,” the official added.



If the project is not completed on time by 2016, India would find itself in a better position to first complete the Kishan-Ganga hydropower project on the Neelum River in the held Kashmir.



Under the Water Treaty, the country which completes the project first on Neelum river will have the first water priority rights. Pakistan is already in a legal battle at the International Court of Arbitration in Hague against India over faulty design of the Indian project.



Keeping in view the strategic emergency of the project, the official said, Pakistan needs $704 million and in this regard the government is under dialogue with various donor countries.



“China has already committed $483 million loan, but it has delayed the disbursement of the credit line,” the official said and added that the Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani is scheduled to visit Beijing some time this month and top priority of the agenda of the premier is to ensure the credit line from the EXIM Bank of China.



“Similarly, Islamic Development Bank has also committed $326 million for the project and the authorities in Pakistan are seeking additional $255 million.”



Moreover, the Saudi Development Fund has also committed $80 million but authorities are asking them to increase the credit line to up to $230 million, the official said. However, negotiations to this effect between Pakistan and Saudi Arab are underway. The UAE has also committed $100 million. The OPEC Fund has also indicated to extend $31 million which may go up to $80 million.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-98495-Pakistan-urgently-needs-$704-million-credit-line

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story of how the worst-hit Punjab industries are switching to alternate power and gas generation:

The Punjab industries are converting on alternative energy due to uninterrupted power and gas outages of six to eights hours daily, besides improving their efficiency to reduce costs and stay competitive domestically and internationally, analysts said on Tuesday.

“We are unable to compete with similar industries in other provinces that enjoy full gas supplies and lower electricity load-shedding, said Syed Nabeel Hashmi, Chairman Punjab Economic Forum.

The majority of industries are suffering from power and gas load-shedding, but some have managed to reduce the operating cost through improvement in their efficiencies.The manufacturing sector in Punjab is now using biomass (agricultural waste), solid municipal waste, coal gasifiers, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), used tyres, rejected leather soles as alternative fuels to gas, furnace oil and diesel, he said.



In addition, Punjab industries have upgraded technology and their human resource to improve productivity, said Hashmi.Gohar Ejaz, group leader All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, said, “We would never have realised the quantum of savings that could be made through energy audits.”



German non-government organisation GIZ and Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (SMEDA) have facilitated APTMA member mills by providing free services of highly qualified foreign energy audit and management system experts, he said, adding that only through energy audit and the resultant cost-free changes in the manufacturing system 25 APTMA members gained a cumulative benefit of Rs258 million per annum.



The benefits doubled for those mills that agreed to make some minor investments, he said, adding that savings made through improvement in efficiencies did provide some relief to the mills when they used alternative energy resources.



Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Senior Vice President Kashif Yunus Mehr, who is associated with the steel melting industry, said that larger steel melting units have imported coal gasifiers from China.



The gas produced is use to heat the furnaces, he said.“It costs 20 percent higher than the natural gas as it was the only alternative to keep the industry running as natural gas is mostly unavailable.”

These gasifiers require investment of Rs25 million that mills with small capacities cannot afford, he said, adding that the small steel melting units are using locally-fabricated small gasifiers that are highly inefficient, but serve the purpose of keeping the production intact.



Among the larger corporate sector, Nishat Group has established a 12MW biomass and solid municipal waste-run power plant at its textile processing unit in Lahore, he said.To cut its cost, it is recovering the caustic soda used in its processing mills by installing a recovery plant at its water treatment facility, said Mehr.



At its cement factory in Kalar Kahar, it is using solid municipal waste, used tyres, rubber chappals, rice husk, wheat straw, corn cob, as fuel for heating purposes.“We are not using power supplied by the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) in most of the manufacturing facilities of our group,” said Nishat Group Chairman Mian Mohammud Mansha.



Engineering sector entrepreneur Almas Hyder said, “Unfortunately our industrial sector grew initially on protection that gave rise to huge inefficiencies.”By improving efficiencies the increase in cost of production could be absorbed to a large extent, he said.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-99810-Punjab-industries-converting-to-alternative-energy

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on 368 biogas plants planned for Pakistan's rural areas:

Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) will install 368 Biogas plants in different rural areas by the June 2012 under the project “Development and Promotion of Biogas Technology for meeting domestic fuel needs of rural areas and production of Biocfertilizer”. This project was launched in 2008 through which 2500 family size Biogas plants are to be installed in the country, out of these 2132 plants have been installed and the remaining will be installed by end of financial year 2011-12.

Biogas plant is a device used for converting fermentable organic matter, particularly cattle dung, into a combustible gas (Biogas) and fully matured and enriched organic fertilizer. A typical biogas plant consists of a digester where the anaerobic fermentation takes place, a gasholder for collecting the biogas, the input-output units for feeding the influent and storing the effluent respectively, and a gas distribution system.

Giving further details, Deputy Director PCRET, Sarfraz Khattak said as per livestock census 2000, there are 46.69 million of animals (Buffaloes, Cows, Bullocks) in Pakistan. In the year 2002-03, the domestic live stock population was estimated at 23.3 million cattle, 24.8 million buffalo, 24.6 million sheep and 52.8 million goats.

He said on the average, the daily dung dropping of a medium size animal is estimated at 10 Kg/per day. This would yield a total of 466.9 million Kg dung per day. Assuming 50% collectability, the availability of fresh dung comes to be 233.45 million Kg/ per day. Thus, 11.67 Million M3 biogas per day can be produced through biocmethanation, he maintained.

Since 0.4 M3 gas could suffice the cooking needs of a person per day, therefore 11.67 million M3 of biogas could meet the cooking needs of 29.2 million peoples. The total population of Pakistan is about 170 million, out of which 70% reside in the rural areas.

“We can meet about 30% cooking requirements of the rural masses from this source of energy (biogas) alone. Besides, producing 33.52 million Kg of biocfertilizer per day or 18.6 million tons of biocfertilizer per year, which is an essential requirement for sustaining the fertility of agricultural lands”, said Sarfraz Khattak. Giving details, Deputy Director PCRET said average family in Pakistan consists upon 5-7 members.


http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=147107

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story of wind farms popping up in Jhimpir near Karachi:

JHIMPIR, Sindh, Apr 2, 2012 (IPS) - "I still cannot fathom how electricity can be produced by the wind," said a nonplused Mohammad Ahmed, a 55-year-old local baker, as he gazed up at a row of giant wind turbines.

These huge windmills, over a dozen of them, stand tall over the horizon, visual long before one actually enters the picturesque town of Jhimpir, about 70 kilometres from the southern port city of Karachi, in the Sindh province.

Some reaching 84 metres, others towering at 94 metres tall, weighing approximately 84 metric tonnes (excluding the weight of the towers) their blades slightly longer than the spread of the wings of a Boeing 747, these wind turbines dwarf some of the tallest buildings dotting Karachi’s skyline.

The blades carve through the winds of Jhimpir, producing energy. Four of these, set up by the Turkish company Zorlu Energi, have already been producing and supplying electricity to the government for the last three months.

A year ago, when the entire country was suffering from long hours of power outages and windmills first began producing electricity on an experimental basis in Jhimpir, it was perhaps the only town in Pakistan where the lights never went out.

"It was such a delight but it only lasted a year," said Khair Mohammad Qasi, a poet and a writer based in Jhimpir. "For the entire town, even electricity generated by one windmill is enough," he said.

"Our target for 2013 is to produce over 400 megawatts of electricity based on the land that has been made available," Arif Alauddin, head of the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), the entity responsible for facilitating the private sector’s establishment of windmills, told IPS. "If we have more land, we think we can add 400-500 (additional megawatts) every year," he added.

At the moment, Pakistan is facing a shortage of about 5,000 megawatts of power. Classified as the "best wind regimes" in the country, the energy produced at Jhimpir will go to the national grid, and be spread throughout the country, "wherever it is needed," said AEDB’s spokesperson.

Alauddin explained, "At the (cut off wind speed of 12 metres per second) or higher, the turbines stop operation." The turbines also don’t operate below the speed of 3.5 metres per second.

Overall, the Sindh province has the potential to produce 50,000 megawatts of wind energy, whereas the various pockets around the country can produce as much as 350,000 megawatts, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the United States.

Every few days, a new turbine is seen rising out of the desert-like countryside.

At the moment there are 18 private companies in the field, with projects at various stages of completion. Each project will have a generating capacity of about 50 megawatts, costing 130 million dollars, using different turbines. By next year, eight to ten of these companies will be fully operational.

This means that soon the countryside will be littered with these giant towers, which will catapult Pakistan into the top 20 producers of wind energy.

While work on wind energy has been going on for some years, it is only in the last three years that the sector actually went into high gear.

But now Pakistan seems to be making up for the lost time.

"(Besides) the developed countries with mandatory emission reduction quotas under the Koyoto Protocol, we will be the third, maybe fourth (largest producer of wind energy) after China and India," estimated Alauddin.


http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=107285

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times report on India's fuel shortages hurting electricity generation:

India — India has long struggled to provide enough electricity to light its homes and power its industry around the clock. In recent years, the government and private sector sought to change that by building scores of new power plants.

But that campaign is now running into difficulties because the country cannot get enough fuel — principally coal — to run the plants. Clumsy policies, poor management and environmental concerns have hampered the country’s efforts to dig up fuel fast enough to keep up with its growing need for power.

A complex system of subsidies and price controls has limited investment, particularly in resources like coal and natural gas. It has also created anomalies, like retail electricity prices that are lower than the cost of producing power, which lead to big losses at state-owned utilities. An unsettled debate about how much of its forests India should turn over to mining has also limited coal production.

The power sector’s problems have substantially contributed to a second year of slowing economic growth in India, to an estimated 7 percent this year, from nearly 10 percent in 2010. Businesses report that more frequent blackouts have forced them to lower production and spend significantly more on diesel fuel to run backup generators.

The slowdown is palpable at Sowmya Industries, a small company that makes metal shutters that hold wet concrete in place while it solidifies into columns and beams, a crucial tool for the construction industry.

The company, located outside this city on the southeast coast of India, is struggling with several issues, including a 20 percent increase in the price of raw materials and falling orders.

But Sowmya’s manager, R. Narasimha Murthy, said the lack of reliable power was an even bigger problem. His company loses three hours of power every evening. And all day on Wednesdays and Saturdays — euphemistically called “power holidays” — it receives only enough electricity to turn on the lights but not enough to use its large metal-cutting machines.
-------------
A major problem is the anemic production of coal, which provides 55 percent of India’s electricity. Coal production increased just 1 percent last year while power plant capacity jumped 11 percent. Some electricity producers have been importing coal, but that option has become more untenable recently because India’s biggest supplier, Indonesia, has doubled coal prices.
------------
For many businesses, the power shortage has become debilitating.

In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Srihari Balakrishnan, a textile factory owner, said he goes through 6,300 gallons of diesel fuel on an average day to keep his operation running, spending $3,000 more than he would if power were available around the clock.

“We are not able to use 20 to 30 percent of our capacity,” he said. “We can’t use grid power for two full days of the week. When we have power, we have a six-hour cut,” he added, using an Indian term for blackouts.
----------
Other companies are also stuck. Reliance Power, controlled by the investor Anil Ambani, says it has stopped construction on a large electricity plant nearby because it can no longer afford to buy coal from Indonesia as planned.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/business/global/india-struggles-to-deliver-enough-electricity-for-growth.h

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times report on India's fuel shortages hurting electricity generation:

India — India has long struggled to provide enough electricity to light its homes and power its industry around the clock. In recent years, the government and private sector sought to change that by building scores of new power plants.

But that campaign is now running into difficulties because the country cannot get enough fuel — principally coal — to run the plants. Clumsy policies, poor management and environmental concerns have hampered the country’s efforts to dig up fuel fast enough to keep up with its growing need for power.

A complex system of subsidies and price controls has limited investment, particularly in resources like coal and natural gas. It has also created anomalies, like retail electricity prices that are lower than the cost of producing power, which lead to big losses at state-owned utilities. An unsettled debate about how much of its forests India should turn over to mining has also limited coal production.

The power sector’s problems have substantially contributed to a second year of slowing economic growth in India, to an estimated 7 percent this year, from nearly 10 percent in 2010. Businesses report that more frequent blackouts have forced them to lower production and spend significantly more on diesel fuel to run backup generators.

The slowdown is palpable at Sowmya Industries, a small company that makes metal shutters that hold wet concrete in place while it solidifies into columns and beams, a crucial tool for the construction industry.

The company, located outside this city on the southeast coast of India, is struggling with several issues, including a 20 percent increase in the price of raw materials and falling orders.

But Sowmya’s manager, R. Narasimha Murthy, said the lack of reliable power was an even bigger problem. His company loses three hours of power every evening. And all day on Wednesdays and Saturdays — euphemistically called “power holidays” — it receives only enough electricity to turn on the lights but not enough to use its large metal-cutting machines.
-------------
A major problem is the anemic production of coal, which provides 55 percent of India’s electricity. Coal production increased just 1 percent last year while power plant capacity jumped 11 percent. Some electricity producers have been importing coal, but that option has become more untenable recently because India’s biggest supplier, Indonesia, has doubled coal prices.
------------
For many businesses, the power shortage has become debilitating.

In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Srihari Balakrishnan, a textile factory owner, said he goes through 6,300 gallons of diesel fuel on an average day to keep his operation running, spending $3,000 more than he would if power were available around the clock.

“We are not able to use 20 to 30 percent of our capacity,” he said. “We can’t use grid power for two full days of the week. When we have power, we have a six-hour cut,” he added, using an Indian term for blackouts.
----------
Other companies are also stuck. Reliance Power, controlled by the investor Anil Ambani, says it has stopped construction on a large electricity plant nearby because it can no longer afford to buy coal from Indonesia as planned.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/business/global/india-struggles-to-deliver-enough-electricity-for-growth.h

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation story on China approving $450 billion loan for Neelum-Jhelum dam project:

Chinese EXIM Bank, after a long delay, has now approved $450 million loan to finance 969MW Neelum Jhelum hydropower project, which would add about 5.15 billion units of cheap electricity to the national grid every year by 2016.Well-placed official sources informed TheNation that Chinese EXIM Bank after a long delay has now approved $450 million loan to finance the Neelum Jhelum hydropower project located near Muzaffarabad adding that the Economic Affair Division (EAD) has also gotten an approval from the Chinese bank in this regard. They told that the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project needed $700 million foreign funding to complete the project by 2016. The major financiers of the project include the Kuwait Fund, the Export Import Bank of China, the government of the UAE and the Saudi Fund for Development. Sources further told that project had originally been budgeted to cost Rs130 billion, but costs had witnessed skyrocketed rise by 154per cent to Rs330 billion. In the revised plan submitted by the water and power ministry, the main reason for the spike in costs was attributed to a change in design, but a detailed examination of the figures has shown that primary cause for the increase was delay in completion. Sources further told that more than 30per cent of the work on the project had been completed. The project would earn about Rs45 billion in revenues annually and would therefore be able to recover its cost of construction within seven years.It is also learnt that as the Chinese EXIM bank found hesitant to release the worthy amount since 2009 resultantly the delay for unknown reasons had caused the cost of the project to rise to Rs330 billion ($3.7 billion). It was also feared that the pace of construction might slowdown providing an edge to India, which had been building Kishanganga project on the same Neelum River on its side of Kashmir because if Pakistan failed to complete its project before India, then it might lose the water rights to the upper riparian country. Further, according to Indus Water Treaty (IWT), the country that first completes its project on Neelum tributary will have the priority rights on the water of Neelum River. Furthermore, the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project Company (NJHPC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Water and Power Development Authority was set up to manage this very project.It is to be noted here that the top man of China had committed this loan during the visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Beijing in 2009 but the Chinese Exim bank did not entrain Pakistan although three years have elapsed since the commitment of China to Pakistan resultantly the country was in contact with Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Development Bank, Abu Dhabi Fund, Kuwait Fund for the required finding. Even IDB had committed $200 million, Saudi Fund $337 million, Abu Dhabi Fund $100 million and Kuwait Fund $30 million and the government was pursing the said donors to expedite the disbursement of their credit line for the timely completion of the project.Waqar Masood Secretary Economic Affairs Division while confirming the information pertaining the receiving of approval worth of $450 million loan to help finance the 969-megawatt Neelum Jhelum hydropower project. He also informed that documentation process in this regard would take one month while disbursement of such a hefty amount is likely within one-month....

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/business/23-May-2012/china-bank-approves-450-million-loan

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters' report on $3 billion Chinese investment in wind energy in Pakistan:

Chinese oil and gas company United Energy Group Ltd (0467.HK) said on Wednesday it plans to invest $3 billion in a wind farm project in energy-starved Pakistan and is in talks to buy equipment from mainland suppliers.

United Energy, which paid BP (BP.L) $775 million for oil and gas assets in Pakistan in 2010, said it plans to construct the wind farm in several phases. It did not disclose the targeted total capacity for the project or provide a timeframe.

The company said, however, it had already obtained approval from the Pakistan government to construct a wind power project with a capacity of 500 megawatts.

Pakistan, which suffers chronic shortages of electricity, is offering clean energy producers higher rates for renewable power as it seeks to boost production, while diversifying energy supply away from oil and gas.

The major suppliers of wind power equipment in China are Sinovel (601558.SS) and Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology (002202.SZ)(2208.HK).


http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/30/us-china-pakistan-windfarm-idUSBRE84T0E520120530

Riaz Haq said...

Conergy will plan and supply Pakistan’s biggest solar-power plant as the country seeks to increase access to electricity, reports Bloomberg:

The 50-megawatt project at Bahawalpur in the Cholistan region is owned by DACC Power Generation Co. and the Pakistani government and will supply 30,500 households with electricity, Conergy said today in an e-mailed statement.

Total investment will probably be about $170 million to $190 million, with Conergy’s share at about 60 million euros ($75 million) to 70 million euros, said Antje Stephan, a Conergy spokeswoman.

The government is seeking to spur investment, create jobs and expand access to power in a country where some areas can be without energy for as long as 18 hours a day, Conergy said. The company, working with developer Ensunt Inc., will supply 210,000 modules and 140 inverters, the Hamburg-based manufacturer said.


http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-04/conergy-agrees-to-supply-pakistan-s-largest-solar-energy-complex.html

Riaz Haq said...

World Bank agrees to fund Dasu Dam in Pakistan, reports Express Tribune:

Following the signing of an agreement with the government of Pakistan for providing $840 million for the 1,410-megawatt Tarbela 4th Extension Project, the World Bank has also agreed to extend financial assistance to the 4,320MW Dasu Hydropower Project.

It has also been agreed that the project will be constructed in phases after work on the 4,500MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam is initiated and its financial plan is finalised.

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Shakil Durrani stated this while presiding over a meeting here at the Wapda House to discuss the report submitted by an international panel of experts.

Addressing the meeting, the Wapda chairman said international financial institutions were taking keen interest in providing funds for Wapda projects due to excellent ‘economic internal rate of return’ (EIRR) of these schemes.

The Dasu project is part of the least-cost energy production plan of Wapda aimed at harnessing the country’s hydropower resources to improve the share of hydroelectricity in energy mix.

The project will be constructed on the Indus River, seven km upstream of Dasu village and 74 km downstream of Diamer-Bhasha Dam. The project is situated on the Karakoram Highway, about 350 km from Islamabad.

According to a statement issued by Wapda, the priority is to construct Diamer-Bhasha Dam for which land acquisition process has already started and 13 contracts for offices, colonies and roads have been awarded.

Dasu Hydropower Project will follow the initiation of work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam. Detailed engineering design, for which the World Bank is providing funds, and tender documents are likely to be completed in early 2013. Afterwards, construction work will commence.

The project will generate 21.3 billion units of electricity per annum and will also have positive impact on existing hydropower stations including Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha and Chashma.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/397368/world-bank-agrees-to-fund-dasu-hydropower-project/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News report on South Korean proposal to build 300 MW solar plant:

Board of Investment (BOI), Government of Pakistan and Concentrix Solar Company of Korea Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct a 300 MW Solar Energy Plant near Quetta, Balochistan.

The MoU was signed by M. Saleem Mandviwala, Chairman Board of Investment from Pakistan side and Dr. Choi Moon-Sok, Chief Executive Officer Concentrix Solar Company. The signing ceremony was held at the PM’s Secretariat which was witnessed by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ahsraf, Federal Ministers and Chief Ministers of Balochistan and Sindh.

Concentrix is a subsidiary of German Company and is keen to make investment in the energy sector in Pakistan. Dr. Choi Moon-Sok met the PM yesterday and apprised him of his company’s plans.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-16665-Pakistan-Korea-sign-MoU-to-build-300MW-solar-energy-plant

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Businessweek story on South Korean company building 300 MW solar plant in Pakistan:



CX Solar Korea is leading a group that signed an agreement with the government of Pakistan to build a 300-megawatt solar farm that will require an investment of as much as $900 million.

The group plans to start a 50-megawatt installation near Quetta in southwestern Balochistan province that will use a combination of crystalline silicon and thin-film panels to see which perform best, said Moon-sok Choi, chief executive of CX Solar, a Seoul-based project developer.

The group expects to build 300 megawatts by 2016, Choi said. The power will be sold under a 25-year contract, with details still being negotiated, Choi said in an e-mailed response to questions.

CX Solar is in talks with panel suppliers, including Bernin, France-based Soitec SA (SOI), which makes Concentrix photovoltaic panels, Choi said.


http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-16/south-korean-group-plans-900-million-pakistan-solar-farm.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET-APP story on renewable energy to overcome Pakistan's energy crisis:

The chief executive of the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), Arif Alauddin has said that a number of projects are in the pipeline to overcome the energy crisis in the country; giving relief to the people.

Giving an interview to the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), he said that 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity will be added to the national grid in the next few months. He said that his board is mandated only to attract private sector investment while the public sector was meant only to regulate and facilitate the process.

“Pakistan is relying heavily on fossil fuels to meet its energy requirements and the nation is spending more than $11 billion on import of petroleum products annually,” Alauddin said. The oil import bill will increase to $38 billion by 2015 and Pakistan remains at a strategic risk due its heavy reliance on fuel imports, he added.

He said that after the establishment of the AEDB in 2003, Pakistan has made considerable progress in this field. To a question, he replied that the board recently approved the New Park Energy Phase I – a 400MW wind project near Port Qasim. With help of the China Three Gorges Corporation, a 50MW wind energy plant in Sindh will be completed by next year The chairman said that recently, a memorandum of understanding has been signed at a two-day second Pak-China Joint Energy Group (JEWG) for setting up wind energy projects.

To another question, he said that a number of countries have successfully developed renewable energy sources to minimise dependence on fossil fuels. Realising country’s growing demand of the industrial and agricultural sectors and growing domestic consumption; the government has initiated several renewable energy projects to address the power shortfall, he said.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/430688/alternative-energy-projects-will-eradicate-power-shortfall/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on Russian interest in building Diamer Bhasha dam:

Russia is seeking direct award of a construction contract for the $13 billion Diamer Bhasha Dam in a government-to-government deal without resorting to international competitive bidding, sources say.

Faced with water and power shortages, Pakistan is looking for funds from China and Russia, who in turn want a government-to-government deal without international bidding.

The government’s search for funds came after multilateral donors asked Pakistan to get a no-objection certificate from India for the dam’s construction.

China and Russia want a similar arrangement for undertaking the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, which has faced fierce opposition from the United States.

According to sources, Pakistan and Russia are likely to strike a final deal on the dam during visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Islamabad next month.

“A meeting of Pak-Russia inter-ministerial commission will be held before the visit of Russian president, which will work out a mechanism for financing mega projects,” a government official said.

In a meeting of the Inter-governmental Commission (IGC) held here on Monday, government officials gave a detailed briefing to the Russian team on planned energy projects. However, sources said, Russia made no firm commitment to the dam.

According to the official, it was just a preparatory meeting to discuss different projects, which could be tabled during deliberations with the Russian president.

In the IGC meeting, the Russian side was told that Bhasha Dam was a strategic project with power generation capacity of 4,500 megawatts to overcome the energy crisis. It will have water storage capacity of 8.5 million acre feet to feed the agricultural sector.

Chinese offer

The Chinese government has already offered Pakistan skilled labour for the construction of Bhasha Dam. China has 17,000 skilled workers, who have worked on the giant Three Gorges Dam, which is producing 30,000 megawatts of electricity.

On the other hand, multilateral donors have asked Pakistan to seek a no-objection certificate from India to pave the way for financing the dam, which they say is situated in a disputed territory. Instead, they have offered to finance another project – Dasu hydropower, but the government has rejected the plan and wants to complete Bhasha Dam first.

On Monday, a delegation of the World Bank, headed by Country Director Rachid Benmessaud, called on Federal Water and Power Minister Ahmed Mukhtar and once again offered to finance phase-I of the Dasu project.

Dasu hydropower project is situated 7 km upstream of Dasu village on Indus River and 350 km from Islamabad. The project is located in Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/435035/diamer-bhasha-dam-russia-wants-to-take-up-project-without-bidding/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Business Recorder report on Tarbela dam's 4th tunnel power generation project:

The government would award the contract of 'Tarbela Fourth Extension Hydropower Project', costing $928.9 million, including $840 million World Bank loan in March next year to initiate Civil and Engineering and Management (E&M) work. According to documents obtained by Business Recorder, mobilisation of contract was expected by the end April 2013. Pre-qualification of applicants for Civil and E&M works is under way.

The project would be completed by June 2018. The government would spend $88.9 million for this project. Tarbela has an installed power generation capacity of 3,478 megawatts on tunnels 1, 2 and 3 while tunnel 4 was originally intended for irrigation water releases only, but subsequent studies proposed its conversion to irrigation-cum-generation tunnel.

The latest proposed installed capacity of Tarbela is 1,410MW. Ultimately, Tarbela's capacity would be upgraded to 4,888MW after the development of tunnel 4. The projected energy form the project is 3840 GWh/year while annual capacity factor is 31 %.

According to the Project's cost estimate, powerhouse and tunnel work is to cost $307.45 million, turbines, generators and auxiliaries; $434.24 million and implementation of SAP and EMP dam monitoring $28.63 million. Similarly, project management, technical assistance and training cost is $20.45 million while base cost with physical/price construction is $817.9 million.

The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved the Project on August 16 this year for Rs 83.6 billion, including foreign exchange component of Rs 65.8 billion. A million families would benefit from the additional power. Load shedding would be substantially reduced. Documents also showed that about Rs 39 billion per annum revenue was expected after the completion of the Project. During construction period, between 2,000 and 2,500 jobs would be created.


http://www.brecorder.com/top-stories/0/1252452/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BR report on training workers to boost renewable energy sector:

Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) has joined hands with GIZ, Pakistan to foster the renewable energy sector in the country by developing skilled force in various disciplines of solar technologies. The programme is being implemented under the implications of FIT (Funds for Innovative Training), Green Skills initiative.

A company spokesman said on Wednesday that TUSDEC will enroll 125 candidates in 5 batches to be trained in various areas of Photovoltaic and Solar Water Heating Systems. The overall programme duration is stretched over one year where each course will be for a span of three months.

The spokesman further shared that state-of-the-art facilities of NIDA Lahore centre will be utilised to administer the theoretical as well as practical trainings sessions, while on-site demonstrations will be organised specifically in the disciplines of Water Pumping and Solar Dryer where proficient master trainers will deliver the lectures, employing the originally deployed infrastructure.

According to him, TUSDEC has conducted an acute baseline analysis comprised of rigorous focus groups with major enterprises (Suppliers, Manufacturers and Assemblers) of solar power equipment and solar heating systems that has divulged huge dearth of trained manpower in the industry.

TUSDEC experts' panel has contrived market-oriented and internationally accredited training curricula, which will enable the trainees to serve productively in the approaching industry. TUSDEC further aims to nurture the diverse areas of renewable energy sector in Pakistan with the provision of immensely adroit and skilled manpower. Pakistan is experiencing approx 12 percent increase in its energy consumption with each passing year. The prevalent situation suggests a dire need of infrastructure investment as well as manpower cultivation in various alternate energy sources to effectively impede the resultant economic revolt, he said.


http://www.brecorder.com/fuel-a-energy/193/1256337/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation story on KESC's planned investments to add capacity and reduce cost of generating power:

Karachi Electric Supply Company has reaffirmed its commitment towards Pakistan by announcing an ambitious investment plan in excess of Rs40 billion. According to the statement, KESC has already invested around USD one billion over the last four years in various large scale projects in generation, transmission and distribution. The new Rs40 billion investment plan is aimed at enhancing KESC’s generation capacity, improving its generation fleet efficiency, reducing the cost of power generation and building the requisite transmission capacity to meet growing power demand across its service territory. These projects will be completed over the next 18-36 months and KESC will be arranging required funding from local and foreign institutions in shape of both debt and equity.CEO KESC, in a related statement said, “We believe in the potential that Pakistan offers and despite the difficult operating environment we have demonstrated this through unprecedented investments in the past. The new investment plan is just a reiteration of this belief and comes at a time when Pakistan is witnessing dampening of investors’ sentiments, both local and foreign”.Under the new investment plan, KESC is undertaking combined cycle projects at its three power plants at Korangi and SITE that will significantly enhance the efficiency of these plants and add additional 47 MW of generation capacity. A specially designed ‘Transmission Package’ will see the installation of new transformer bays, addition of 3 new grid stations at strategic locations and extension of 6 existing grid stations. In line with the strategic intent to bring down the cost of generation, the new investment plan will allow KESC to convert two of its oil-fired units of 210 MW each at its Bin Qasim-I to coal. KESC is also undertaking to develop a bio-waste to energy project which will convert cattle manure from Landhi Cattle Colony and organic food waste to produce 22MW of electricity. The new investment plan will help KESC accomplish many strategic objectives, including creation of social and environmental values.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/karachi/08-Nov-2012/kesc-to-funnel-rs40b-for-power

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Times report on planned biogas power plant in Karachi:

ISLAMABAD: IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is advising a Pakistan-based biogas company on the development of a waste-to-energy plant in Landhi, Karachi turning a serious environmental problem into a renewable energy resource.

The plant to be built by Karachi Organic Energy (KOEL) will convert cow manure into electricity while producing organic fertilizer as a byproduct. IFC will provide KOEL-a joint venture between Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESC) and the Amman Foundation with advice on project development and financing.

When completed, it will generate up to 22 megawatts of power from animal waste that was currently being discharged directly into the sea. There is tremendous potential in this biogas project, said Tabish Gauhar, CEO of KESC. Its footprint extends beyond power generation. It will have a positive effect on the community and importantly on the environment. The plant will be the largest biogas project in the country and it is expected to serve as a model for future developments.


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\11\13\story_13-11-2012_pg5_3

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story except on solar energy applications in Pakistan:

A technical training workshop on ‘Solar Pumping System’ was organised by Institute of Space Technology (IST) here on Friday in collaboration with M/s Lorentz a leading manufacturer of solar-operated pump systems in the world and Nizam Energy Pakistan.



A large number of people from government, Research and Development organisations, HEC, universities, students and faculty attended the workshop. Participants showed keen interest in the workshop and the products presented by the companies.



The first of this series of workshops, ‘Solar Energy — A sole Savior’ was organised on November 16 in collaboration with M/s Canadian Solar and Nizam Energy Pakistan.



The purpose of these workshops was to discuss strategies for creating awareness which encourages wider adoption of solar power by businesses, households and agriculture etc. There are various options for the solution of energy crisis which include building dams a time consuming process, wind energy is available in some corridors, however, there is no dearth of sunlight which is not only abundantly available but Pakistan has some of the best irradiation in the world, yet we are amongst the slowest to take advantage of this God gifted source.
---------
IST Vice Chancellor Engineer Imran Rahman while welcoming the delegates and experts from world renowned enterprises in solar energy apprised the audience about possible co-ventures with international companies in order to make available import substitution through research and indigenisation of some important components, a dire need of the time for promotion of industrial-academia culture in the country.



The vice chancellor thanked Nizam Energy CEO Usman Ahmed for generous donation of 2 KW of complete solar system and to establish research lab facilities at IST in collaboration with world renowned companies and provide job opportunities to IST graduates.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-144718-IST-holds-workshop-on-Solar-Pumping-System

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Hydroworld report on Korean investment in Pak hydro sector:

LAHORE, Dec. 26 -- 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


http://www.hydroworld.com/news/2012/12/25/pakistan-mou-signed-for-hydropower-projects.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's PakTribune on reduced hydel power in winter causing increased load shedding:

The current wave of load-shedding will end soon, as water flow in canals will come to normal levels in coming days and production of electricity will increase. The government is making all-out efforts to cope with the current situation and eliminate load-shedding.

The energy mix of the country consists of around 34% electricity generation from hydel resources and 66% from oil and gas. Reports show that hydropower production has dropped from 6,500 megawatts to 1,500MW these days.

Every year, canals are closed in winter for de-silting and the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) curtails water releases from major reservoirs of Mangla and Tarbela during December and January, leading to a sharp decline in hydropower production.

On the other hand, gas companies also cut supply in winter to those power producers, which have nine-month gas supply agreements, disrupting electricity production. Thus, the shortfall increases and the Ministry of Water and Power is left with no choice but to opt for power outages.

However, considering the scale of gas and water curtailment, the power supply has been managed very well. The ministry is mindful of providing maximum relief to people by resorting to load-shedding mostly during night and very less power cuts in day time so that routine life of people is not disturbed.

The canals are expected to be opened in the second week of January and production of hydropower will increase and outages will come down.

The ministry is also making alternative plans to cope with the power crisis as it is working to increase the generation capacity of existing power plants.

It is very important that the people should also come forward and help the government in conserving electricity, which could be done by saving power through all possible ways. This way, they will not only be helping the government, but will also reduce their electricity bills....


http://paktribune.com/business/news/Prolonged-power-outages-to-end-soon-10726.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Daily Times on wind energy farm projects in Pakistan:

Federal Minister for Water and Power Ch Ahmed Mukhtar has said that 45 Wind Power Projects of around 3,200 megawatts (MW) capacity are under completion process, out of which some are ready for commercial operation.

Among them wind projects worth 106 MW are ready for commercial operation, while another 150 MW projects are under construction. The next year will see at least 10 more projects – an investment of over $2 billion, the minister said while addressing as chief guest in the launching ceremony of Commemorative Postal Stamp on inauguration of Pakistan’s first 50 MW wind energy project by Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) on Wednesday.

He said that commencement of commercial operation of FFC Wind Farm Project is the beginning of exploiting the wind potential of renowned Gharo-Keti Bandar Wind Corridor- an area that alone offers power generation potential of 50,000 MW. I feel exalted that many more wind power projects are in pipeline and would commence their commercial operations one after another in the coming months.
----

Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) CEO Arif Allauddin in his welcome address said that the country would see more new projects in the alternative energy sector. Without taking away any credit from FFC, I wish to quickly recognise a number of other organisations and individuals without which this historic achievement would not have been possible – even for the competent team of FFC.

Allauddin said just like 8,000 parts of every wind turbine that must work in synchronisation, a number of agencies, organisations and individuals worked with dedication and unity of purpose to achieve this feat in such a short time.

This is not all. Recent data collected by AEDB has revealed that our wind corridors are not only rich in the wind resource, but the solar radiations here are of the highest quality – making this as one of the rare corridors in the world, where both wind and solar projects are viable.

FFC Managing Director Lt General (r) Khalid Naeem Lodhi also spoke on the occasion and said that the company is planning to invest more capital in the power sector and other wind project with the collaboration of China is under construction and soon would be completed.

Earlier, the minister launched the Commemorative Postal Stamp on the inauguration of the first wind power project.

Pakistan is blessed with enormous wind energy potential. Studies indicate that theoretical potential of wind energy in Pakistan is around 346,000 MW, out of which Gharo~Keti Bandar wind corridor solely has a potential of around 50,000 MW. Utilization of this enormous potential of clean, economical and inexhaustible source of energy can play a vital role in fulfilling the future energy demands of the country.

AEDB is facilitating the private sector in developing wind power projects in the country. The 49.5 MW wind power project developed by FFC Energy Ltd is the first among many others, which are at various stages of development. Four other wind power projects being developed by ZorluEnerji (56.4 MW), Three Gorges Pakistan (49.5 MW) and Foundation Wind Energy I and 11 (50 MW each) are under construction. ZorluEnerji has already completed the installation of wind turbines for their project and the project is expected to become operational by end of this month. In addition to this, wind power project of 400-600 MW capacity are expected to achieve Financial Close by end of 2013.

---

AEDB is enacted to facilitate the private sector for establishing Renewable Energy projects based on wind, solar, micro-hydel, bio-diesel, biomass, waste to energy, fuel cells, tidal, wave energy etc. AEDB is also vested with the responsibility of formulation of national strategies, policies, plans and programmes for development of alternative and renewable.


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\01\03\story_3-1-2013_pg5_6

Riaz Haq said...

Here's news on hydroelectric dam projects in FATA:

1. ET on Gomal Zam Dam:

ISLAMABAD: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) iss working on a number of large and medium-sized dams in the federally administered tribal areas (Fata) including the Gomal Zam Dam in South Waziristan and the project was likely to be completed by end of January.

Official sources told APP here on Thursday that the hydropower component of the dam had already been completed, while progress on the irrigation and flood protection component of the project was almost near completion.

Gomal Zam Dam is being constructed in the Khjori Kach area of South Waziristan, over the Gomal River which iss also one of the significant tributaries of Indus River. The dam will irrigate 163,086 acres of barren land of Tank and districts of Dera Ismail Khan.

The dam will have a gross live storage of water of 1.14 million acre feet (MAF), whereas 0.36 MAF of perennial and flood flow of the Gomal River will provide irrigation water to barren lands.

A small power plant was installed at the foot of the dam. Designed by an Italian company, the plant will produce 17.4 megawatts of power.

The multipurpose project will boost development in the remote area by enhancing irrigation, controlling flash floods and producing economical electricity. The dam was initially conceived in the late 1800s for meeting the water needs of Dera Ismail Khan.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/495520/gomal-zam-to-be-ready-by-end-of-january/

2. ET on Kurram Tangi Dam:

LAHORE: Work on Kurram Tangi Dam, a multi-purpose project in North Waziristan Agency, is set to kick off in the next two months, with the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) needing swift handover of land and effective security arrangements.

Briefing Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kausar, Wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Shah revealed that the project had been divided into three components for effective implementation.

Construction work on the first component will be initiated in March this year. In this phase, a weir, two canals covering an area of more than 16,000 acres, two power houses of about 19 megawatts and a 132-kilovolt transmission line will be constructed. Annual benefits of the first component have been estimated at about Rs1.7 billion.

Shah asked the governor to help in early handover of land to Wapda and ensure effective security arrangements.

He said the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had expressed interest in providing funds for the first component. An environment assessment study is also underway to pave the way for the financing....


http://tribune.com.pk/story/494506/work-on-kurram-tangi-dam-set-to-start-in-march/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's BR on renewable energy projects in Sindh:

KARACHI: Sindh government is working on 40 different power projects in its wind corridor, with a total generation capacity of 2000 MW in next two years, said Mir Hussain Ali, provincial Secretary for Environment and Alternate Energy Department.



This will also allow the electrification of about 120 schools in rural Sindh, he said addressing a session on the Renewable Energy organized by IUCN - Pakistan on Sunday.



Talking about the opportunities in the wind corridor, he said, that the government is working on about 40 projects with various investors with total generation capacity of 2000 MW in the next two years.



"This is despite the fact that Renewable Energy projects often do not get a green light in public sector because of the initial costs," he said.



The Sindh secretary for environment and alternative energy said the government is also supplying solar stoves and working on a biogas project worth Rs. 200 million rupees.



The secretary for environment and alternative energy mentioned that in Mirpurkhas, Solar Water Pumping Stations have been installed to meet the electricity crunch.



Mir Hussain Ali also talked about having immense potential of biogas at the Cattle Colony in Karachi and prospects in coastal areas of Pakistan in lieu of wind related projects.



On the occasion Carl Pope, a renowned expert on renewable energy in his presentation,"Renewable Energy Cheaper in the Long Run," said that presently over 1.3 billion people in the world are estimated to be living without electricity.



One billion of these people, including 700 million residents of South Asia will remain without electricity until 2030 if the switch to alternatives does not happen, he warned.


http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/108-pakistan-top-news/102132-sindh-to-generate-2000-mw-at-its-wind-corridor-in-next-two-years.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's ET on promotion of biogas in Pak rural areas:

ISLAMABAD:

The Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) has installed more biogas plants in rural areas, under a project of development and promotion of biogas technology for meeting domestic fuel needs of rural areas and production of bio-fertiliser.

“We can meet about 30% of the cooking requirements of rural masses from this source of energy [biogas] alone,” said an official privy to the matter.

He said the completion of the project will help protection of forests, environment and bio-diversity, and will provide soot-free fuel to meet domestic energy needs, a cleaner atmosphere, protection from eye-cataracts and respiratory diseases and bio-fertiliser.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/495108/alternative-energy-more-biogas-plants-installed-in-rural-areas/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's ET on ADB not objecting to Thar coal:

ISLAMABAD:

Engro Corporation President and CEO Muhammad Aliuddin Ansari has stated that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) does not object to financing the switchover of thermal power plants to Thar coal.

“The directors of ADB have met me and the chief minister of Sindh and said that they had no objection to the conversion of power plants to Thar coal and are ready to finance [such projects],” he told The Express Tribune.

The revelation comes on the heels of the Ministry of Water and Power’s claim that the ADB is not ready to finance the conversion of power plants to Thar coal, and that the lending authority would finance power plants that run only on imported coal.

Ansari also said he is ready to travel to Manila along with a delegation from the water and power ministry to meet ADB officials and negotiate a financing deal for such projects.

Ansari recalled that it had been decided in a special board meeting of the Thar Coal Energy Board (TCEB) on October 3, 2012, chaired by the prime minister of Pakistan, that existing oil-based power plants should be modified and redesigned to Thar coal specifications, and that new coal-based plants should also be designed keeping the same specifications in mind.

It was also decided in the meeting that agreements would be signed between power generation companies and the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) for the supply of coal for an existing 420 megawatt (MW) power plant in Jamshoro, as well as a new 600MW power plant to be built in the same location. These agreements were to be finalised and signed within a week, but never materialised.

Ansari said that Pakistan was facing a circular debt issue due to the poor energy mix employed by generation companies, and that conversion of power plants to run on Thar coal could address this issue. He claimed that Thar held the future of Pakistan, and reiterated that all future power plants should be designed on Thar coal specifications.

“Not only has the fuel mix shifted from gas to furnace oil, the price of furnace oil has increased four times in the last five years. This has increased the furnace oil bill by 461%, whereas power generation through furnace oil has increased by only 79%,” said a handout provided by Engro Corp as part of the interview.

Ansari said that Indonesia and India both held coal reserves that were similar in specification to the coal available in Thar. He remarked that India is expected to become a major market for coal by 2016: it already imports significant quantities to meet its needs....


http://tribune.com.pk/story/498215/engro-says-adb-has-no-objections-to-thar-coal-project/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's PakistanToday on nuclear power expansion in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) envisages production of 8,800 MW by the year 2030 through nuclear power reactors. Two nuclear power plants, 340MW each, are under construction at Chashma and expected to be commissioned by 2016 with Chinese assistance. Construction of these power plants became possible after a long-standing agreement, while three other nuclear power plants already commissioned in the country are performing well. According to official sources, the allocation for PAEC is almost 11% of the total federal development budget estimated at Rs 360 billion for the financial year 2012-13.
Officials said a major chunk of the PAEC budget has been allocated to two nuclear power plants.
“An amount of Rs 34.6 billion has been set aside for Chashma Nuclear Power Plants, C3 and C4. The total cost of these two projects is Rs 190 billion which will be partially funded by a Rs 136 billion Chinese loan.
The government has so far spent Rs 62.4 billion on the mega project having a 660 MW generation capacity. With Rs 34.6 billion additional spending, the government will be able to complete almost half of the work by June 2013, an official said. According to an official in Ministry of Science and Technology, government is harmonising the efforts made in the energy sector by different ministries, departments and research centres by creating an ‘Energy Council’ with heads of relevant organisations. The council will be entrusted to advise on priority areas for Research and Development (R&D) and management of resources and to fill the gaps.
Acquisition of technology for building nuclear power reactors through R&D, as well as transfer of technology agreements is also in consideration, he said.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/01/24/news/profit/paec-to-produce-8800-mw-by-2030/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a summary of BMI report on Pak power sector:

Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/03/2013 -- BMI View: In spite of chronic and persistent power shortages, reflecting under-investment and system inefficiencies, Pakistan has a plethora of potentially varied and rich power options from which to choose. There is vast untapped hydro and renewables capacity available, but it remains to be seen if the investment will actually materialise. Thus, this is likely to increases the country's reliance on growing its gas-fired, coal-fuelled capacity, as well as its modest nuclear programme, although controversial import deals with Iran could cause political backlash. While these opportunities exist for the thermal generation, delays in payments by state-owned transmission companies to independent power producers limit the profitability of the sector, and could cap its growth.

View Full Report Details and Table of Contents

The country continues to suffer from a shortfall of electricity of more than 3 gigawatts (GW) daily, and while this has fallen from the highs of 7GW, permanent resolutions and solutions to the situation remain out of sight. While the shortfall is caused by poor performance from existing generating assets, the lack investment in generating capacity, and an inefficient grid, the government also faces difficulty in sustaining subsidies. This, in turn, drains the profitability of power generation companies, forcing them to cut back on much-needed investment in the sector.

The key trends and recent developments in the Pakistani electricity market include:

- The constructions of the various dams have met with increasing environmental concerns and financing issues, which threaten to stall works. In particular, the World Bank and other international aid agencies have withdrawn their support for the Diamer-Basha dam project due to environmental concerns raised by India. Given the growing demand for electricity, a delay in the completion or cancellation of the project could mean ,the electricity shortfall is likely to persist beyond the government's original timeline.
- Progress of talks between India and Pakistan regarding the sale of electricity and petrol remains slow, with Indian officials citing their Pakistani counterparts keeping a cautious stance. While several suggestions have been raised during the talks, including building of a pipeline directly to Lahore, the Pakistan government remains wary of issues such as security and dependability of oil imports from India. However, worsening energy shortage in Pakistan may push Pakistani authorities to push ahead with negotiations, although imports from India are unlikely to exceed supplies from Kuwait.


http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/recently-released-market-study-pakistan-power-report-q4-2012-191192.htm

Riaz Haq said...

Here's BR on solar energy for Pak villages:

... There are over 10 million households in Pakistan without electricity. These households spend at least 750 million dollars a year on kerosene for lighting. For 1.2 billion dollars, which is about worth 18 months of kerosene bill, each one of these households can get a solar energy system. The payback period is eighteen months, and if the households were to regularly pay back to the providers what they saved on kerosene, the provider would make a ton of money within two years. It's a good business, a big business, a two billion dollar business, it's just sitting there - it's simple economics," he (Carl Pope) elaborated his point further.

Carl (Pope) told BR Research that a major purpose of his visit to Pakistan was to further explore this idea of solar power provision to rural households that are off the electric grid. "People have tried similar models on smaller scale in Africa and India. In this model, three things are required: a) a bank to provide financing, b) reputable distributors and supply-chain/logistics companies that make sure that the product that is being provided (solar panels) is a good product, that it will actually work, and c) somebody willing to provide the first-loss guarantee to the bank. If you get the last two together, they can get the bank. I have met some landlords on this visit to Pakistan, I have visited a set of villages near Dera Ghazi Khan, and I have also talked to people who are not landlords, but have business interests."

Carl pointed out that the finance problem in this model - the inability of the rural households to pay for these solar installations - can be addressed when somebody is willing to bank. "Bankers are uncomfortable because these households are generally poor; and bankers are also uneasy lending to this segment because they usually don't know anything about solar power. But there is an opportunity that might exist in Pakistan.

For better or for worse, Pakistan has a large number of landlords, who know how to collect money from their tenants. If you go to a landlord, and say 'look, you have got 25,000 people in your area, wouldn't you like them to have electricity? It wouldn't cost you anything; you only have to collect repayments from your tenants who, with electricity, would become more productive, which could also raise your rents (income)'. Landlords are proud people, and if their ability to control their tenants is manoeuvred in this direction, they may take interest. To make this idea work, the landlord will have to agree to provide the bank with a first-loss guarantee," he explained further.

Carl Pope cautioned that such a model cannot be scaled through a philanthropic venture - businesses have to be involved because the idea makes business sense. "I personally think that the rural adoption of such a product would depend more on awareness of product functionality and reputation of the provider. It will take time, yes, but I don't really see any other option for these rural households. Reality is that most of these villages are never going to get wired, because they weren't anybody's priority in the first place.

On one hand, the price of wiring a village has gone up fivefold in last five years, because of the rising prices of copper and other items. In most cases, the copper wire that is strung to a village is worth more than the electricity sold to the villagers. Moreover, the power demands of cities and industries are growing faster than the supply of electrons to the grid. So there isn't extra power to give to such villages," he observed.
....


http://www.brecorder.com/brief-recordings/0/1149055/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PakistanToday report on PEW, an economic think tank often critical of PPP-led coalition, welcoming govt steps to revive economy:

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said recent steps taken by the government, including the ratification of the Iran pipeline agreement and handing over the Gawadar Port to a Chinese firm seemed highly promising.
These steps will go a long way in reviving the economy which is in tailspin, said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal.
He said that Chinese cooperation in the pipeline project would turn it into a reality in less than the expected time, which would be a great service to the country and the people who have been reeling under the energy crisis. Mughal lauded Tehran’s patience as the project had been delayed for a long time due to US pressure.
Allowing the transfer of concession agreement for Gawadar Port from the Port of Singapore Authority to the China Overseas Port Holding will attract investment, provide opportunities to the people of Balochistan and bring Islamabad and Beijing closer, he said.
He said the announcement of the three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework, in which an export target of $95 billion had been set, and backed by steps to support the plan, would help improve confidence in the business community. The government should ensure that this trade policy does not meet the fate of the trade policy framework for 2009-12, which had failed due to want of funds, he added.
The ministry of water and power’s plan to generate 3,000MW electricity from sugarcane bagasse on a fast track basis is equally encouraging, he observed. He said all necessary amendments in existing policies should be ensured to attract investment to make this possible.
Lauding US assistance for water and power projects and optimum use of hydropower resources, Mughal said the US should stop opposing the Iran gas pipeline project otherwise an anti-US feeling will run high among the masses.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/02/01/city/islamabad/steps-for-economic-revival-encouraging-pew/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an APP report on Chinese nuclear plants in Pakistan:

Two nuclear power plants, 340 MW each, are under construction at Chashma and are expected to be commissioned by 2016, with Chinese assistance.
Construction of these power plants became possible after a long-standing agreement, whereas three other nuclear power plants already commissioned in the country are performing well.
According to official sources, a major chunk of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) budget has been allocated to the two plants. PAEC envisages production of 8,800 MW by the year 2030 through nuclear power reactors, sources added.
“An amount of Rs 34.6 billion has been set aside for Chashma Nuclear Power Plants, C3 and C4. The total cost of these two projects is Rs 190 billion which will be partially funded by a Rs 136 billion Chinese loan,” said a source.
The government has so far spent Rs 62.4 billion on the mega project having a 660 MW generation capacity. With Rs 34.6 billion additional spending, the government will be able to complete almost half of the work by June 2013, an official said.
According to an official in the Ministry of Science and Technology, the government is harmonising efforts made in the energy sector by different ministries, departments and research centres by creating an Energy Council including heads of relevant organisations.
The council will be entrusted to advice on priority areas for Research and Development (R&D), management of resources and filling existing gaps.
Acquisition of technology for building nuclear power reactors through R&D and transfer of technology agreements is also in consideration, the official said.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/02/22/news/national/two-nuclear-power-plants-to-be-commissioned-by-2016/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ELP report on Pakistan joining International Renewable Energy Agency:

President Asif Ali Zardari, Tuesday, signed the Instrument of Ratification for Pakistan to become a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the International Renewable Energy Agency that was founded on 26th Jan 2009 in Bonn, Germany, aims to promote widespread and increased adoption and the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy.

To-date 149 countries have signed the statute of IRENA while 76 have ratified it. The Spokesperson said that recognizing the advantages of this international forum, Pakistan took active part in the formative phase of IRENA and participated actively in the preparatory meetings that were held before this forum was formally established.

He said that Pakistan signed the Statute of IRENA in June 2009 and became the 87th country to sign the statute.

The IRENA facilitates its member's access to all relevant renewable energy information, including technical data, economic data and resource potential data. It shares lessons learnt on international best practices, policy frameworks, capacity building, financial mechanism, technology transfer and related energy efficiency measures.

In view of the current energy shortage, the growing demands of an increasing population, the financial constraints and environmental concerns, the President has continuously been urging for adoption of alternative means of energy generation at the earliest possible, the Spokesperson said.

By becoming a member of IRENA, Pakistan stands to gain significantly, he said


http://www.elp.com/news/2013/02/28/pakistan-president-signs-irena-membership-for-pakistan.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Dawn on US energy help for Pakistan:

US Ambassador Richard Olson reiterated on Tuesday the commitment of the United States to extend full help and cooperation in resolving the energy crisis faced by Pakistan.

Addressing a function here at Tarbela Dam project, along with Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Syed Raghib Abbas Shah to recognise the completion of the US funded Tarbela Dam restoration project the US ambassador said, “The United States understands that Pakistan is facing an energy crisis and we are committed to doing our part.”

The restoration of three generators at Tarbela added 128 megawatts of power to the national grid.

He said, “The work completed here at Tarbela contributes enough electricity to supply two million customers, and helps provide relief to those suffering from extensive power shortages.”

Wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Abbas Shah appreciated the support of the United States to the energy sector in Pakistan.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) provided $16.5 million to the Pakistan Wapda to repair three power generation units and to train Tarbela’s staff to operate the upgraded equipment to increase production of electricity at Tarbela.

Relieving Pakistan’s energy crisis is a top priority for US assistance to Pakistan, said Olson.

In addition to Tarbela, the United States is also funding other high impact projects, such as the rehabilitation of the Mangla dam, and renovation of thermal plants at Jamshoro, Guddu, and Muzaffagarh, which have already added over 650 megawatts since October 2009.

The US government is also co-financing the completion of the Gomal Zam and Satpara dams which will add another 35 megawatts and irrigate more than 200,000 acres.

Finally, the US is helping to replace thousands of highly inefficient agricultural and municipal water pumps throughout the country to save additional megawatts.

These projects are expected to add 900 megawatts to the national power grid by the end of 2013, enough energy to power two million households and businesses.


http://dawn.com/2013/03/05/us-announces-financial-assistance-for-tarbela-dam-restoration/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a press release of Hitor Group in Pakistan:

Hitor Group Inc. is pleased to announce it has executed an agreement with Orient Renewable Energy (Ptv) Ltd. relating to the Hitor technologies including a Manufacturing Plant for the fabrication of construction components and systems for housing and International Housing Development Projects.

Hitor will oversee the development, construction, commissioning and operations of a plant for construction components and systems including but not limited to a manufacturing plant for Structural Steel Systems™ or other Hitor technologies. Orient Renewable Energy (Ptv) Ltd. will contribute it's contacts, licenses (as needed), agreements and relational know how and development work to date as well as overall Primary Project Development services in the provision of process development, negotiations with the local Government and approval authorities of and the financing required for the manufacturing plant.


http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/hitor-group-inc-executes-licensing-agreement-in-pakistan-otcqb-hitr-1767513.htm

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Hydroworld report on hydroelectric projects in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD, March 20 -- Government would complete the Neelum Jhleum Hydro project, Golen Gol and Dubair Khawar hydro projects within the stipulated time frame and resolve the issues related to any project.

This assurance was given by the Secretary Water and Power, Sikander Ahmed Rai while chairing a meeting with visiting Joint Supervisory Mission (JSM) of lead financers of three hydro power projects here today.

The consortium includes representatives from Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Fund Development, Kuwait Fund Development and Opec. The meeting was also attended by additional Secretary Ministry of Water and Power, Chairman Wapda and senior officials of Neelum Jheluim project, Golen Gol and Dubair Khawar project and ministry of Water and Power.

Secretary water and Power said that the government has also allocated the funds for the projects and financial support of the donors would help to complete the project in time. He said that the progress on three projects being reviewed and monitored regularly. Pakistan is facing energy shortage and timely completion of these projects would help to bridge the gap between demand and supply. He also thanked the delegation for visiting Pakistan to review the progress of the projects.

Earlier, the Chairman Wapda briefed the JSM that KhanKhawar hydro project of 72 MW and Allai Khawar Projects of 122 MW have been completed. While the remaining three projectsw of 1205 MW would be completed as per their schedule. Dubair Khawar project would be completed by June this year. Neelum Jhelum Hydro project of 969 MW by 2016 and Golen Gol project of 106 MW would be completed by 2015. He also informed that the Government has recently approved Rs 24 billionfor for Neelum Jhelum Project. He said that 47 % work on tunnel boring has been completed on Neelum Jhelum project.

The JSM appreciated the progress on three projects and stated that the consortium of financers would continue its support for energy projects. The JSM would also visit the sites of all the three projects to review the progress


http://www.hydroworld.com/news/2013/03/19/pakistan-power-projects-to-be-completed-on-time.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PakistanToday report on new wind energy investment in Pakistan:

The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has approved $ 95 million in financing for a wind power project poised to deliver much-needed electricity to Pakistan. The credit facility will help build a 50-megawatt wind power plant in southeastern Pakistan’s Ghoro-Keti Bandar Wind Corridor designed to generate 133 gigawatt hours of emission-free electricity annually.
Using General Electric Wind turbines, the Sapphire Wind Power plant supports a mutual U.S.-Pakistan goal to diversify Pakistan’s power generation beyond reliance on high-priced fuel oil by tapping Pakistan’s vast renewable energy potential, said OPIC, which is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.
“The provision of clean and reliable electricity is an essential building block of any economy,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth L. Littlefield.
A recent study funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the U.S. Agency for International Development estimates that Pakistan possesses 132,000 MW of potential installed wind capacity – virtually equal to the world’s entire installed wind capacity for 2010.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/03/23/news/profit/opic-approves-95m-for-wind-power-project-in-pakistan/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn report on Pakistan's first private hydropower plant starting to operate:

KARACHI: Pakistan’s first private hydropower IPP established by Hub Power Company (Hubco) has commenced commercial operations.

An announcement here on Monday said that Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s first private Independent Power Producer (IPP) Laraib Energy Limited- the 84 MW New Bong Hydropower Project, has commenced commercial operations. It said that the Hub Power Company (Hubco) subsidiary, Laraib Energy Limited, was successfully commissioned on March 23.

The project will contribute 540 GWh of green energy annually into the National Grid under a 25 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC).

Speaking onthe occasion, CEO Hubco Zafar Iqbal Sobani said, ‘This project will provide cheaper electricity and energy security to the country. Other benefits of the run-of-the river NBE HPP include replacement of some 135,000 tons of oil import valued in excess of US$ 100 million per annum and reduction in carbon emissions’.

The project was scheduled to be completed in 42 months, but was completed two months earlier; comparing three similar low-head hydropower projects on the Ohio River, USA totalling 191 MW started a year before NBE but still have a year to begin commercial operations.

Hubco has thanked the successive Governments of Pakistan as well as the Azad Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Private Power and Infrastructure Board, WAPDA as well as NTDC, for their support and lending massive experience in hydropower.

Hubco also acknowledged the important part played by the AJ&K Private Power Cell of the AJ&K Hydroelectric Board in the project’s long development journey.

The Asian Development Bank and other lending banks, multilaterals IDB, IFC and Proparco France and two domestic commercial banks NBP and HBL played a very pro-active and constructive role in structuring the project and the finance documents, thus making this pioneering project a reality, it was further pointed out.


http://dawn.com/2013/03/25/pakistans-first-private-hydropower-ipp/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune report on 300 MW solar power project in Pakistan:

QUETTA:

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Balochistan government and CK Solar Korea for installing a 300 MW solar power plant near Quetta, Provincial Secretary Energy Fuad Hashim Rabbani said on Saturday.

The project will cost around $900 million and will be completed by 2016, he said, while addressing the media.

Rabbani said the government has procured 1,500 acres of land in Khuchlak and Pishin on lease. “This project will help overcome the shortfall of electricity in Balochistan,” he added.

The project will provide green energy particularly in areas where is no conventional electricity option, the energy secretary said.

“Currently, the local population of targeted areas are using kerosene lanterns, which is hazardous to the health and non-economical due to the intermittent price hike,” he remarked.

He said that electricity to medical facilities such as hospitals, Basic Health Units and installation of solar street lights were amongst major benefits of the project.

“The government is planning to install 20 solar powered water pumps in 10 districts of Balochistan for water supply schemes,” Rabbani said.

Responding to a question, he conceded that farmers were suffering due to long hours of load-shedding and assured that steps would be taken to provide electricity to the farmers.

He said that work on Loralai-DG Khan 220 KV and Dadu-Khuzdar 220 KV power supply lines would be completed next year.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/529000/solar-power-plant-balochistan-govt-inks-deal-with-korean-firm/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Times story on Pak NEPRA incentives for electricity from sugarcane bagasse:

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Thursday approved Rs 10.50 per unit as upfront tariff for power generation through sugar mills by utilising sugarcane bagasse.
According to the NEPRA spokesman, this upfront tariff is approved to encourage sugar mills to generate around 1,500 megawatts (MW) on fast track basis.
At present hydel generation is costing Rs 2.50 per unit, generation through natural gas is costing around Rs 5.0 per unit, thermal generation from Rs 14 to Rs 18 per unit and electricity generated through diesel is costing Rs 23 to Rs 28 per unit in the country.
The approval of upfront tariff for sugar mills would encourage sugar mills to plan their investment in this new sector for steering out the country from power crisis faced by the nation during the last decade.
The government has plans to generate around 3,000 MW cheaper electricity through sugarcane bagasse on fast-track basis and investors would be facilitated and encouraged.
Necessary amendments would also be made in the existing co-generation and renewable energy policies to make it simplified and investor-friendly.
In a recent meeting on fast-track development of bagasse-based power generation projects it was informed that the government was utilising all the resources to end the energy crisis and the power generation from bagasse would be another step to produce electricity from indigenous resources.
Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has been taking interest in the bagasse-based power projects and time and again assured the government to provide full cooperation.
Approval of the upfront tariff was lingering on since a few years. During the last two governments, hectic efforts were made to utilise bagasse for cheaper power generation. Initially 1,500 MW would be completed on fast-track basis. The meeting had also reviewed in detail the existing co-generation and renewable energy policies and discussed various proposals to simplify it in order to get benefit at the earliest.
It has been felt necessary that amendments in the existing policies would help alleviate the power crisis in the country. It was decided that the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) would process the bagasse-based projects under renewable energy policy.
A committee was also set up to finalise the recommendations in consultation with all the stakeholders so that approval could be taken from the competent forum to start the projects.
AEDB and PSMA have already informed the government that Pakistan was the fifth largest producer of sugarcane with production of 50 million tonnes of sugarcane annually, yielding over 10 million tonnes of bagasse.
Power generation from bagasse would not only reduce the furnace oil import, but even save Rs 33 billion to Rs 49 billion of foreign exchange per annum. The country has 87 sugar mills with a capacity to generate 3,000 MW electricity from bagasse in winter season


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C05%5C24%5Cstory_24-5-2013_pg5_3

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation newspaper report on German financing of hydel projects in Pakistan:

A delegation of the KfW Development Bank, Germany, headed by Dr Claudia Loy called on Wapda Chairman here on Monday and discussed with him the matters relating to financing of various hydropower projects.
The KfW Development Bank is providing 97 million Euros for the construction of 122 MW-Keyal Khwar and has also committed to co-finance the 35 MW-Harpo Hydropower Project along with its French counterpart AFD by providing 20 million Euros. In addition, the KfW Development Bank has also shown interest in financing the 80 MW-Phandar Hydropower Project.
During the meeting with the KfW Development Bank’s delegation, Wapda Chairman thanked them for their support in financing a number of Wapda projects.
He expressed the hope that the cooperation between the KfW Development Bank and WAPDA would be further enhanced in the days to come. He apprised the delegation that main works of Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project will soon be initiated, as all the pre-requisites are almost finalised in this regard.
Wapda Chairman expressed the hope that KfW Development Bank will come forward for better investment opportunities in other hydropower projects and well being of the people of Pakistan.
The KfW Development Bank Division Chief, appreciating the technical expertise of WAPDA, said that WAPDA is one of the best organizations in Asia. She said that the KfW Development Bank and WAPDA have a long history of mutual cooperation, adding that the Bank would continue supporting WAPDA for construction of water and hydropower projects.
We feel Pakistan’s energy sector needs more financing from Germany, she added.


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/business/28-May-2013/german-bank-invests-in-pakistan-energy-sector

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a World Bank news release on mapping Pakistan's renewable energy resources:

Pakistan encapsulates the renewable energy challenge faced by many developing and emerging countries. Despite abundant renewable resources – including solar, wind, hydropower and biomass – very little of this potential has been utilized. At the same time, about a third of the country’s people do not have access to electricity.

Pakistan has ambitious plans for solar and wind projects, and has developed a comprehensive policy framework for renewable energy, but projects on the ground remain few and far between.

What accounts for this gap? “One major reason is a lack of credible resource data,” says Arif Alauddin, the former CEO of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board, and now Managing Director of the National Energy Conservation Center.

While high-level solar and wind maps are widely available, these do not contain the granular data required by governments to understand the country’s full resource potential and needed by the private sector to identify specific sites for development.

To address this challenge, Pakistan and eight other countries are joining with the World Bank in a new Renewable Energy Mapping Program to carry out mapping of renewable energy resources that will for the first time produce rich, nationwide data for each country. Coordinated and financed by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), the initiative will cover mapping of solar, wind, biomass, and small hydropower potential.

“The importance of this resource mapping [for Pakistan] cannot be overstated,” says Arif Alauddin. “The country’s energy shortage is unprecedented, tariffs are going up, and petroleum imports are eating up a large share of export earnings. There is a need to shift to domestic renewable energy resources.”
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We expect this initiative to be highly catalytic,” said Oliver Knight, Senior Energy Specialist at ESMAP. “Resource mapping is a crucial step in providing the resource and policy certainty that commercial developers need to scale up investment in renewables. In addition, government authorities will be better informed in negotiations on specific projects, and donors will have a clearer sense of the data and capacity needs, as well as the renewable potential, of clients.”

As well as mapping, the program will support a wide variety of activities, including consolidation and validation of existing datasets, work to standardize resource assessment methodologies, and capacity development of local institutions and experts. An open data repository will be developed to facilitate free and open access to the data, and the geospatial outputs (GIS layers) will be made available via a new web portal. The outputs will also be made available to the Global Atlas for Solar and Wind that has been developed by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Clean Energy Ministerial.

The program is one of a number of initiatives the World Bank Group is undertaking in support of the global Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) campaign. One goal of the initative is to double to the share of renewable power in the global energy mix from 18 percent to 36 percent by 2030. According to the SE4ALL Global Tracking Framework report produced by a multi-agency team led by the World Bank and released on May 28, renewable energy (excluding biomass) made up only 1.6 percent of total final energy consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 1.8 percent in Southern Asia, as of 2010.

“The resource mapping initiative will open a floodgate of possibilities for both large and smaller investors, as well as for consumers who desperately need new energy options,” Arif Alauddin said.


http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/06/17/mapping-the-energy-revolution

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News report on Chinese investment offer in solar energy in Pakistan:

A Chinese company is ready to create a special solar fund worth three billion dollars in China to support Pakistan in utilising its solar energy resources. The company has the capacity to establish a solar plant of 1000MW in 6 to 8 months in Pakistan, while 50MW to 100 MW solar energy can be produced in 120 days only.

The offer came from Byron Shi Min Chen, president of Lightening Africa, China and Shah Faisal, CEO of Gulf Power Pakistan who called on chairman of Board of Investment (BOI), Mohammad Zubair on Thursday. Imran Afzal Cheema, secretary of BOI, also attended the meeting.

Byron apprised the BOI chief that the company was offering two kinds of solutions to energy crisis through the solar systems. He said that off-grid solar systems could be provided by the company immediately. These ready-to-use systems can be installed and end users may easily meet the electricity demand.

The company may also collaborate with the distribution networks through banks or the dominating relevant companies to sell solar products to households.

On grid solar system, Byron said, can also be installed.

He further said that the tariff should be determined even before inviting the Chinese investors to the country in power sector.

Zubair stated the BOI is mandated to play an important role in the administration and implementation of the government’s foreign direct investment policy. It has a strong record of actively encouraging the flow of FDI into the country through speedy and transparent processing of applications, SEZ Act, and investment policy and strategy.

“We welcome investors to make their businesses a success in the most lucrative investment destination of the world – Pakistan,” he said.

‘The energy policy of Pakistan focuses on the alternate energy, including solar energy. The potential of solar is in the range of 7 to 7.5kwh/msq./day in most of Balochistan, 6 to 6.5 kwh/msq./day in most of Sindh, Southern Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan, and 5.5 to 6 kwh/msq./day in the rest of the country, he added.

Lightening Africa International, Byron explained in the meeting, is dedicated to solar energy market development in Africa.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-192281-China-to-create-$3-billion-solar-fund-for-Pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report of another Nordex wind turbines deal in Pakistan:

German turbine manufacturer Nordex has gained a firm 50MW follow-up order in Pakistan from the Fauji Foundation and the Malay infrastructure fund Cap Asia.
The order is for 20 of the company’s N100/2500 turbines to be installed at the FWEL I project in the province of Sindh in 2014.

The company had already delivered turbines for two other wind farms in the same province – the FFCEL and FWEL II projects.

Nordex says the close proximity of all three projects – at about 80km from Karachi – will enable it to leverage synergies such as centralising the provision of services under the warranty, and operation and maintenance contracts.


http://www.rechargenews.com/wind/asia_australia/article1335979.ece

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune story on biomass energy in Pakistan:

Power generation from biomass gasification could help meet a significant portion of Pakistan’s industrial energy needs, Federal Minister of Information, Senator Pervez Rasheed, said on Friday.
Rasheed was speaking as the chief guest at the inception workshop of a new project for promotion of biomass gasification technology by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido).
Biomass gasification is a process to generate cheap energy by burning organic material such as organic waste and wood among other things.
Rasheed said Unido’s efforts at developing a biomass project have immense importance for Pakistan. He said biomass gasification offers the most convincing alternate energy system for industries.
The project is likely to result in improved energy security and economic growth in the country, the minister said.
The four-year “Promoting Sustainable Energy Production and Use from Biomass in Pakistan” project is funded by $1.82 million from the Global Environment Facility – an international institution that provides grants for environment-related projects.
Another $5.3 million will be provided by Unido, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda), Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Sindh Agriculture and Forestry Workers Coordinating Organisation (SAFWCO), Centre for Energy Systems at the National University of Sciences and Technology (CES-NUST) and other entities from the Pakistani private sector.
The project’s finances will be used to develop three separate “demonstration projects” in Kamoke and Jhelum in Punjab, and Thatta in Sindh, which will generate overall 4.3 Megawatts (MW) from biomass gasification technology, said Muhammad Ahmad, the National Project Manager for the project.
The demonstration projects include a 3 MW rice husk gasification power plant in Kamoke, a 1 MW Wood Residue gasification power plant in Jehlum and a 0.3 MW electricity provision to a village near Gharo in Thatta.
Ahmad said the project aims to promote biomass gasification in Pakistan as a means to decrease the country’s demand and supply gap in the power sector.
“We want to build the capacity of local manufacturers so they could produce gasification technologies for electricity generation,” he said. “The demonstration projects could help us tell investors that power generation through biomass gasification is economically viable and can be replicated.”
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other industries could use biomass gasification to generate their own electricity and this would help industries avoid the negative impact of the power crisis, he said.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/610390/unido-promotes-biomass-gasification-in-pakistan/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn report on UNESCAP Statistical Year Book 2013:

ISLAMABAD, Dec 3: About 1.3 billion people in the world are living without electricity; two-thirds of them being in 10 countries and four of them, including Pakistan, in the Asia Pacific region, says a report of the United Nations.

According to the Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific-2013 released by a UN commission on Tuesday, an estimated 60 per cent of capacity-addition efforts in future will be focused on mini-grids and off-grid connections in which renewable energy sources will play a vital role.

In the generation of electricity from renewable sources, the Asian and Pacific region led the world in 2010. But this amounted to only 15.8 per cent of the region’s total electricity, which is below the world average of 19.4 per cent.

With less than 400 kilowatt-hours per capita, the annual household electricity consumption in the region is the second lowest among the world’s regions, after Africa where it is 200kwh.

About 2.6bn people in the world and 1.8bn in the region use solid fuels for cooking. The WHO estimates that more than 1.45 million people die prematurely each year from indoor air pollution caused by burning solid fuels with insufficient ventilation.

Women’s economic empowerment

The report says that despite its economic growth, the region lags behind in economic empowerment of women. It calls for targeted policy measures to facilitate women’s economic empowerment.

Women still bear the burden of unremunerated productive work, shouldering the major share of household management and care-giving responsibilities.

The report says that in Pakistan women spend 5.5 hours a day on housework and 1.2 hours on childcare whereas men spend 2.5 hours on housework and 0.9 hours on childcare.

It also says that women are overrepresented in sectors and positions that are vulnerable, poorly paid and less secure. For instance, 42 per cent of working women/girls belonged to agriculture sector in 2012 compared with 36.0 per cent of male workers.


http://www.dawn.com/news/1060369/pakistan-among-10-countries-facing-severe-energy-crisis-un-report

http://www.unescap.org/stat/data/syb2013/ESCAP-syb2013.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story on US support and funding for Central Asia-South Asia (CASA) transnational grid:

WASHINGTON: The United States has committed $15 million in financing towards the Central Asia-South Asia electricity transmission project (CASA-1000) that on completion would help bring electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

While announcing the funding the State Department expressed the hope that the US financial support for CASA-1000 would help leverage other donors to support the project and encourage the World Bank to present the project to its Board of Directors for final approval next year.

“We believe CASA-1000 can be a potentially transformative project, helping create a regional energy grid that connects Central and South Asia for the first time,” a statement released by the Office of the Spokesperson said.

When completed, CASA-1000 will allow Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to profit from existing, unused summer generation capacity by selling electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghanistan would doubly benefit from the project as a consumer (300 MW) and as transit country generating revenue.

“Pakistan would add 1,000MW to its national grid during the summer months when it experiences its peak demand period and have access to a reliable, clean, and cheaper energy supply.”

According to the State Department, CASA-1000 is entirely dependent on existing hydropower generation so it will not affect water-sharing agreements for other Central Asian countries. It also complements ongoing efforts by the Asian Development Bank and others to support a regional energy grid.

“These types of projects can enhance economic interdependence and support peace and stability in the region for years to come. That is why the United States has been supporting the CASA-1000 Secretariat for several years, and is now committing an equity stake in the project.”

“US support for CASA-1000 is representative of our long-term commitment to peace, stability and prosperity for Afghanistan and its neighbours. CASA-1000 is a practical example of a project that supports regional economic connectivity and our New Silk Road vision. The United States looks forward to working with the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and other development partners to support CASA-1000 and other projects which connect Central and South Asia.”


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-27249-US-pledges-$15-million-to-bring-electricity-to-Pakistan-Afghanistan

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story on sugar mills co-generation potentially adding 1500-3000 MW of electricity into Pakistan's national grid:

KARACHI: In order to take advantage of the incentives offered by the government of Pakistan and to integrate the expansion project for future mill operations, two sugar mills in Sindh have propose to implement co-generation power projects, official sources said.

Ranipur Sugar Mill and Chamber Sugar Mill have submitted their applications with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for grant of generation licence for cumulative generation of 32MW.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet in its meeting held on March 6, 2013, had approved the framework for power cogeneration 2013 bagasse and biomass as an addendum to the Renewable Energy Policy 2006. This framework is effective for all high pressure cogeneration projects, utilising bagasse and biomass, the officials said.

Nepra had already approved Rs10.50 per unit as the upfront tariff for power generation through sugar mills by utilising sugarcane bagasse.

According to Nepra spokesman, this upfront tariff has been approved to encourage sugar mills to generate around 1,500 megawatts on fast-track basis.

The applicants said, at present, hydel generation is costing Rs2.50 per unit, generation through natural gas is costing around Rs5 per unit, thermal generation from Rs14 to Rs18 per unit and electricity generated through diesel is costing Rs23 to Rs28 per unit.

The approval of upfront tariff for sugar mills will encourage sugar mills to plan their investment in this new sector for steering the country out of the power crisis. The government plans to generate around 3,000MW of cheaper electricity through sugarcane bagasse on fast-track basis and investors will be facilitated and encouraged, the official said.

Necessary amendments will also be made in the existing co-generation and renewable energy policies to make it simplified and investor-friendly.

Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of sugarcane with the production of 50 million tons of sugarcane annually, yielding over 10 million tons of bagasse.

Power generation from bagasse will not only reduce the furnace oil import but also save Rs33 billion to Rs49 billion worth of foreign exchange per annum.

The country has 87 sugar mills with the capacity to generate 3,000MW from bagasse in winter season.

Currently, seven sugar mills sell their surplus power to government, including Layyah Sugar Mills with an installed capacity of 9.2MW, exports 4MW; Hamza Sugar Mills operates 23.6MW plant, whereas Shakarganj Sugar Mills operates a 20MW co-generation power plant.

Al-Noor Sugar Mills generates 21.8MW and now plans to increase its capacity to 36.8MW. Rahim Yar Khan Sugar Mills generates 18MW and sells 10MW. Likewise, Al-Moiz Sugar Mills generates 27MW and exports 15MW, while JDW Sugar Mills generates 22MW with a surplus of 10MW.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-226623-Sugar-mills-opting-for-co-generation-power-projects

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters' report on homeowners installing solar panels to deal with load-shedding in Islamabad:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After months of sleepless nights and uncomfortable days in sweltering heat, Hussain Raza has found relief.

But it’s not just the cooler winter weather that is making Raza happier. It is, somewhat ironically, the sun.

The 35-year-old banker and his family have bought a solar-powered electricity supply that kicks in during the frequent power outages that afflict even his upscale residential neighbourhood in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.

A chronic shortfall in electricity in Pakistan makes life miserable for much of the country’s population and hampers industrial growth, experts say.

Until he bought his 300-watt solar energy system in October last year, Raza and his family often had no electricity to keep the lights on in the evening or run a fan during hot nights.

“How can I be at ease seeing my children go to school without homework (being done) and feeling sleepy in school due to inadequate sleep at night?” he asked. “Now I feel really relieved that I have a solar energy system that runs two fans that give us a good night’s sleep,” he said.

Mounted on the roof of his two-storey house, the solar installation stores energy in a battery that can power two fans and four 23-watt energy saver light bulbs for 10-12 hours through the night.

Apart from the comfort and convenience the system provides, Raza’s monthly electricity bills have dropped from around 4,500 Pakistani rupees (about $43) to less than 2,800 rupees ($27).

“It is worth the bill we paid for the renewable energy system,” he said. The kit cost the equivalent of $560, he said.

WORSENING OUTAGES

Power outages in Islamabad have been a problem for more than seven years, in part because of rising electricity demand due to the increasing size of the city’s population.

Pakistan’s daily power demand averages 16,000 megawatts (MW), but the country produces only around 12,000 MW. This shortfall can soar to 7,000 MW during peak summer months.

As a result, power authorities must resort to load shedding for more than 15 hours a day in the summer months, and six to eight hours daily in the winter.

The outages have also been getting longer because of a lack of investment in energy systems, particularly hydropower, which accounts for one-third of Pakistan’s total power production. The rest of the country’s energy is produced with oil and coal...


http://www.trust.org/item/20140116230113-87r9a/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PV magazine story on solar plants pipeline in Pakistan:

The country currently has 22 individual solar PV projects under different stages of development, according to Pakistan's Alternative Energy Development Board.

Pakistan is on course to add 772 MW of solar power to its national grid by 2016, according to figures released by the country's Alternative Energy Development Board (AEEDB).

There are currently 22 individual solar power projects either under construction or at various stages of development across Pakistan, with a number of these projects awaiting an agreement on a national FIT – details of which the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) finally announced in late January after months of delays.

NEPRA has now published its final FIT incentives for PV projects between 1 MW and 100 MW. In the north of Pakistan the FIT will be set at $0.18 cents per kWh for an initial ten-year period, halving after that time to just $0.09 cents per kWh for the next 15 years.

In Pakistan's southern regions, the FIT incentive comes in a little more generously, at $0.19 cents per kWh for the first ten years, but falling to below $0.09 cents per kWh thereafter.

In 2013, the AEDB recommended a FIT level of approximately $0.27 cents per kWh nationwide, but NEPRA has calculated a lower rate on the basis of Pakistan's current PV pipeline.

AEDB has also revealed that it is pursuing a number of renewable energy projects for the country’s national grid, and has pledged its backing to the solar industry and the wind industry – the latter of which has an estimated 150 MW pipeline in the offing.

For solar, AEDB is set to embark on a campaign to promote the installation of residential rooftop PV systems designed for self-consumption. Currently, Pakistan has no building or licensing restrictions on these types of installations.


Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/pipeline-of-pv-projects-in-pakistan-reaches-772-mw_100014240/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a VOA report on the growing use of microhydro turbines for generating electricity at village level:

Many areas of Pakistan suffer energy shortages because the country's grid does not reach all of its remote corners. In one section of Pakistan's Kashmir region, people have taken the initiative to create their own energy from abundant streams and rivers, using small-scale turbines.

The Neelum Valley, in the Himalayan region of southeastern Pakistan, is sometimes called “Heaven on Earth” for its unspoiled beauty. Local residents want to preserve their forests and their clean environment despite a growing need for electricity said Shafiq Usmani, an official at a local hydroelectric board.

"All the beauty of the Neelum Valley is dependent upon those forests, streams, and neat and clean water, and this can only be sustained if we are giving them the clean energy," said Usmani.

Less than half of the Neelum Valley's 200,000 inhabitants have access to electricity from the national grid. However, the Neelum River itself and its tributaries flow with enough force to produce energy. Some local communities use small turbines, called hydel machines, to generate electricity to light their homes.

"This hydel machine [turbine] was installed with a share from 50 families, which costs us nearly $3,000. We started this small hydro scheme as we needed it. We only get light from it and no other electric appliances. We start this turbine at 3 in the afternoon and switch it off the next day at 8 am," said Rahimullah, one of the turbine operators.

Villagers say the homemade turbines have transformed their daily lives.

“When we had no electricity there was always smoke, as we use wood for heating and cooking, which causes diseases. Since we installed this project, thank God, we have gotten rid of these diseases and gained some other benefits," said Mushtaq Ahmad, a villager.

Even so, there is not enough energy for everyone's needs, and that means that trees still have to be cut down to provide wood for fire. Engineer Sardar Basharat Ahmad said the valley needs more turbines.

"Cutting down trees is a big loss, using wood for heating and cooking causes health problems. If the hydel is promoted and new projects are set up, it will fulfill all the requirements of the people like cooking and heating, and it will save the cutting down of green trees," said Ahmad.

Pakistan is plagued by power cuts, especially in the summer. The blackouts affect ordinary people's lives and hamper the economy. The country is using only about 10 percent of its identified hydropower potential.


http://www.voanews.com/content/pakistan-villagers-find-creative-energy-solutions/1870177.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Hydroworld on French help for Pakistani dams:

Financing from the French Development Agency will allow for the construction of a pair of hydroelectric projects that will add a combined 785 MW of power to Pakistan's grid.
The US$141.9 million credit facility agreement will help develop the 740-MW Munda and 35-MW Harpo hydropower plants, located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan regions, respectively.
Pakistan's Ministry of Water and Power assigned the Munda Dam project to Pakistan's Water and Power Development Authority in 2010 for detailed engineering design and construction. It was decided in 2007 that Munda would be a multi-purpose project, to supply water for irrigation, to mitigate flooding, and to generate power.
The European Union also sought pre-qualification in April 2012 to perform a climate change adaptation study and an impact assessment study of the project, which will be built on Pakistan's Swat River.
Meanwhile, HydroWorld.com reported in January that the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development had agreed to provide Pakistan a $27.3 million loan for the Harpo project via the KfW Development Bank.
Pakistan's Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) began sought expressions of interest for engineering design and tender preparation for the plant in May 2009.
Harpo will be located on the Harpo Lungma River, which is a tributary of the Indus River.


http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/2014/04/france-helps-fund-pakistan-s-munda-harpo-hydropower-projects.html