Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why Blackouts and Bailouts in Energy-Rich Pakistan?

Frequent IMF bailouts and power blackouts in energy-rich Pakistan are closely tied. One of the key reasons for recurring balance-of-payment crises is the country's rapidly rising oil import bill. The lack of sufficient fuel exacerbates load shedding, negatively impacts economy, reduces tax revenue growth and worsens current account and budget deficits. This requires repeated injections of IMF loans in US dollars to meet import requirements and deal with budget shortfalls.

Pakistan Energy Infrastructure (Source: PPEPCA)

Pakistan's Untapped Energy Riches:

1. Shale Oil:

A recent US EIA report released in June 2013 estimates Pakistan's total shale oil  reserves at 227 billion barrels of which 9.1 billion barrels are technically recoverable with today's technology. In fact, US EIA (Energy Information Administration) puts Pakistan among the top ten countries by recoverable shale oil reserves. These include Russia (75 billion barrels), United States (58 billion barrels), China (32 billion barrels), Argentina (27 billion barrels), Libya (26 billion barrels), Venezuela (13 billion barrels), Mexico (13 billion barrels), Pakistan (9.1 billion barrels), Canada (8.8 billion barrels) and Indonesia (7.9 billion barrels).

2. Shale Gas:

The latest US EIA report has raised estimates of Pakistan's recoverable shale gas reserves from 51 trillion cubic feet to 105 trillion cubic feet. It says Pakistan has 586 trillion cubic feet of shale gas of which 105 trillion cubic feet (up from 51 trillion cubic feet reported in 2011) is technically recoverable with current technology.

3. Tight Gas:

Rough estimates indicate the presence of at least 33 trillion cubic feet of unconventional gas reserves trapped in tight sands, according to an ENI Pakistan report. Another report by Shahab Alam, technical director of Pakistan Petroleum Concessions, puts the estimate at 40 trillion cubic feet of tight gas reserves in the country. These unconventional gas reserves are in addition to the remaining conventional proven gas reserves of over 30 trillion cubic feet.

4. Conventional Gas:

In addition to unconventional oil and gas resources, Pakistan also has about 30 trillion cubic feet of remaining conventional natural gas.

5. Thar Coal:

Pakistan's coal reserves in the Thar desert are estimated at 175 billion tons, according to  Geological Survey of Pakistan. It's low BTU content coal.  The carbon content of Thar lignite is around 60-80%; the rest is composed of water, air, hydrogen, and sulfur. It's hard to transport it but it can used to generate electricity in an integrated mining-generation facility.

6. Hydro:

Pakistan's hydroelectric potential is over 100,000 MW of electricity of which 59,000 MW can come from currently identified sites by the nation's Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).

7. Wind:

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). 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.

8. Solar:

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. Solar energy makes much sense for Pakistan for several reasons: firstly, very large 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.


Pakistan's frequent bailouts and blackouts are clearly related. The key to solving these interlinked crises is to put high priority on developing the country's vast but untapped domestic energy resources identified above. These include shale oil, shale gas, tight gas, Thar coal, hydro and renewables like solar and wind. Reducing Pakistan's dependence on energy imports is also the key to making the nation less vulnerable to recurring external shocks from energy prices which vary wildly with international political and economic events and crises.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

US EIA Estimates Pakistan's Shale Oil Reserves at 9.1 Billion Barrels

Pakistan's Vast Shale Gas Reserves

Pakistan's Energy History

Cheap Coal Electricity

Potential Renewable Energy Resources in Pakistan

Hydroelectricity Potential in Pakistan

US EIA Shale Oil and Gas Report 2013


Javed said...

There has been a consistent policy failures , hope these do not continue although a compherensive energy policy and it's sub set a power policy is still not in place ( at least has not been announced or presented at any forum that leads to public information ) , my disappointment is that these should have been formulated even before forming the government and precious time is now being lost .

Riaz Haq said...

Javed: "There has been a consistent policy failures , hope these do not continue..."

I agree that it's been a collective failure of successive Pakistani governments in developing the nation's energy sector which has had broad implications for Pakistani economy and public finances. My hope is that Nawaz Sharif's administration has learned from these failures and will do better this time around.

Kadeer said...

This is an oft-repeated problem like many others that the country is facing. If you look at things globally, the country is falling behind competitively in many areas in spite of the talents of many Pakistanis.

My question is, what is the diaspora doing? Apart from sending money to their families, I only see very minor investments by an educated diaspora. That is a tragedy!

Hopewins said...

Did you hear this news?

"Pakistan major player in world research"

Wow! Astonishing progress. Do you think it's true?

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "Frequent IMF bailouts and power blackouts in energy-rich Pakistan are closely tied."

"Summary: Pakistan's frequent bailouts and blackouts are clearly related."

These are very strong statements. But are they really true?

Let us see:

(1) In the last 30 years, IMF has bailed out Pakistan in 1989, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2008.

(2) Were there these blackouts in 1989, 1991, 1994, 1998?

No, there were not these blackouts. In fact, in September 2003, India had approached us to see if we could supply them with electricity from some of our surplus capacity.

These massive blackouts are a recent phenomenon and have historically not been connected to IMF bailouts.

Do you disagree?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "These massive blackouts are a recent phenomenon and have historically not been connected to IMF bailouts."

It's true that the problem has gotten worse in recent years with increasing gap between domestic gas production and demand necessitating expensive oil imports.

Meanwhile, the oil prices have risen from about $15 a barrel in 1990s to about $100 a barrel now.

So both of these phenomena (bailouts and blackouts) have been the direct results of rising expensive energy imports causing a ballooning of Pakistan's current account deficits and budget deficits.

Three quarters of Pakistan's current export-import gap of about $20 billion is accounted for by oil imports of about $15 billion.

In addition, a significant chunk of Pakistan's budget deficit is because of power subsidies amounting to several billion dollars a year.

Hopewins said...

Qadeer said: "My question is, what is the diaspora doing? Apart from sending money to their families, I only see very minor investments by an educated diaspora. That is a tragedy!"

The "sending money to their families" part is EXACTLY what is keeping Pakistan afloat right now.

Without these remittances, our economy would have completely COLLAPSED by now.

You can gauge for yourself in our FY 2013 data from the Finance Ministry:

1)Domestic Savings = 20 Billion$
2)Remittances = 14 Billion$
3)Foreign Investment = 1.6 Billion$
4)Total Investment = 35.6 Billion$

Note that (4) = (1)+(2)+(3)

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "Meanwhile, the oil prices have risen from about $15 a barrel in 1990s to about $100 a barrel now.

So both of these phenomena (bailouts and blackouts) have been the direct results of rising expensive energy imports causing a ballooning of Pakistan's current account deficits and budget deficits. "

Is it correct to say that in your view, the MAIN difference between India and Pakistan is this:

The bulk of our electricity is primarily generated from imported fuel, which we have to buy in dollars.

The bulk of their electricity, on the other hand, is generated from domestic coal, which they buy in their local rupees.

Is this your view?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Is it correct to say that in your view, the MAIN difference between India and Pakistan is this:
The bulk of our electricity is primarily generated from imported fuel, which we have to buy in dollars. The bulk of their electricity, on the other hand, is generated from domestic coal, which they buy in their local rupees. Is this your view?"

India too has huge current account deficits and regular power blackouts in spite of using coal to generate electricity.

India also runs large budget deficits and heavily subsidizes its power sector....less so than Pakistan because coal electricity costs significantly less.

The main reason India has not ended up with IMF since 1980s is that it has attracted significant FDI and FII to close the gap between its exports and imports....but Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs (who coined BRIC) has recently warned that India too could end up with a serious BoP crisis requiring IMF bailout.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a couple of news items on Pakistani imports in 2012-13:


Statistics showed the oil import bill reached $13.937 billion in July-May this year as against $10.467 billion over the last year, indicating an increase of 33.15 per cent.

Daily Times:

The country has suffered $20.432 billion trade deficit during last fiscal year 2012-13, according to the official figures released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Friday.

July to June: The exports from Pakistan during last 12 months of the last fiscal year 2012-13 were recorded at $24.518 billion as compared with exports of $23.624 billion in the same period of previous fiscal year 2011-12, projecting an increase of 3.76 percent.

Argus said...

You may be possibly right, but pray tell us just WHO is going to develop these "vast" resources and more importantly, HOW? The WHEN can be explained later if you can answer these first two questions.

Riaz Haq said...

Argus: "You may be possibly right, but pray tell us just WHO is going to develop these "vast" resources and more importantly, HOW? The WHEN can be explained later if you can answer these first two questions."

Pakistanis. The same Pakistanis who have been exploring and developing oil and gas reserves in Pakistan for years....Pakistani companies like OGDL and PPL in partnership with foreign companies like PGNiG and ENI and UEP and others.

Who else?

Are you expecting angels to descend from the heaven to do it?

Argus said...

The same Pakistanis who have done such a great job of providing power to the country?! Right you are. We can already see just how successful this premise of yours is going to be, Sir. The record speaks for itself, loud and clear

Riaz Haq said...

Argus: "The same Pakistanis who have done such a great job of providing power to the country?! Right you are. We can already see just how successful this premise of yours is going to be, Sir. The record speaks for itself, loud and clear"

Do you understand the difference between fuel and electricity?

Do you know that Pakistan had abundance of gas until a few years ago? the gas that was explored and developed by PPL? the gas that powered munch of the electricity generation?

Do you realize that OGDC and PPL have a lot of professional talent quite capable of doing the job?

Do you know that tight gas production by PGNiG and PPL has already started in Sajawal?

Have you any clue about the energy history of Pakistan since 1947? If not, I suggest you read Energy and Security in South Asia by Charles Ebinger.

Stop being such a cynic! Don't give up on Pakistan!!

Argus said...

I have no cynicism, only realism. I have not given up on Pakistan, but neither do I believe in fraudulent claims that better times are just around the corner.

Riaz Haq said...

Argus: "I have no cynicism, only realism. I have not given up on Pakistan, but neither do I believe in fraudulent claims that better times are just around the corner."

You don't just see Pakistan's glass half empty, you see it as completely empty with no hope of filling it.

There's nothing more toxic for a nation than the kind of cynicism you regularly express.

In spite of all of its problems, Pakistanis have accomplished a lot in the last 66 years.

Pakistan is a resilient nation with an upwardly mobile population.

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "There's nothing more toxic for a nation than the kind of cynicism you regularly express."

Yes, I agree that excessive cynicism is toxic to a nation. But I would point out that irrational optimistic propaganda can also be toxic to a nation.

However, the thing that is the MOST toxic to a nation is the LACK of SAVINGS and a demonstrated history of the inability to increase the same.

This is the ONE FAILURE that SEALS a nation's fate. It is very difficult to change and is yet the best predictor of future outcome. Once it happens, the outcome from there on is almost destiny.

Do you disagree?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn story on US help for Pakistan's energy sector:

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and United States on Tuesday agreed to enhance cooperation in energy sector with special focus on development of bio-gas and wind energy to help Pakistan overcome power crisis.

Pakistan needs investment, particularly in the most needed energy sector, said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while addressing a joint press conference along with President Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Elizabeth L. Littlefield, who was heading the US delegation in talks with Pakistan.

Earlier, US delegation held detailed discussions with Pakistan’s economic and energy managers led by the finance minister and discussed various issues related to investment in various sectors of economy, particularly in energy sector.

Dar told media representatives that talks with the Opic were the part of government's efforts to bring foreign investment into the country and help enhance economic growth.

He said that both the countries agreed in principle to continue dialogue on Civil Nuclear Technology cooperation. However, he added that no timeline could be given for any future agreement on the issue.

The finance minister said that Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have capability to generate more electricity and the government has paid circular debt to enhance generation capacity.

He said both the sides also agreed to continue dialogue on the pending issues of Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to tap the investment potential.

Terming the terrorism as one of the challenges the country was facing, Ishaq Dar said the government was committed to come up with a comprehensive strategy by taking onboard all political parties to overcome this menace.

He said that ensuring transparency and good governance were among the top priorities of the government.

Earlier, the minister informed the US delegation about the successful passage of federal budget 2013-14.

He said the government, this year, has enhanced the allocations for Public Sector Development Programme to Rs1.155 trillion besides enhancing the allocations of Income Support Programme from Rs40 billion to Rs70 billion.

Dar urged the Opic to bring into investment of private companies in Pakistan's energy sector. He assured the US delegation that Pakistan was a safe as well as lucrative country for investment and provides a conducive atmosphere for foreign investors.

Addressing the press conference, Elizabeth Littlefield said the investment through Opic into Pakistan has increased from $80 million to $300 million, witnessing manifold increase during past couple of years.

She said that Pakistan was facing some challenges. She, however, expressed the optimism that the new government would overcome all these challenges and lead the country towards better future.

Littlefield said her country will enhance cooperation with Pakistan in power generation through wind and bio-gas, besides enhancing technical cooperation to increase power generation through alternative ways.

She said that the US companies have already been involved in development of energy sector of Pakistan as a 50 megawatt electricity project by an American firm was continuing in Sindh province.

Earlier, while briefing the finance minister and his delegation about the operations of the Opic, she said the corporation mobilises private capital to help solve critical development challenges.

The Opic works with the US private sector and helps businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalysing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad.

The corporation achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, she added.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PakistanToday report on expected addition of nuclear power plants by 2016:

Completion of the Chashma Nuclear Power Plants CHASNUPP-III and CHASNUPP-IV by 2016, 340 megawatts (MW) respectively, will help meet the target of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) for generating 8,800 MW by the year 2030 via nuclear power reactors. The plants reactors and other facilities are being built and operated by the PAEC with Chinese support. In November 2006, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) approved an agreement with the PAEC for new nuclear power plants to be built in the country with Chinese assistance. The 35-member board of governors of the IAEA unanimously approved the safeguards agreement for any future nuclear power plants that Pakistan would construct. According to official sources, the allocation of budget for the PAEC for the financial year estimated at around Rs49,512.186 million "An amount of Rs34.6 billion has been set aside for Chashma nuclear power plants C3 and C4. The total cost of these two projects is Rs190 billion which will be partially funded by a Rs136 billion Chinese loan,” an official said. The government has so far spent 62.4 billion on the mega-project having a 660 MW generation capacity. With an additional spending of 34.6 billion, the government has already completed almost half of the work, the official said. The 300 MW Chashma nuclear power plant-I is a pressurized water reactor that began commercial operation in 2000.It is located at Kundian in Punjab while the 300 MW Chashma Nuclear PowerPlant-II is part of the Chashma Nuclear Power Complex in the north-western region of Thal Doab. On April 28, 2009 a general engineering and design contract for CHASNUPP-3 and CHASNUPP-4 was signed with Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI)...

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET story on pricing of domestic shale gas in Pakistan:

Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Italy’s Eni have calculated that the price of shale gas should be $14 per million British thermal units (mmbtu), which has been rejected by the government as too much for the country’s existing tariff regime to absorb, an official told The Express Tribune.
The price was determined on the basis of expenditure required to drill for hard-to-reach shale gas reservoirs following a rise in interest in tapping this potential on the back of reports that Pakistan has massive reserves.
“There has to be a steady transition from conventional gas to tight and then finally to shale gas,” said Moin Raza Khan, Deputy Managing Director of PPL and head of its exploration operation. “This has to be a slow process because of the economics involved in the operations.”

Almost all the 4,000 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas produced in Pakistan comes from conventional gas fields, which can be reached relatively easily. Tight gas is trapped in impermeable rocks whereas gas trapped in shale formation is called shale gas.
Average consumer gas price is around $4 per mmbtu, undermining the prospects for shale gas to be brought into the system at this stage, Khan said.
“One reason why the US produces shale gas in abundance is because of the economies of scale. We would have to do that to make it feasible and this can’t happen overnight,” he said.

So for the time being exploration firms including PPL are focusing on tight gas, for which the government has increased the price by 40% through a separate petroleum policy.
First tight gas flows entered the transmission and distribution system in June this year as production of 15 mmcfd started from Kirthar block, which is a joint venture between a Polish firm and PPL.
Sui dilemma
For more than 57 years, Sui gas field fuelled the economy, so much that natural gas became synonymous with Sui gas. And now it has depleted.
“If you ask me I think the gas pressure will sustain for another 10 to 12 years,” Khan said. “The pressure used to be 1,300 psi (pounds per square inch), which has come down to only 300 psi.”
To tackle that problem, the company regularly installs compressor plants on the wells to maintain the pressure. “We are considering installing equipment for 100 psi and even 50 psi.”
Offshore expedition
PPL along with its local and foreign partners plans to drill a well in offshore Block-G in the Indus, the world’s second largest delta after the Bay of Bengal.
“Having a discovery offshore is very important,” he said, referring to the successive past failures. “So far, 13 wells have been drilled in Indus. Gas was found only in one and that wasn’t commercially feasible to take out.”
Pakistan has a coastline spread over 1,990 km and sub-divided into Indus and Makran deltas. Indus delta alone is spread over 1.1 million square kilometres. Pakistan’s area covers over 240,000 sq km of this....

Riaz Haq said...

Privately-held KESC has devised a collective reward and punishment scheme to deal with dead-beats and thieves in Karachi. Areas where there is 90% money recovery see almost zero load shedding, 80% get a couple of hours of power cuts and those with less than 50% endure very long hours of black-outs.

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "...those with less than 50% endure very long hours of black-outs.... "

So the 50% of the people who DO pay their bills (innocent) will now suffer because of the other 50% in their area (guilty) who do not.

Conversely, in the other area, the 10% of people who do NOT pay their bills (guilty) will BENEFIT because of the other 90% (innocent) in their area who do pay.

Yes? Is this the plan? And if so, how will this help? Won't the 50% who do not pay in the "bad area" all just wait for some other to start to pay so that they come up to the 90% mark of payments and then themselves continue to get free electricity?

Is this likely to work?

Why not do what every other country does-- if someone does not pay, cut-off that person's power only.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "So the 50% of the people who DO pay their bills (innocent) will now suffer because of the other 50% in their area (guilty) who do not.
Conversely, in the other area, the 10% of people who do NOT pay their bills (guilty) will BENEFIT because of the other 90% (innocent) in their area who do pay."

That's how the system of collective reward and punishment works where it's hard to hold individuals accountable.

The bottom line is that KESC has succeeded in reducing its unpaid power losses from 40% to 28% after implementing this policy.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report about a Canadian exploration company exiting Pakistan:

Canadian oil and gas exploration firm Niko Resources (Pakistan) Limited (NRPL) has decided to pack up and quit Pakistan apparently because of low wellhead gas prices that make it difficult to sustain operations.
NRPL, a subsidiary of Canada’s Niko Resources Limited, was exploring hydrocarbons in four offshore blocks in Indus namely Indus-X, Indus-Y, Indus-Z and Indus North. The company has collected 2,000 square kilometres of 3-D seismic data in these blocks.
“Now, Niko Resources has served a notice, announcing its decision to quit these four blocks and wind up the company in Pakistan,” an official said.
Niko is a Calgary-based independent international oil and gas company with operations in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kurdistan, Trinidad, Madagascar and Pakistan.
It is one of the fastest growing companies in the industry with market capitalisation of over $5 billion in the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NKO. The government of Pakistan had awarded the four blocks to Niko in March 2008 for offshore drilling.

According to sources, low wellhead gas price for offshore fields was one of the key reasons which forced Niko Resources to stop operations in Pakistan.
“Drilling of an onshore well requires expenditure of $15 million whereas an offshore well needs spending of $80 to $100 million,” a source said, adding exploration companies working on offshore fields had been demanding more incentives to make drilling for oil and gas economically viable.
Sources revealed that Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan met Federal Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the first week of July. During the deliberations, Abbasi asked the high commissioner to persuade Niko Resources to take back its decision of leaving Pakistan as the government “is now offering incentives for offshore drilling.”
In the new Petroleum Policy 2012, the price of gas discovered in the Offshore Shallow Zone will be $7 per million British thermal units (mmbtu), for Offshore Deep Zone the price will be $8 per mmbtu and for Offshore Ultra Deep Zone the price will be $9 per mmbtu.
A bonanza of $1 per mmbtu has also been announced for the first gas discovery in the offshore field.
Abbasi told the diplomat that Pakistan had huge reserves of natural resources and there were ample opportunities for investment in the oil, gas and mineral sectors. “We welcome Canadian investment and technical support in the oil and gas sector in Pakistan,” he said.
Pakistan has a vast onshore and offshore sedimentary area covering 827,268 square kilometres, of which around 30% is being explored.
Owing to existing opportunities, transparent and predictable policies and presence of major international exploration firms like ENI and BHP, there is vast potential of investment in Pakistan, Abbasi said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on rising remittances to Pakistan from overseas Pakistanis:

ISLAMABAD, July 14 (KUNA) -- An increase of USD 733.64 million in the remittance of overseas Pakistani was observed by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in the last fiscal year (July 2012-June 2013).
Overseas Pakistanis remitted an amount of USD13,920.26 million during the last fiscal year showing a growth of 5.56 per cent or USD733.64 million compared with USD13,186.62 million received during the same period of the last fiscal year (July- June 2012), State Bank of Pakistan said.
The inflow of remittances during July-June 2013 from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to USD4,104.73 million, USD2,750.17 million, USD2,186.21 million, USD1,946.01 million, USD1,607.88 million and USD357.37 million respectively. These amounts could be compared to the inflow of USD3,687.00 million, USD2,848.86 million, USD2,334.47 million, USD1,521.10 million, USD1, 495.00 million and USD364.79 million respectively in July-June 2012.
According to State Bank, remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the last fiscal year (July-June 2013) amounted to USD967.79 million as against USD935.36 million received in the last fiscal year (July- June 2012). The monthly average remittances for July-June 2013 period comes out to USD1,160.02 million compared to USD1,098.89 million during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, said the SBP.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a couple of news items on Pakistani imports in 2012-13:
Statistics showed the oil import bill reached $13.937 billion in July-May this year as against $10.467 billion over the last year, indicating an increase of 33.15 per cent.
Daily Times:
The country has suffered $20.432 billion trade deficit during last fiscal year 2012-13, according to the official figures released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Friday.
July to June: The exports from Pakistan during last 12 months of the last fiscal year 2012-13 were recorded at $24.518 billion as compared with exports of $23.624 billion in the same period of previous fiscal year 2011-12, projecting an increase of 3.76 percent.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Times on oil and gas drilling in 2012-13 in Pakistan:

Exploration and production drilling activities in financial year (FY) 2012-13 was the highest-ever development drilling in Pakistan as total 62 wells were drilled, up 82 percent on yearly basis, analysts said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile target of 105 wells for FY 2013-14 is modest and leaves room for improvement, said Fawad khan an analyst at Foundation Securities.
Pakistan has achieved highest-ever development drilling with total 62 wells in FY 2012-13, registering 82 percent yearly increase. The sharp pickup in activity is driven primarily by private sector and should lead to modest increase in production, as most of the drilling is concentrated in low-yielding wells in Badin.
United Energy Group (UEG-Chinese exploration and production giant)) has emerged as the largest contributor to Pakistan drilling programme with over 43 percent drilling in FY 2012-13. Once again stratigraphic traps in Badin received huge focus on exploration. UEG efforts to unlock the potential in Badin block and new exploration leases are bearing fruits out of 17 exploration wells, UEG found hydrocarbons in at least 12 wells.
Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) are yet to touch their full potential on drilling activity. OGDC has drilled only 24 wells in FY 2012-13, up 41 percent on yearly basis, but still below start of the year drilling target of 29 wells.
Khan said available details on FY 2013-14 drilling suggest both PPL and OGDC have not set significantly higher drilling target. Total industry drilling target is set at 105 wells like FY 2012-13. UEG will lead drilling with 55-60 wells drilling programme.
Ongoing exploration in high profile Zin block (OGDC), exploration drilling in Tal at Kot (particularly POL) and complete results on exploration wells in Gambat South (PPL) can bring significant reserve and production upside.
A number of important development projects are slated to come online during FY 2013-14, which are important for materialisation of overall earnings and production targets.
Khan particularly highlighted the Gas Processing Facility at Makori, development drilling in Makori East and Nashpa and progress on second phase production ramp-up on Kunnar Pasakhi Deep (KPD) field.
He estimated FY 2013-14 earnings growth for OGDC, PPL and POL of 36 percent, 28 percent and 32 percent driven by 15 percent, 6 percent and 11 percent volume growth respectively.
Despite a swift bidding round for 60 exploration leases following approval of 2012 E&P policy, actual award of leases has faced certain regulatory hiccups in certain cases. This can potentially delay the impact of new policy on drilling programme, which typically takes at least three years to materialise. Just to recap, 2012 policy offered 26percent, 100 percent higher oil/gas prices over 2001 policy pricing.
Government initially offered attractive conversion terms for areas under previous policies but later on changed certain conditions. Through award of 57 blocks, the government received minimum work commitment of $372 million.

Riaz Haq said...

Net FDI in Pakistan up 76% from 2011-12 to 2012-13:

Net foreign direct investment into Pakistan rose 76 percent in the fiscal year 2012-13, which ended in June, reaching $1.447 billion compared to previous year, according to data from the State Bank of Pakistan.
Between July and June, there was an inflow of $2.653 billion and outflow of $1.205 billion, according to the central bank. In the same period the year earlier, there was an inflow of $2.099 billion and outflow of $1.278 billion.
During June this year, net foreign direct investment rose to $128 million compared to $56 million a year earlier.\07\17\story_17-7-2013_pg5_3

Riaz Haq said...

I heard a BBC report on energy-rich Nigeria's blackouts being far worse than Pakistan's. With roughly the same population as Nigeria's, Pakistan generates 5 times as much electric power as Nigeria.

Riaz Haq said...

LONDON (Alliance News) - Oracle Coalfields PLC Thursday said it has signed a engineering procurement and construction agreement in Beijing with SEPCO Electric Power Construction Corp for the construction of an integrated coal mine and power plant.

SEPCO is a power and construction group in China.

Oracle Coalfields, which is a developer of a lignite coal mine located in the south eastern Sindh Province in Pakistan, said the construction of the integrated coal mine and power plant is a major milestone in the development of the Block VI project in the Thar Coalfields.

Through its local coal mining subsidiary Sindh Carbon Energy Ltd, Oracle owns the mining lease for Block VI in Thar Coalfield, for the mining of lignite coal. Oracle plans to develop the mine and to sell coal to a new created company, provisionally called Electric Power Ltd, at an integrated power station next to the mine.

Oracle said that SEPCO has also proposed a financing structure to potentially securitise up to 85% of the cost of the two EPC contracts, which would be provided by Sinosure, the China Export & Credit Insurance Corp, and some Chinese banks.

The EPC contract is for a 4.2 million tonnes per year coal mine and the 600 megawatt power plant.

The combined EPC transaction value is around USD1.3 billion, Oracle said.

The EPC framework agreement confirms SEPCO's intention to purchase minority equity interests in Electric Power and to potentially make an investment in Sindh Carbon Energy Ltd, Oracle said.

"Entering the EPC Framework Agreement with and receiving a financing proposal from one of China's largest state-owned enterprises in the energy sector is another step towards bringing the project to reality. Both SEPCO and Oracle are eager to succeed in the development of our integrated coal mine and power plant project and to play an effective role in addressing Pakistan's energy crisis," said Oracle Chief Executive Shahrukh Khan in a statement.

Riaz Haq said...

The cash starved government spent huge amount of $7.697 billion on oil imports in just six months (July-December) of the current financial year (2012-2013) as petroleum products’ demand increased owing to loadshedding of CNG throughout the country.
Analysts said that severe energy crisis in the country and lower capacity operations of refineries pushed the oil import bill upwards. They said that rise in imports of finished products was due to high demand for energy generation. They further said that oil import bill might further increase in December and January. According to the figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the country’s petroleum products import has shown an increase of 1.15 per cent in one year, as it imported oil worth of $7.697 billion in July-December of the ongoing financial year against $7.610 billion of July-December of the last year 2011-2012.
Analysts said that the country should ensure energy supply through own resources; otherwise the oil import bill would affect the country’s fiscal position. “As gas supply situation in the country is not expected to improve in the near future, the oil import bill will continue to mount pressure both on value and volumetric basis,” an analyst said.
The break-up of $7.697 billion oil import bill revealed that country spent $4.920 billion on petroleum products and $2.777 billion on import on petroleum crude during the first six months of ongoing financial year.
The PBS figures revealed that country imported food stuff worth of $2.157 billion during July-December of the year 2012-13. The break-up of $2.157 billion revealed that import bill of milk products was up by 3.20 per cent, dry fruits and nuts 1.02pc, import of tea increased by 6.46 per cent, import of spices decreased by 30.06 per cent, soyabean oil’s imports went up by 26.47 per cent, palm oil import decreased by 18.92 per cent, sugar import declined by 78 per cent, import of pulses went down by 12.76 per cent and import of all other food items decreased by 24.80 per cent during the period under review.
Meanwhile, according to PBS figures, the country imported machinery worth of $2.907 billion. Transport group imports stood at $951 million, textile group $1.115 billion, agricultural and other chemicals $3.136 billion, metal group $1.529 billion, miscellaneous group imports were recorded at $402 million and all other items imports remained $ 2.026 billion during July-December period of 2012-13 against July-December period of 2011-12.
It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan’s overall imports were recorded to $21.922 billion in July-December period of ongoing financial year as compared to $22.678 billion of the corresponding period last year.

Riaz Haq said...

#Austrian company OMV finds new gas reserves in #Sindh #Pakistan …

Austrian oil and gas company, OMV, claimed to have discovered new gas reserves at the Latif exploration block in Sindh, a press release issued by the company stated.

The Latif South-1 well had a gas throughput of 2,500 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a day during testing, the company said in a statement.

“We are very pleased with this exploration success. The appraisal and development of this discovery will potentially enable us to enhance the production in Pakistan,” OMV Executive Board Member responsible for Upstream, Johann Pleininger, said.

Read: Iran has not much gas for sale, Pakistan must act swiftly

The company also said that the Latif South-1 well had a gas throughput of 2,500 barrels of oil equivalent a day during testing.

“This discovery has opened up new exploration opportunities in the area,” the company said, adding that “further appraisal work is needed to confirm the size of the discovery.”

OMV’s global production was 309,000 boe a day last year, the company, which has a 33.4 per cent stake in the Latif exploration licence, said. Its partners are Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) and Italian energy group Eni, which hold 33.3 per cent each.

OMV Pakistan, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OMV Exploration & Production GmbH, started exploration activities in the desert area of Sindh in 1991 and is amongst the largest international natural gas producers in Pakistan in terms of operated volumes.

As a key investor in the oil and gas sector in the region, OMV also holds a 10% stake in Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO), a joint venture between Pakistan and Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan is currently pursuing two major projects of gas import, including the Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline project, which will supply 750 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) to Pakistan and the volume will be enough to generate 5,000MW of electricity.

Read: After nuclear deal, Pakistan and Iran seek to increase trade

Pakistan faces over 7,000-megawatt power shortfall in the peak summer season that causes blackouts in many areas and cripples life and business. Estimates suggest that the energy shortage strikes 3% off economic growth every year.

In addition to electricity shortages, the country endures gas scarcity that reaches its peak in winter when even domestic consumers are left scrambling for the vital heating and cooking fuel.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan confirms it has 105 trillion cubic ft #shale gas, 58 billion barrels of shale oil reserves #energy

Pakistan has confirmed recoverable reserves of around 200 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas and around 58 billion barrels of oil in its shale structure — many times larger than existing conventional gas reserves of around 20 TCF and 385 million barrels of oil.

This was stated by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at a press conference held here on Thursday to explain main findings of a recently concluded Shale Gas Study based on actual data of existing wells.

“The conclusion (of the study) is that Pakistan has huge potential of shale gas and oil which is much bigger than previous estimates of the United States Energy Information Administration (USEIA) and technology is available at home to produce this resource,” he said.

Also read: Oil and gas reserves found in Mianwali

Mr Abbasi said the country had a massive potential of 10,159 TCF shale gas and 2.3tr barrels of oil. He said the USEIA had reported in April 2011 the presence of 206 TCF shale gas in lower Indus Basin out of which 51 TCF was termed technically recoverable.

However, in June 2013 the USEIA revised the shale gas resource in Pakistan at 586 TCF in place out of which 105 TCF was tipped as risked technically recoverable and also included 9.1bn barrels of shale oil risked technically recoverable out of 227bn barrels shale oil in place.

He said a shale gas study initiated in January 2014 with the support of USAID had been completed. It proved that Pakistan had 10,159 TCF of shale gas resource and 2,323bn barrels of shale oil.

He said the findings were reached when recoverable data of 1,611 wells were collected and shale formation of 1,312 wells through drill was examined. The study covered lower and middle Indus Basin, geographically spread over Sindh, southern Punjab and eastern Balochistan. He said 70 per cent of wells data were used to develop the study.

The minister said the samples were sent to New Tech Laboratory in Houston to verify shale gas and oil resource in place. The study confirmed that Pakistan had the potential of shale gas and oil which was more than expectations.

He said Pakistan had the technology for exploring conventional oil and gas that could be used for exploiting shale oil and gas. However, the country requires more technology for exploiting shale oil and gas resource on a larger scale. He said that real challenges were environmental issues, availability of water and higher cost of drilling. He said one well required 3-8m barrels of water.

Shale gas will cost $10 per Million British Thermal Unit. “We have assigned OGDCL and PPL to explore shale gas and oil from one well to determine cost of extracting them.”

Responding to a question, Mr Abbasi said the natural gas would be available only for domestic consumers in Punjab and even they would not get it between 10pm and 5am. The demand of gas in domestic sector in Punjab is about 950mmcfd, but supplies will be around 650 mmcfd and the difference would need to be met through pressure management.

He said the power plants and fertiliser units would be run on LNG. “CNG sector may also get LNG if supply is available,” he said, adding that captive power plants would also be switched to LNG.

In reply to another question, he said a transparent process had been followed in awarding LNG contract and all required information and record were provided to the National Accountability Bureau. “I have been engaged personally in process of LNG and, therefore, take full responsibility and am available for any questioning or accountability,” he said.

He said that a summary had also been moved to the Council of Common Interests to approve regulation of LPG prices to provide relief to consumers but the CCI had not met for 10 months.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan has 10,159 trillion cubic feet of #shale gas & 3.2 trillion barrels of shale oil reserves: #USAID #energy …

Pakistan has massive deposits of 10,159 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas and 2.3 trillion barrels of oil – estimates that are several times higher than figures given by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), reveals a study conducted with the help of US Agency for International Development (USAID).

EIA had reported in April 2011 that 206 tcf of shale gas was present in the lower Indus Basin, of which 51 tcf were technically recoverable.

However, in June 2013, EIA revised the estimate upwards to 586 tcf, of which 105 tcf were tipped as technically recoverable. Apart from gas, EIA also saw the presence of 9.1 billion barrels of shale oil that were technically recoverable out of the estimated deposits of 227 billion barrels.

Speaking at a press conference, Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the study was undertaken with the support of USAID in January 2014, and was completed in November this year.

He said the study confirmed that Pakistan had 10,159 tcf of shale gas and 2,323 billion barrels of oil reserves.

“Risked technically recoverable resource is 95 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and 14 billion barrels of shale oil,” Abbasi said, adding the data of 1,611 wells had been collected and shale formation of 1,312 wells was done through drilling.

He said 70% of data was used to develop the study and samples were sent to the New Tech laboratory in Houston, US for assessment. “Pakistan has the potential to produce shale gas and oil, which is more than expectations,” he remarked.

Abbasi insisted that the technology in Pakistan for exploring conventional oil and gas deposits could also be used for extracting shale reserves. Still, more technology was required for producing shale oil and gas on a large scale.

He cited environmental issues, provision of water and high cost of drilling as the real challenges. A well requires 3 to 8 million barrels of water.

“We have water but the real issue is its disposal,” he said, adding shale gas would cost $10 per million British thermal units. However, the cost will come down with the increase in recovery of untapped deposits.

He said the world was exploring shale gas and oil and Pakistan also wanted to harness that potential. “We have asked OGDC (Oil and Gas Development Company) and PPL (Pakistan Petroleum Limited) to extract shale gas and oil from a well in order to determine its cost.”

A policy for shale deposits will be formulated after the cost of drilling is determined.

According to Abbasi, Pakistan has 20 trillion cubic feet of conventional gas and 385 million barrels of oil. “Gas is enough to meet the needs for 15 years at the existing pace of production,” he said.

Adviser to Ministry of Petroleum Zaid Muzaffar revealed that OGDC was working on one conventional gas well in a bid to find shale gas and oil. “We hope it will get results in two to three months.”

A well needs $2 to $3 million of additional cost to reach the shale reserves.

Gas supply in winter

Abbasi said gas would be available in Punjab to domestic consumers only and liquefied natural gas (LNG) would be consumed to run power and fertiliser plants.

Compressed natural gas (CNG) stations may get LNG if it was available and captive power plants would also be switched to this fuel, he said.

The minister stressed that the petroleum ministry had followed a transparent process in the award of LNG contract. It has provided all information to the National Accountability Bureau, which has asked for a presentation.

He revealed that the ministry had sent a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee for deregulating oil prices, but it was turned down. “We are looking at the petroleum situation again to assess whether it should be deregulated or not.”

Riaz Haq said...

#China consortium to help finance $2 billion #Engro #Thar coal-mining & power generation project in #Sindh #Pakistan …

A consortium led by China Machinery Engineering Corp is set to finance a coal-based power plant and a mining project being developed by Engro Corp, a Pakistani firm.

The first phase of the $2 billion project will consist of a coal-based power plant with two 330-megawatt units in Thar Block II in the Sindh province of Pakistan and a coal mining project for power generation.

The project is also part of the cooperation along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which runs about 3,000 kilometers from Gwadar to the northwestern Chinese city of Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, a part of the ancient Silk Road linking Eurasia and Africa, CMEC said in a statement.

Zhang Chun, president of CMEC, said that it is the first integration project of coal mining and coal-based power plant among the projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is expected to push forward the economic development in Pakistan.

"I think we have opened a new chapter in the overseas market with this project," Zhang said.

"Since our strength lies in foreign engineering project contracting, it will become a model project in Pakistan."

The deal follows President Xi Jinping's state visit to Pakistan in April, when the two sides agreed to set up an economic corridor to bolster China's new trade initiatives-the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Wang Shida, an expert on Afghanistan at the Beijing-based China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said that the project will help bolster Pakistan's energy supplies, something that has hindered local economic development.

He said Pakistan relies heavily on imported crude oil, diesel and natural gas, with less than 0.1 percent of energy coming from coal-fired power stations, leaving much potential for growth in coal-based power projects.

"The cost is very high due to the reliance on imports. Construction of more coal-powered plants will ease the demand-supply gap in Pakistan," he said.

China has already invested more than $40 billion for development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with energy projects being a major focus including hydropower plants, coal-fired stations and wind farms, experts said.

The signing ceremony also involved financial groups like China Development Bank and Habib Bank Ltd in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#Hungary's MOL makes it an even dozen #oil & #gas discoveries in #Pakistan via @crudeoilprices

Hungarian energy company MOL said Friday it made a new discovery of oil and gas in Pakistan, bringing the total there so far to an even dozen.

Operating through a national subsidiary in Pakistan, the company said its discovery in the so-called TAL block in Pakistan is No. 8 so far in that basin and No. 12 in its history in the country. MOL has worked in Pakistan for the last 17 years.

"We are very proud of our 8th discovery in the MOL-operated TAL block," Berislav Gaso, MOL's chief officer for exploration and production, said in a statement. "This new discovery will help to improve the energy security of the country."

Pakistan consumes most of the natural gas it produces and the country has faced power issues because of aging infrastructure. According to the Asian Development Bank, addressing chronic energy issues is one of the ways in which Pakistan can ensure its economic growth remains on course.

Pakistan's economy is expected to expand from a 4.2 percent growth rate in 2015 to 4.8 percent by next year. A net importer of energy resources, the ADB said lower oil prices and soft inflationary pressures were pushing Pakistan's economy forward.

MOL said it was producing around 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from the TAL block so far. Reserves flowed from the latest confirmed discovery at a test rate of around 2,000 barrels of oil per day and 900 barrels of oil equivalent in natural gas per day.

Riaz Haq said...

Chinese-backed coal excavation and power plants will displace thousands of people and deplete groundwater in Thar, a region ravaged by drought.

The Thar desert in Sindh province contains 175 billion tonnes of lignite coal – one of the largest untapped coal deposits in the world. It is also one of the most populated deserts in the world – home to world heritages sites and endangered species. Most of the 1.6 million people who live in the Thar desert region live in poverty and are highly vulnerable to extreme weather events. Twenty five percent of people live within the proposed coal development area. They thought they would benefit, but that has not been the case.


It was only in 2015 that work began on the fields, when the Thar coal project was included as part of a string of energy and infrastructure deals signed under the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. These agreements included eight coal-fired power plants and a 3,000-kilometre network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas from Gwadar Port on the Arabian sea to Kashgar, in the northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang.

In December 2015, China approved a USD 1.2 billion investment for surface mining of Thar coal and the establishment of 660 MW power projects. The deposits are divided into 12 blocks, each containing 2 billion tonnes of coal. In the first phase the Sindh provincial government has allocated block II to Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) to excavate 1.57 billion tonnes of coal and build a 660 megawatt power plant. The plant is expected to send power to the Pakistani national grid by June 2019 and will later be expanded to produce 1,320 MW of power.

A state-owned Chinese company, the China Machinery & Engineering Corporation, is providing the machinery and technical support for the excavation of coal and building and running the power plant. The local company will provide human resources, management and be responsible for the distribution of power. SECMC say the project has created 200 technical jobs and 1,600 menial positions. But locals have been protesting that the company has not even given them the menial jobs. Around 300 Chinese, including the engineers, miners and experts are also working on the site.


The Chinese team have started excavating the first pit. In the first phase SECMC will relocate five villages, which are located in block II, including Thario Halepoto village.

SECMC has started paying villagers for their homes and agricultural land. SECMC’s chief executive officer, Shamsuddin Ahmed Shaikh, claims that his company will do all they can to help the villagers.

“We will construct model towns with all basic facilities including schools, healthcare, drinking water and filter plants and also allocate land for livestock grazing,” he told

He said that the company is paying villagers above market prices for their land – PKR 185,000 (USD 1,900) per acre. However locals say this price does not take into account its high environmental value and they do not want to be relocated to the new towns, the exact location of which is yet to be decided.


A SECMC official said that the company will plant 10 trees for every tree cut. So far the company has planted 12,000 trees in an 18 acre area called the Green Park and more trees will be planted in next two years.


SECMC’s Shaikh rejected such claims saying his company would only use 1,400 acres for two reservoirs to store the water extracted during excavation. “It will be natural underground saline water, not toxic or poisonous in any way and it will not affect any village,” he claimed.


Riaz Haq said...

Tapping #Pakistan’s wealth of #oil and #gas. #energy #LNG #pipelines #CPEC @GlobalCapNews …

Energy has long been Pakistan’s curse. This is a country whose large and rising population (the
country had 195 million people as of October 2016, according to government data, making it the
world’s sixth most populous country) has long presented its government with a complex challenge:
to tap new sources of hugely valuable energy where little, if any, had historically existed.
There is carbon here in spades. Pakistan boasts 754 billion cubic metres’ worth of gas, placing it
28th in the list of the world’s largest sovereign producers of natural gas. It has rather less oil, at
least in comparison to other countries in the region, placing it 52th on the global list.
Coal, though, is another matter. A recent find in the desert district of Tharparkar, hard by the border
with the Indian province of Rajasthan, may ultimately generate up to 185 billion tonnes of
anthracite and lignite coal. If that find yields anything near its earliest estimates, it would vault
Pakistan overnight from a ‘resource­poor’ nation into the energy­producing major leagues.

Coal would help diversify the
country’s energy mix. Pakistan is
heavily reliant on natural gas and
oil to meet its primary energy
requirements. The country’s gas
deficit currently runs at between 2
billion and 4 billion cubic feet per
day, depending on the season and
the time of day. Total local crude oil
production, meanwhile, has long
lagged: Pakistan currently has to
import around 87% of its oil needs,
mostly from the United Arab
Emirates and Saudi Arabia


In September 2016, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, told
Pakistan’s National Assembly that the oil and gas sector had received investments totaling
$15.3bn since the start of 2013, adding that the country had made 82 oil and gas discoveries over
the same period.
Analysts are impressed by what they are seeing. “Lucrative policies on gas pricing, stability
resulting from improving law and order, and vast arrays of unexplored territory, have created
attractive propositions for exploration and production companies, who are well positioned to deploy
the excess cash on their books,” notes Farrukh Sabzwaria, director of regional equities sales at
Credit Suisse in Singapore. “Oil & gas exploration has made up 30%­40% of foreign direct
investment over the past few years — and four multinationals are firmly entrenched, and should
continue to bring in FDI for exploration and development activities.” In other words, Pakistan, once
a minnow in the fields of energy production and exploration, is well on its way to becoming a major
player in the field, thanks to far­sighted government policy


In September 2016, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that three south­north pipelines, stretching
from Gwadar to western China, were under construction, with the first set for completion by the
end of 2016. “The second,” the finance minister added, “would be a parallel north­south pipeline
built [with] Russian investment, while the third pipeline is planned between the towns of Gwadar
and Nawabshah” in the easterly province of Sindh.

Then there are the country’s untapped reserves of carbon. In November 2015, petroleum ministry
advisor Zahid Muzaffar said Pakistan’s total oil and gas reserves, including unexplored offshore
wells and fields, were greater than all Central Asian states combined. If true — and given that
Central Asia includes one major gas producer, in Turkmenistan, and one major oil produce, in
Kazakhstan — it would place Pakistan’s energy sector and the wider economy in a highly
promising position.

Riaz Haq said...

This Mile-Wide Hole Could Revolutionize #Pakistan's #Economy - Bloomberg #Thar #Coal #energy

In the dusty scrub of the Thar desert, Pakistan has begun to dig up one of the world’s largest deposits of low-grade, brown, dirty coal to fuel new power stations that could revolutionize the country’s economy.

The project is one of the most expensive among an array of ambitious energy developments that China is helping the country to build as part of a $55 billion economic partnership. A $3.5 billion joint venture between the neighbors will extract coal to generate 1.3 gigawatts of electricity that will be sent across the country on a new $3 billion transmission network.

“When I came it was a mess. There was nothing here,” said Dileep Kumar, one of the first mining engineers at lead contractor Sindh Engro Coal Mining Co., standing atop the mile-wide hole in the earth, busy with yellow trucks and diggers on the floor below. “Now look at it. This wasn’t possible without the Chinese.”

On paper, Pakistan could be one of Asia’s top economies, with almost 200 million people spread over an area twice the size of California, from the ice-bound peaks of the Karakorum to the warm, dry shores of the Arabian Sea. But it remains hobbled by corruption, political turmoil, terrorism and poverty, all underpinned by a crippling shortage of energy.

The country has natural gas reserves, four nuclear-power stations and the world’s largest dam. Some 700 kilometers north of the Thar mine another Chinese company is helping build a solar farm eight times the size of New York’s Central Park. Yet power outages remain a way of life with blackouts of 12 hours or more even in Karachi and Islamabad. By one estimate, the shortage of electricity is wiping 2 percentage points off economic growth every year.

Thirst for energy is taking Pakistan in the opposite direction of Western countries that are trying to reduce coal power, or use cleaner-burning fuel and technologies. Germany, which still relies on coal-fired stations for two fifths of its electricity, has promised to switch half of them off by 2030.

Pakistan by contrast relies on coal for just 0.1 percent of its power, according to the Pakistan Business Council. The Thar projects and others could see that jump to 24 percent by 2020, according to Tahir Abbas, analyst at Karachi-based brokerage Arif Habib Ltd.

Pakistan’s coal reserves would give the nation a cheap domestic alternative to expensive oil and gas imports. The nation spends about $8 billion a year on imported petroleum and is one of the region’s biggest buyers of liquefied natural gas.

In an effort to curb the import bill and meet demand for power, Pakistan plans to dig up some of the world’s biggest known deposits of lignite, a lower-grade brown coal. But first, it must clear 160 meters of sand to get to the coal.

On a flat, arid plain, separated from a hot cerulean sky by a thin line of spindly scrub, yellow-edged containers sit neatly around paved quadrangles. In the centre of each, a lumpy circle of green turf, irrigated by a hosepipe, provides some respite from the dust and heat.

Riaz Haq said...

Economist Magazine: "Just 1% of the vast #Thar #coal reserve discovered in 1992 could supply a fifth of #Pakistan's current #electricity generation for half a century" #CPEC #energy #infrastructure

PAKISTAN’s enormous mineral wealth has long lain untapped. Since a 1992 geological survey spotted one of the world’s largest coal reserves in Thar, a scrubby desert in the southern province of Sindh, prospectors have hardly dug up a lump. Among those to flounder is a national hero. Samar Mubarakmand, feted for his role in Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons programme, has just shut the coal-gasification company he founded in 2010, when he vowed on live television to crack Thar.


To such qualms, the government offers three rejoinders. First, severe power shortages have long blighted the nation, and renewable sources cannot offer the daylong, year-round power it needs. Second, coal accounts for less than 1% of current generation, compared with 70% in neighbouring India and China. And third, domestic coal would allow the country to forgo expensive imports of the fuel for newly built power stations, a drain on fast-dwindling foreign-exchange reserves.


Eight years ago Engro bought the rights to one of Thar’s 13 blocks, containing 1% of the reserve (more than enough given the gargantuan size of the mine). To work on extraction, it formed the country’s biggest ever public-private partnership, the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), in which Engro digs and the state provides infrastructure. Relying on the state can break strong firms. Engro itself almost went bankrupt in 2012 after the government refused to honour a sovereign guarantee to provide gas to one of its fertiliser plants. Yet without similar government support, no other Thar block-owners have secured financing, leaving Engro’s diggers, which began work last year, to move ahead.

The endeavour benefits from being in the group of infrastructure projects that make up the $62bn China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a hoped-for trade route. Western banks shook their heads when approached about a coal project, so Engro has relied on Chinese financing. Analysts note an irony in China’s promotion of coal abroad as it withdraws from the fuel at home. Handling the extraction at Thar is the China Machinery Engineering Corporation, a state-owned firm with expertise beyond Pakistan’s reach.

Around 126 metres below the sands of Thar, with just 20 more to go, Engro’s diggers can now almost touch their prize. When the coal is reached, as is expected in mid-2018, it will feed a pit-mouth power station constructed by Engro, and, in time, three others owned by partners in the SECMC. These stations will furnish around a fifth of the country’s electricity for the next 50 years. The financial rewards could be vast. “All my richest friends are jumping up and down [because they did not get there first]”, says the boss of one big multinational construction business.

Hurdles remain, not least complaints from nearby villagers about the disposal of the vast quantities of wastewater from the mine on their ancestral grazing lands in the form of a reservoir. In reply, Engro stresses its social work in the surrounding district of Tharparkar, the poorest in Sindh, which includes the construction of several free schools. More self-interestedly, it is training locals to drive so they can man the dump trucks that trundle day and night around the mine. According to Shamsuddin Shaikh, chief executive of Engro Powergen, the conglomerate’s energy division, Engro also has its sights on Reko Diq, a gargantuan and long-stalled copper mine in Balochistan, the least developed of Pakistan’s provinces. To tap one of the country’s two largest and most niggardly mines is hard enough. Imagine cracking them both.

Riaz Haq said...

66% of forex spent on fuel imports
NEPRA says maximum utilisation of local coal needs to be encouraged

Pakistan’s reliance on costly imported fuels continues to grow in parallel to the increasing energy needs causing stagnation in the sector.

Pakistan is currently spending approximately $21.43 billion annually on fuel imports, which is about 66% of its total foreign exchange reserves. Hence, the switch to or focus on indigenous resources is becoming a ‘must’ in order to meet the growing energy demands of the country.

The fuel cost per unit of energy generated from imported coal increased from Rs20.17/kWh to Rs29.12/kWh while per unit cost of energy generated from local Thar coal remained around Rs4-4.5/kWh. This was revealed in the State of Industry Report 2022 recently issued by Nepra.

It is worth noting that coal-fired powerplants in Pakistan import coal mainly from South Africa and Indonesia, and this imported coal has incurred a major price surge of late. The delivered price of South African coal increased from $177 per tonne to $407 per tonne during the last one year only. Keeping this in view, a proposal to convert imported coal-based powerplants already set up in the country to Thar coal is under consideration, the report added.

“The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) is leading the process. It apprised that as per the initial findings, imported coal powerplants can use Thar coal for some percentage without making any modification to their powerplants,” stated the report. Nepra believes that maximum utilisation of local coal needs to be encouraged and utilised to reduce reliance on imported fuel.

It is pertinent to mention that 3.8 million tonnes of coal per annum was being mined from Thar coal field by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and the recent commercial operations date (COD) of phase-II of the mine has now pushed coal production to 7.6 million tonnes per annum.

This expansion will further reduce coal prices from its current $65 per tonne to around $46 per tonne which in turn, will power an additional capacity of 660MWs for the Thar coal based independent power producers (IPP).

In the phase-III expansion, approved last year, production of around 12.2 million tonnes of coal from Thar Block-II is expected to be achieved by early 2024. This is important because of the impact it will have on price – which will stand under $30 per tonne.

In addition, given the unprecedently high prices of imported fuel, Thar coal expansion III could also provide a huge relief to Pakistan’s forex reserves, with savings of approximately $2.5 billion, it read.

The report added that enhancing the share of electricity based on indigenous energy supplies is crucial to ensure energy security, self-reliance, affordability, sustainability, and reduction in dependency on imported fuel-based

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan National Energy Regulator (NEPRA) State of the Industry Report 2021-22

The State of Industry Report 2022 (SIR-2022) captures and presents the status and performance of
various segments of the electric power sector i.e. generation, transmission, distribution and supply,
during the FY 2021-22. The SIR-2022 provides a snapshot of developments, and delivery of sectoral
players, identifies weaknesses of the sector, and suggests improvements in each segment of the electric
power services. The SIR-2022 has highlighted various challenges that were faced during the FY 2021-22.
Some of the issues were the same as highlighted in SIR-2021, continued to have an impact on the power
sector, while a few more new challenges surfaced during the FY 2021-22, which added to the woes of
the power sector. As discussed in the succeeding chapters, all these issues contributed towards increase
in the cost of electricity adversely affecting the affordability of the end-consumers.
Supplying affordable and reliable electricity to the end-consumers is to be treated as a priority for
sustainable development, economic uplift, and poverty alleviation. This, in return, creates an
environment of growth in electricity demand per capita; which is linked with the GDP growth of the
country. According to the data submitted by DISCOs and KE, Pakistan’s per capita annual electricity
consumption of 644 kWh, is among the lowest in the world, which is only 18% of the world average,
7% of the developed countries’ average, and 12% of that of China. Per capita electricity consumption
is considered as one of the key parameters, reflecting the living standards of the people in a country.
This indicates that there is a lot of room for improving the living standards of the people and running
the wheel of the economy to ensure sustainable growth.
Climate Change is a reality all across the globe and Pakistan is termed as one of the most vulnerable
countries to its impacts. The impacts of climate change include weather shifts, an increase in temperature,
heat waves, alteration in precipitation patterns, precipitation intensity, occurrence, and seasonal
variations, and the resultant impact on the hydrology, affecting the power sector twofold i.e. increase in
the electricity demand particularly for cooling, and reduction in electricity generation from hydropower.
Due to this, the reliance on expensive fossil fuel-based power generation was increased during FY
2021-22. There is a dire need to take climate change mitigation into account for future power system
integrated planning and management.

The installed electric power generation capacity of Pakistan as of 30-06-2022 remained 43,775 MW
which includes 40,813 MW in CPPA-G System and 2,962 MW in KE System. Similarly, the dependable
capacity of Pakistan as of 30-06-2022 remained 40,532 MW which included 37,858 MW in CPPA-G
System and 2,674 MW in KE System.
During the FY 2021-22, 4,498 MW generation capacity has been added to the CPPA-G system which
includes 1,263 MW Trimmu RLNG Power Project which is under testing, 1,145 MW KANUPP-III Nuclear
Power Project, 720 MW Karot Hydropower Project, 660 MW Coal-Based Power Project of Lucky
Electric, Twelve (12) Wind Power Projects with an accumulated capacity of 600 MW and a 100 MW
Solar Power Project of Zhenfa Power. During the year, Licenses of 150 MW GENCO-IV, 97 MW Reshma
Power, 84 MW Gulf Powergen, 117 MW Southern Electric, 120 MW Japan Power, 31 MW Altern Energy
and 137 MW KANUPP have expired.
During FY 2021-22, total electricity generation in the country, including KE System remained 153,874.20
GWh. This generation translates into 43% utilization factor of dependable capacity meaning thereby
57% of the ‘Take or Pay’ based power generation capacity remained unutilized. The total electric

Riaz Haq said...

#India, the world's 3rd largest polluter, binges on #coal, outpaces #Asia. India's coal-fired #electricity output has increased much faster than any other country in the Asia since #Russia's invasion of #Ukraine. #Carbon #cop27egypt #SharmElSheikh

Coal fuels nearly three-quarters of the power output of India, which presented its decarbonisation strategy at the United Nation's COP27 climate summit this week - the last of the world's five largest economies to do so.

For all latest news, follow The Daily Star's Google News channel.
Use of coal globally, including in power generation, has grown since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February sent prices of other fossil fuels surging, derailing efforts to transition to cleaner fuels.

But the increase in India's coal-fired power output has outstripped its regional peers, data from the government and analysts showed.

India's coal-fired power output increased more than 10 per cent year-on-year from March to October to 757.82 terawatt hours, an analysis of government data shows, as electricity demand increased off the back of a heatwave and pickup in economic activity.

The government expects this output to grow at the fastest pace in at least a decade in the current fiscal year ending March 2023.

An analysis of data from independent think tank Ember shows India's surge in coal-fired output for the March-to-August period was 14 times faster than the average in Asia Pacific.

The heat wave and economic revival following the pandemic meant overall electricity demand grew twice as fast as rest of the region, Ember's data shows.

The European Union was the only region where coal-fired power output grew at a rate faster than India, the Ember data says, as nations in the region scrambled to reduce their reliance on Russian supplies.

India is also the only major country in Asia, besides Japan, where the contribution of coal-fired power in overall electricity production increased in the six months since March, the data shows.

India wants countries to agree to phase down all fossil fuels at the COP27 summit, rather than a narrower deal to phase down coal as was agreed last year.

State-run Coal India, the country's dominant coal miner, ramped up production to meet the utility demand. It reported a 13.5 per cent year-on-year increase in its coal output in March-October to a record high of 432 million tonnes.

Imports of thermal coal, predominantly used in power generation, rose by more than a quarter in the same period, double the pace seen in the pre-Covid years between 2017 to 2019, data from consultancy Coalmint showed.

"Like in China, Indian coal-fired generation will be correlated with Indian power demand – if total demand increases, then more coal-fired generation will be needed," said Jake Horslen, an analyst at Energy Aspects.

In China, the government's strict "Covid-zero" policy and resulting restrictions, plus increased use of renewable and hydro sources of power generation, led to a decline in coal use.

Consultancy Wood Mackenzie expects India's coal-fired power output to grow 10 per cent in 2022 compared to the previous year. China's generation from the polluting fuel is expected to decline marginally.

India's government has said it was committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2070, and official data reviewed by Reuters shows that renewable energy generation grew 21 per cent in March to October, even as coal use for power increased.

India is expected to add up to 360 gigawatts of power generation capacity from clean energy sources to its overall output over the next decade, said Hetal Gandhi, director of research at CRISIL Market Intelligence. "This would help lower coal's contribution in generation by 40-45 per cent by fiscal 2032," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s coal consumption is set to increase to 25 million tonnes by 2025, which is roughly 30 per cent higher than the current level of more than 19m tonnes.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday that coal consumption in Pakistan dropped 7pc in 2021 to 23m tonnes as its prices in the global markets surged to unusually high levels. The use of coal in Pakistan during 2022 is estimated to have fallen further by 3.8m tonnes, said the global intergovernmental organisation in a study released on Friday.

The reason for the drop in consumption of dirty fuel is the unaffordability of large seaborne imports, which forces the country to rely on supplies from domestic coal mines and land-based imports from Afghanistan.

“Additionally, the heavier-than-usual monsoon season brought severe flooding in June, covering more than one-third of the country’s land area and exacerbating the economic crisis,” it added.

The power sector, cement makers and the general industry are major consumers of coal in Pakistan. More than half of coal imports, which are lower than total consumption given the expanding production from the Thar coalfield, are still consumed by the power sector alone.

That’s the reason the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is considering a proposal to convert imported coal-based power plants to Thar coal. In a recent report, the power sector regulator said imported coal power plants could use Thar coal for some percentage without any plant modifications.

Two power plants, Engro Powergen Thar and Thar Energy, run on local coal. Four coal-based electricity makers — Sahiwal Power Plant, Port Qasim Power Plant, China Power Hub Generation and Lucky Electric Power — burn the fuel imported mainly from South Africa and Indonesia.

Lucky Electric Power has been designed to operate on Thar lignite coal. However, it’s going to run on imported lignite coal until the completion of the third and final phase of mining within Block 2 under Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC).

Being the only company that’s mining coal from the Thar coalfield, SECMC extracted 3.8m tonnes of coal every year and sold its entire output to Engro Powergen Thar until recently. It doubled its mining capacity to 7.6m tonnes per year in October, which coincided with the commissioning of the 330-megawatt Thar Energy plant. Another power producer of 330MW, ThalNova Power Ltd, will soon start producing electricity, ensuring 100pc consumption of the enhanced output of SECMC’s mine in Block 2.

With the mining block’s third-phase expansion by June 2023, its output will increase to 12.2m tonnes per year. The increased mining will supply fuel to the 660MW power plant that Lucky Electric Power Company has just commissioned at Port Qasim.

The share of coal-based electricity in the country’s power generation mix in October was 15.5pc.

Riaz Haq said...

Thar is solution to Pakistan's energy crisis, says Murad Ali Shah

“Chinese cooperation has proved a landmark in power generation from coal deposits in Thar,” chief minister said. “Chinese companies are increasing power generation from coal in Thar,” he further said.

Pakistan facing a formidable energy crisis that has badly affected economy of the country. The government sees energy generation from massive coal deposits in Sindh’s desert district of Thar could address the country’s energy problems.

Sindh’s Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh recently announced an additional 1320 Megawatt of electricity from the Thar coal power plant included in the national grid.

He said the trial run to generate 1320 megawatts of electricity from the Shanghai Electric power plant was started today. Meanwhile, 660 MW of electricity has been added from Engro and Hubco power plants.

Sindh energy minister, while talking about the full potential of the coal power project said that a total of 2640 MW of electricity will be supplied to the National Grid from Thar coal soon.

Riaz Haq said...

330MW from Thar coal added to national grid

Hub Power Company Limited (HUBCO)’s 330-megawatt (MW) power plant, fired by Tharparkar’s coal, formally started supplying electricity to the national grid on Friday in Islamkot. Inaugurated by the Minister of State, Mahesh Malani, this fresh addition of 330MW will take Thar’s coal contribution to power generation up to 3,000MW.

Riaz Haq said...

The war in Ukraine: Impact on Pakistan’s energy security

by Waqar Rizvi

Pakistan has long dealt with energy-insecurity, a state of affairs exacerbated by the disastrous economic effects of the pandemic, floods and war in Ukraine. While some experts warned Pakistan that its energy dependence was untenable, there were others who believed such concerns were overblown thanks to the abundance and low cost of Liquefied Natural Gas. The war in Ukraine has proven the latter group wrong, the subsequent sanctions disrupting energy supplies from Russia and driving up global prices. Europe's entry into the market and ability to meet any cost in securing limited worldwide supplies place Pakistan in an even more difficult position.

Pakistani officials already warn of mass gas shortages, and load-shedding in households is rampant with areas of the country experiencing daily power cuts that are 16 hours long. The country’s vital textile industry also stands to suffer from an interrupted and limited supply. This situation exists despite Pakistan's possession of exploitable natural resources, owing to policy-makers' dogmatic view that the development of these resources for self-reliance was unachievable. In addition, insecurity and political instability in areas such as resource-rich Balochistan have thwarted any remedial measures.

Pakistan’s alliances and loyalties with traditional allies are being tested at this difficult time. To encourage vital foreign investment in Pakistan's energy sector, the government can take advantage of the desire of the Chinese, Russians, Americans and Europeans to gain influence in the country. Restricted by geopolitical considerations from taking sides in the war on Ukraine, Pakistan must secure its national interests, especially energy security.

Pakistan should eschew inactivity despite the risk of being outbid in the competitive global LNG market. Responsible energy policymaking must be embraced, including the implementation and incentivisation of energy conservation measures, whilst shielding the lower classes from additional energy costs. Needed is a multifaceted energy policy that considers all available resources such as gas, oil, coal, solar, hydro and wind power. Experts must be involved in the formulation of sound strategies to exploit these sources, and Pakistan must learn from its mistakes, such its signing of bad-faith contracts with LNG middlemen, which allowed them to abandon Pakistan's agreements for profits.

However, political turmoil remains the largest contributor to Pakistan's energy insecurity. The government and opposition parties will need to put aside their partisan bickering to prioritize the country’s interests. Sound policies grounded in reality, as opposed to theoretical ones, are called for, and leaders must step up during crises.

Pakistan is in dire need of an infrastructural upgrade and must play all its cards to achieve it. Diplomatically, Pakistan holds significant influence in international forums and has valuable voting power at the United Nations. Economically, Pakistan can promise significant benefits to nations that invest in its natural resources.

Riaz Haq said...

Transmission constraints leave Thar plants underutilised - Business - DAWN.COM

Only 1,800MW of the 2,400MW Thar power plants can be evacuated at any given time owing to transmission constraints. Delays in the construction of the second transmission line between Thar and Matiari Converter Station have resulted in the coal-based power plants sitting idle despite ranking highly on the merit order of efficient electricity producers.

Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guarantee Ltd (CPPA-G), which is the government-owned single buyer of electricity from independent power producers, recently wrote a letter to National Transmission and Despatch Company Ltd (NTDC) demanding that CPPA-G be updated about the “progress and tentative commissioning date” of the transmission line.

“It is clear that in the present scheme, all four Thar coal power projects cannot be evacuated completely at once, which raises a serious concern on the power evacuation and the capacity of the transmission line,” said the letter seen by Dawn.

Demand for electricity will increase in the coming summer season, but the “full cheap-power evacuation from indigenous coal is not possible” under the current circumstances, it added.

Power generation began in Thar with two coal-based plants of 330MW each by Engro Powergen in Block-2. Later on, Hub Power along with other shareholders built two more power plants of 330MW each in the same Block-2.

Meanwhile, Shanghai Electric built two power plants of 660MW each in Block-1 of Thar coalfields. Around 2,400MW of the installed capacity of 2,640MW is dispatchable. But only one transmission line, which can carry up to 1,800MW, is currently available for the four Thar projects.

The inadequacy of infrastructure has resulted in “abnormal voltage” and “frequency fluctuations” for Thar power plants on the sole dedicated transmission line, the CCPA-G said.

A source in the power sector told Dawn that the two plants in Block-1 are being despatched continuously because of their low per-unit cost of coal.

As for Block-2, the source said only two of the four plants are despatched at any given time — one each from Engro and Hub Power.

According to an energy sector expert, producing 600MW on imported coal instead of Thar coal is costing around $30 million every month. Producing that much electricity through imported gas should cost $35m in imports, he said.

Speaking to Dawn, a senior official of NTDC said work on the under-construction transmission line should be complete in “two to two and a half months”. The 220-kilometre long transmission line costing about Rs12 billion was supposed to be complete by August 2022. The deadline was extended to January this year, but that was also missed.

“Prices of everything from steel and cement went up three times. Then the floods hit and halted all construction work. Building a transmission line involves right-of-way issues, which make the process complicated and time-consuming,” he said, adding that the process should be over by the end of April.

Riaz Haq said...

Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV, Pakistan

Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV is a 500kV overhead line with a length of 247km from Thar, Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan, to Matiari, Sindh, Pakistan.

Construction works on the Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV project was commissioned in 2018.

The Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV, which is an overhead line, is being operated by National Transmission & Despatch. The Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV is a new line. The line carries alternating current (AC) through double circuit cable.

Approximately $107.67m was financed by the authorities to undertake the construction works of the project.

Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV project development status

The project works were completed in 2018.

About National Transmission & Despatch

National Transmission & Despatch Co Ltd (NTDC) operates as an electric utility that generates, transmits, dispatch and distributes electricity. The company operates and maintains a network of grid stations and transmission lines. Its services offerings include planning and design, operations and maintenance, monitoring and testing, pre-commissioning test, technical analysis, technical auditing, thermovision survey and technical training services. NTDC also provides online bill payment, rebates and incentives, electrical safety, energy conservation, outage reporting, load management, energy assistance and meter reading services.


All publicly-announced T&D Line & Substation projects included in this analysis are drawn from GlobalData’s Power IC. The information regarding the projects is sourced through secondary information sources such as country specific utility players, company news and reports, statistical organisations, regulatory body, government planning reports and their publications and is further validated through primary from various stakeholders such as power utility companies, consultants, energy associations of respective countries, government bodies and professionals from leading players in the power sector.

Riaz Haq said...

Amjad Hafeez
Two 500KV double circuit transmission lines were planned from Thar to Matiari and 2016. One completed in 2019 to evacuate Engro Tahr 660MW. 2nd line couldn't be completed 2018-22 period for further 1980MW Thar Coal Evacuation.

Riaz Haq said...

10 years of BRI: lawmakers visit Port Qasim Power Project

The Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) hosted a two-day delegation visit to CPEC projects such as the Port Qasim Power Project and the Thar Coal Mines at Sindh Electric Coal Mining Company, according to Gwadar Pro.

The delegation, led by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, included renowned parliamentarians from various political parties. Guo Guangling, CEO of Port Qasim Electric Power Company, hosted and welcomed the delegation on the first day and briefed them on the project’s unique operation.

The delegation was briefed on the most recent developments in CPEC’s energy sector, CPEC’ contribution to the Pakistani economy and the opportunities for interaction between Chinese investors and delegates.

The Port Qasim Power Project uses Super Critical Technology, which emits white smoke that is environmentally friendly. It is currently operational and connected to the national grid.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed thanked Power China and the people of China for trusting and investing in Pakistan, especially when Pakistan was facing the most deadly wave of terrorism. “By constructing an economic corridor that promotes connection, construction, exploration of investments, and people-to-people contacts for connectivity, CPEC is aiming to better the lives of the people of Pakistan and China,” he added.

According to the data provided by PCI, 12 energy projects have been completed under CPEC in the last 10 years. In total, there are 36 active projects with an estimated cost of $27.5 billion. It is expected that many of these projects will be completed by 2023.

As per the data, the completed energy projects include the 1320MW Sahiwal Coal-fired power plant, 1320 MW Coal-fired power plant at Port Qasim, Karachi, 1320 MW China Hub Coal Power Project, Hub Balochistan, 660 MW Engro Thar Coal Power Project, 720 MW Karot Hydropower Project, AJK/Punjab, 100MW UEP wind farm Jhimpir, Thatta, 50 MW Sachal wind farm, Jhimpir, Thatta, 100 MW Three Gorges second and third Wind power project, 1000 MW Quaid-e-Azam solar park Bahawalpur, 50 MW Hydro China Dawood Wind Farm Gharo, Thatta, Matiari to Lahore 660 KV HVDC transmission line project, 4000 MW evacuation capacity, and 330 MW HUBCO Thar coal power project.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has an energy surplus. Here’s why it gets hit by blackouts anyway
For several years, Pakistan’s cities and villages have suffered from power outages lasting several hours a day. In January, a nationwide blackout plunged the country of 230 million people into darkness. But the problem isn’t energy supply.

This January, much of Pakistan’s population of nearly 230 million people plunged into darkness, bringing widespread disruption to people and industries for almost 24 hours.

“If you go to our government hospitals – which didn’t have back-up facilities – or field hospitals, or small nursing homes, they had to stop all their services,” said Dr. Shayan Ansari, a surgeon at a private hospital in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.

A similar incident struck last October. Meanwhile, smaller blackouts regularly hit cities and villages for several hours daily.

But the problem is not energy supply.

“We don’t have a problem as far as the supply of energy is concerned in Pakistan,” said Ishrat Husain, who served as an advisor to ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Both outages were caused because there were fluctuations on the transmission lines, which have not been updated for quite some time.”

In 2020, nearly 20 percent of Pakistan’s energy was simply lost during transmission, distribution and delivery.

Pakistan’s energy problems are having a cascading effect on the country’s economy, which is on the verge of collapse. Watch the video above to find out more.

Riaz Haq said...

Cost of #India Quitting #Coal Is $900 Billion over 30 Years, says a report by #Indian Think Tank known as iFOREST. It identified 8 different cost factors, like setting up #infrastructure & getting workers ready for the transition. #energytransition

If India stopped burning coal tomorrow, over five million people would lose their jobs. But for a price tag of around $900 billion over the next 30 years, the country can make sure nobody is left behind in the huge move to clean energy to curb human-caused climate change, according to figures released by New Delhi-based think tank Thursday.

The International Forum for Environment, Sustainability and Technology, known by the acronym iFOREST, released two reports detailing how much it will cost for India to move away from coal and other dirty fuels without jeopardizing the livelihoods of millions who still are employed in coal mines and thermal power plants.

Ensuring that everyone can come along in the clean energy shift that's needed to stop the worst harms of climate change and guaranteeing new work opportunities for those in fossil fuel industries, known as a just transition, has been a major consideration for climate and energy analysts.

“Just transition should be viewed as an opportunity for India to support green growth in the country’s fossil fuel dependent states and districts,” said Chandra Bhushan, the head of iFOREST.

To get the $900 billion figure, the group researched four coal districts in India and identified eight different cost factors, like setting up infrastructure and getting workers ready for the transition.

The biggest single investment to enable a just transition will be the cost of setting up clean energy infrastructure, which the report estimates could be up to $472 billion by 2050. Providing workers with clean energy jobs will cost less than 10% of the total amount required for a just transition, or about $9 billion.

The think tank said $600 billion would come as investments in new industries and infrastructure, with an additional $300 billion as grants and subsidies to support coal industry workers and affected communities.

“The scale of transition is massive. If formal and informal sector workers are included, we are talking about an industry that is the lifeline for 15-20 million people,” said Sandeep Pai, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington D.C. based think tank. “Reports like this are extremely important since the just transition conversation is beginning only now in India ... we need much more of the same.”

India is one of the largest emitters of planet-warming gases, behind only China, the U.S. and the EU. The country depends on coal for 75% of its electricity needs and for 55% of its overall energy needs.

The country is still a far way off quitting coal. Earlier this month, the Indian government issued emergency orders stipulating that coal plants are run at full capacity through this summer to avoid any power outages. The country’s coal use is expected to peak between 2035 and 2040, according to government figures.

Prime minister Narendra Modi announced in 2021 that the country will achieve net zero emissions — where it only puts out greenhouse gases that it can somehow offset — by 2070. On Monday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged nations to speed up their net zero goals, calling for developing countries to set a target of 2050. He was met with a muted response.

The reports recommends that the Indian government focuses on retiring old and unprofitable mines and power plants first. Over 200 of India's more than 459 mines can be retired in this way.

Riaz Haq said...

A review of Pakistani shales for shale gas exploration and comparison to North American shale plays
Author links open overlay panel Ghulam Mohyuddin Sohail a, Ahmed E. Radwan b, Mohamed Mahmoud c

Recent advancements in technologies to produce natural gas from shales at economic rates has revealed new horizons for hydrocarbon exploration and development worldwide. The importance of shale oil and gas has aroused worldwide interest after the great success of production in North America. In this study, different marine source rocks of Pakistan are evaluated for their shale gas potential using analogs selected from various North American shales for which data have been published. Pakistani formations reviewed are the Datta (shaly sandstone), Hangu (sandy shale), Patala (sandy shale), Ranikot (shaly sandstone), Sembar (sandy shale) and Lower Goru (shaly sandstone) formations, all of which are known source rocks in the Indus Basin. Available geological data of twenty-six wells (e.g., geological age, depositional environment, lithology and thickness), geochemical data (e.g., total organic carbon (TOC), vitrinite reflectance (Ro), rock pyrolysis analysis and maturity), petrophysical data (e.g., porosity and permeability) and dynamic elastic parameters estimated from logs (Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio) have been investigated. According to this study, the Pakistani shales are explicitly correlated with the most active shale gas plays of North America. The burial depths or geological position of the Pakistani shales are generally comparable to or slightly higher than the North American shales based on the available data. The thicknesses of the Pakistani (except for the Sembar shale) and North American shales fall in similar ranges. In terms of mineralogical composition, all of the Pakistani shales except the Ranikot and Hangu shales have quartz contents in the 40% to 50% range (approximately), which is similar to most of the North American shales. The high maximum TOC of the Hangu and Sembar shales (10%) is comparable to the New Albany, Antrim and Duvernay shales. The maximum TOC values for the Ranikot (3%), Lower Goru (1.5%) and Datta (2%) shales are lower than all North American shales. The TOC of Patal Shale (
5%–10%) is comparable to Fayetteville and Eagle Ford shales. The geological and geochemical parameters of all the Pakistani shales reviewed in this work are promising regarding their shale gas prospects. However, geomechanical data are required before conclusions on these shales’ economic production can be made with confidence.


The exploitation of shale gas reservoirs may enhance gas production and reduce the severity of the ongoing energy crisis. The main challenge in Pakistan is to evaluate the shales using limited data and samples. That is why only a few companies are working on shale gas reservoirs in Pakistan now. The researchers need to assess and rank prospective Pakistani shales to entice companies to consider shale gas development. The geological characterization of Pakistani shales has been investigated by several authors (e.g., Warwick et al., 1995, Kazmi and Abbasi, 2008, Ahmad et al., 2012, Hakro and Baig, 2013, Jalees, 2014), but detailed work is required on geochemical, petrophysical and geomechanical characterization for assessing the actual potential of shales in Pakistan (Abbasi et al., 2014).

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan among 26 countries which added over 1,000 MW of solar electricity in 2022

Where are the major solar countries?
More countries than ever are real “solar contenders”, the report shows.

In 2022, the number of major solar countries - defined as those installing at least 1 GW annually - grew from 12 to 26. By 2025, the report predicts that more than 50 countries will be installing more than 1 GW of solar per year.

European countries make up 12 of the solar heavyweights, led by Spain, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Italy.

Poland’s solar development has flown past expectations. It’s mostly due to a surge in small rooftop ‘prosumer’ systems that enable homeowners to be rewarded for producing as well as consuming energy.

Ranked by the amount of extra solar they installed last year, here is the full list of the 26 major solar powers:

1. China
2. US
3. India
4. Brazil
5. Spain
6. Germany
7. Japan
8. Poland
9. The Netherlands
10. Australia
11. South Korea
12. Italy
13. France
14. Taiwan
15. Chile
16. Denmark
17. Turkiye
18. Greece
19. South Africa
20. Austria
21. UK
22. Mexico
23. Hungary
24. Pakistan
25. Israel
26. Switzerland