Power sector may get more gas

Posted on August 4, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

ISLAMABAD: The power sector is expected to get additional 33 million cubic feet (mmcfd) gas per day after completion of Annual Turn-Around (ATA) from July 25 to August 3 and today (Friday) of Zamzama gas field. 

After the completion of Zamzama gas field’s ATA, a total of 65 mmcfd gas would come into the system of Sui-Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL). “On the directions of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, the SNGPL management would allocate 33 mmcfd of the restored gas to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to enhance power production,” sources added.

However, sources added that after Eid-ul-Fitr gas supply from the field would remain suspended for five days due to general ATA.

“Zamzama will resume gas supply from tonight (Friday) but about 48 hours will be required to bring production to full capacity”, an official of SNGPL said.

He said that four fertilizer plants of the system of SNGPL were closed and Zamzama gas was, as per agreement, dedicated to those fertilizer plants but keeping in view the serious power crisis gas would be diverted to power plants. 

The country at present is facing serious energy crisis and there is a permanent shortfall of around 4,000-5,000 megawatts of electricity. To enhance power production Pakistan State Oil (PSO), on the directions of federal government, has increased the supply of furnace oil.

A senior official of the Petroleum Ministry said the government’s decision to enhance furnace oil supply to power sector had badly impacted on the financial position of PSO, which was supplying two billion rupees fuel to furnace oil based power houses daily, while recoveries were at a standstill.

Sources further said the Petroleum Ministry had also increased the duration of gas loadshedding for CNG sector from two and half days to three days in Punjab, which violated the agreement signed between All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) and Petroleum Ministry on June 14.


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Islamabad, Delhi discuss electricity trade, HVDC link

Posted on August 4, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Thursday held parleys on electricity trade and connection points between the two countries. 

A six-member Indian expert group headed by Joint Secretary (Transmission), Ministry of Power, India represented his country in the second meeting. 

The Pakistan expert group was led by Joint Secretary (Power), Ministry of Water and Power, Government of Pakistan. 

Both sides discussed in detail the proposals for electricity trade and setting up of HVDC link to transfer 500 MW. The lines will emanate from grid station in India to grid station in Pakistan. Further discussion with NTDCL will be held in Lahore on Friday (today). 

The delegation also called on Secretary Ministry of Water and Power. To further discuss the possibilities/matters of proposed trade, both sides decided to hold the next round of discussions in New Delhi in October 2012.


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NEPRA Chairman Khalid Saeed Resigned

Posted on March 21, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) Chairman Khalid Saeed has resigned.Former Chairman was accused to illegally working over a month after his term expires.

Nepra issued a notification for an increase in power tariff by the end of February to recover the additional fuel cost borne in August last year.

Nepra Registrar Syed Faqeer Hussain confirmed to EconomyAge that Saeed sent his resignation to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday. However, he said Saeed would continue serving on the post until his resignation was accepted.

Then prime minister Mohammad Mian Soomro had appointed Saeed as Nepra chairman on February 15, 2008 for four years. The term was to expire on February 15, 2012.

Though his contract was not extended, he kept the post after February 15, 2012, leading many to ask questions over legality of the decisions taken by the authority during that period, say officials.

During the extended period, Nepra issued a notification for an increase in power tariff by the end of February to recover the additional fuel cost borne in August last year.

Vice-Chairman Raised His Voice as well

In a dissenting note with the announcement, Nepra Vice-Chairman Shaukat Ali Kundi said consumers were being forced to bear a high price of electricity because state-owned power generation companies were utilising their resources highly inefficiently, raising the cost of electricity production.

He also pointed to a culture of corruption that had pervaded the entire state-owned power sector and driven up operational costs.

Saeed Khalid, Chairman NEPRA

The notification was issued by the authority with a 2-1 majority vote. Chairman Khalid Saeed and Vice-Chairman Ghayasuddin signed in favour of raising the power tariff.

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Levy of Rs. 24.44 per litre of petrol

Posted on December 16, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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Hazards of energy savers

Posted on December 15, 2011. Filed under: Pakistan, Uncategorized |

THE energy crisis in our country has taken us towards the energy conservation these days at the national level. The use of energysaver bulbs instead of traditional bulbs and tubelights has increased throughout the country.

As everyone knows that energy-saver bulbs are economical in use but nobody knows that these energy savers can be a serious health hazard. A few months ago, in one of the newspapers I have noticed an awareness message published by Enercon (The NationalEnergy Conservation Centre) with the title `Energy saver bulbs have one hitch: toxic mercury`. I was greatly surprised because I was not aware that these saver bulbs can be dangerous to health if broken. The Enercon said if the energy saver bulb is broken, the room should be evacuatedfor atleastfifteen minutes. The low energy bulbs contains mercury (poisonous) which can cause migraine disorientation, imbalances and other health problems. When inhaled, it can cause allergies, severe skinconditions and other diseases.

Some precautions were also mentioned in case an energy-saver bulb is shattered, e.g., to leave the room, and not to use vacuum cleaner because it will spread toxic mercury around.

They should be cleaned after wearing rubber gloves and placed in sealed plastic bag. The trash of the remains should not to be thrown in a dustbin.

This is another issue that even in Islamabad no separate bins have been provided near residentialareas to dump toxic materials like batteries, remains of broken thermometers, blood-pressure instruments, etc.

The awareness message also mentioned warnings for the manufacturers to label their bulbs for safe disposal which should be observed on energy-saver packs.

I appreciate the efforts of the Enercon for providing information to the public. However, more should be done for their safe disposal.



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Call for KESC takeover

Posted on June 16, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Leaders of KESC workers solidarity committee have urged the government to review its privatisation policy regarding the power utility, annul its accord with the private concern and take over its charge immediately.

At a joint press conference held here on Wednesday at the Karachi Press Club, the leaders of the committee held the KESC management responsible for the ongoing electricity crisis in the city, claiming that the management had adopted an antiworkers policy.

They said the KESC was privatised in 2005 with objectives of improving the efficiency of the organisation, providing uninterrupted electricity to the citizens of Karachi, ending power theft and “kunda” system and making it a profitable organisation.

They regretted that none of these objectives were achieved. Instead, the performance of the utility organisation deteriorated and the electricity crisis aggravated as compared to the past, they said.

The committee leaders suggested certain steps to ease the current tense situation, demanding that the KESC management immediately withdraw the scheme of forced retrenchment and initiate dialogue with the elected CBA union.

They also urged the management to end the surplus pool, restore all the sacked employees and instead of adopting a contract system, all recruitments were made in the organisation on merit and on a permanent basis accord ing to the laws of the company.

As a gesture of goodwill, they further suggested that the cases against KESC labour leaders were withdrawn and dismissal and termination orders be also withdrawn.

They also suggested that a high-powered judicial committee was established to probe the causes of frequent loadshedding and non-supply of electricity and determine the elements responsible for it and action should be taken on the recommendations of the committee report.

The press conference was addressed by convener of the committee Farid Awan who was accompanied by leaders of the steering committee Habib Junedi, Latif Mughal, Sheikh Majeed, Noor Mohammad, Ayub Qureshi, Aslam Samoo and Manzoor Ahmed Razi.



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SITE power station shutdown blamed on workers’ kidnap

Posted on June 16, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

A power station supplying 90 megawatts mainly to industrial units in the SITE area was shut down on Wednesday by the Karachi Electric Supply Company after what the power utility alleged “armed hooligans kidnapped about 40 KESC employees and outsourced staff members working at the power generation plant”.

According to a spokesperson for the power utility, police and other law-enforcement agencies allegedly did not provide security to the power plant.

Neither did they make an attempt to preempt its forced shutdown or kidnapping of the employees in the morning.

The KESC alleged that the employees were taken to an unknown place on four trucks.

The power utility spokesperson said the lawenforcement agencies, which had been directed by the Sindh High Court to protect KESC employees, assets and installations, had been absent from the SITE power plant despite repeated calls from the KESC management.

The KESC shut down the power plant to preempt any untoward incident since no operational and maintenance staff was left at the power station and safe functioning of the gas turbines could not be ensured.

Rejecting the KESC management allegation, the labour union representatives termed it baseless and alleged that the closure of SITE generation plant was “a deliberate move to cripple Karachi and Pakistan’s economy”.

KESC People’s Workers Union General Secretary Lateef Mughal said that kidnapping was a crime and if it was true that 40 outsourced workers were kidnapped, then why did the management or relatives of the kidnapped people not lodge FIRs.

While residents across the city continued to suffer more than 14 hours of unan nounced outages, the KESC claimed that the power utility found itself in great difficulty to continue its operations to provide electricity to the metropolis because it said the government had not followed its constitutional and legal obligations.

“The government has not been considering the interests of the 20 million population of Karachi,” the spokesperson alleged.

‘Insulting’ attitude Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani took serious notice of the standoff between the management and hundreds of workers and the “insulting” attitude of the KESC management towards the government.

Mr Raisani said he was contemplating a privilege motion against the power utility management, which did not turn up despite repeatedly called by the standing committee.


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MoU signed to promote energy efficiency, conservation plans

Posted on June 14, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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SME Leasing Limited, a subsidiary of SME Bank Limited, and SME Business Support Fund recently signed aMemorandum of Understanding, to facilitate co-operation between the parties for encouraging and promoting energy efficiency and conservation programmes in Pakistan.

Both the parties have agreed to cooperate and facilitate each other for the development of SMEs in Pakistan by creating awareness and encouraging use of fuel efficient devices and equipment through agreed means. The agreement was signed by Syed Saquib Mohyuddin, Chief Executive Officer, and SME Business Support Fund and by Mrs Arjumand A. Qazi, Chief Executive Officer, SME Leasing Limited, in a meeting held at the Main Office of SME Leasing Limited in Karachi.

SME Leasing Limited specialises in providing financial solutions to small and medium enterprises in Pakistan. The company has been a pioneer in the field and has assisted in establishing several SME5 from the start to bringing them to a sizeable and bankable entity. The company has been engaged in leasing of equipment with a view to promote the Governments’ efforts to reduce energy wastage and increase productivity.

SME Energy Efficiency (EE) and Energy Conservation (EC) Financial Solutions: Under the EE and EC financial solutions scheme SME Leasing is providing leasing facilities to SME5 to improve their productivity and reduce cost of doing business, while saving on fuel for the exchequer. The BSF programme will assist SME Leasing in identifying and researching on the industrial energy leakages and the equipment required to reduce the same, with the help of expert service providers.

SME Business Support Fund (BSF) is an autonomous body of the Ministry of Finance and a non-profit organisation formed with the objectives of assisting SMEs as well as Business Development Services Providers for improving their competitiveness and to enhance the revenue generating capacity and profitability of emerging businesses.

BSF Smart Energy Services in order to address the issue pertaining to Energy Efficiency, BSF has initiated the project BSF Smart Energy Services’ with the agenda of energy usage efficiency, creating additional energy supply at source, and to reduce the total cost of production to make SME5 globally competitive through innovation and efficiency.

BSF Smart Energy Services team is conducting preliminary survey of selected SMEs of Kot Lakhpat Industrial Estate in the pilot phase, which will be followed by the detailed energy audits. The results will then be utilised in developing detailed engineering services forsustainable energy solutions so that the set objectives of reducing the total cost of production and to make SMEs globally competitive can be successfully achieved.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Rs. nine billion to be invested in energy sector: Khosa

Posted on June 14, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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During the next fiscal year, the Punjab government would invest Rs 9 billion in energy sector to generate 500 megawatts of electricity, disclosed Senior Advisor to Punjab CM Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa. He was addressing a post-budget press conference here on Saturday. Interestingly, the Senior Advisor was addressing the newsmen in the presence of newly appointed PunjabFinance Minister Kamran Michael.

Khosa told the newsmen that agreements have been signed with China and Iran for production of electricity from coal and water, and Turkey would also help Punjab in this connection. He observed that country-wide power shortage hit Punjab the most; due to which industries in the province suffered due to increase in production cost and also added miseries to the lives domestic users. “Proper planning could mitigate the energy problem within one year, but unfortunately the Federal government has no plan to overcome the problem. Hence, Punjab has taken the initiative to overcome the power shortage by investing Rs 9 billion in energy sector,” he added.

According to him, the budget is focused on giving relief to the people and in this connection the government has allocated Rs 30 billion in the form of subsidies. These funds will be used on subsidising wheat flour (Rs 25 billion) and transportation (Rs 1 billion), and setting up of Ramzan Bazaars (Rs 4 billion). Moreover, yellow cab scheme will be introduced in the next fiscal year, which will provide opportunities to unemployed youth to earn livelihood. Under the scheme, a graduate under the age of 35 years old would qualify to get a yellow cab. A mechanism is devised to ensure that 20,000 yellow cabs are distributed on merit.

He said the government has given a development-orientated budget; the allocation of Annual Development Programme (Rs 220 billion) constitutes 32 percent of the total budget, which is the highest till this date. He credited this government for allocating unprecedented huge funds for development.

“Education has been given top priority in the budget for which huge funds has been allocated. In the next fiscal year, the government will keep its focus on school enrolment, Punjab Education Endowment Funds and Danish Schools. We intend to open eight more Danish Schools in Punjab and four women universities in the province. It is also in the government’s programme to upgrade the existing schools for which sufficient funds have been allocated. In health sector, sufficient funds has been allocated for provision of free medicines, expansion of existing hospitals, construction of new hospitals and establishment of new medical colleges,” he added.

On taxation, the Senior Advisor said the government will tax the elite class of the province from FY2011-12 and in this connection taxes and duties has been imposed on farm houses, swimming pools and elite entertainment clubs. He also said the proceeds from these taxes would be diverted to education sector. He disclosed that in future more taxes will be imposed on the elite class and in this connection the government is studying its possibilities. “No tax has been imposed on the poor,” he added.

To a question on shortfall of provincial taxes during FY 2010-2011, he blamed the Federal government for Rs 15.5 billion shortfalls and added that it constitutes General Sales Tax (GST), which falls in the domain of the Federal government. He said during the ongoing fiscal year against the target of Rs 91 billion the government has collected Rs 75 billion so far. “Gradually, we will take over the collection of GST once the provincial tax authority is set up,” he added. While responding to a question, he said the Punjab government has not neglected the southern Punjab; in fact the government has allocated huge funds for development of southern Punjab. “We are focused to address their problems,” he added.

To another question, he said Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s residence in Raiwind is not a farmhouse and hence it does not qualify for farmhouse tax. Punjab Finance Minister Kamran Michael also spoke on the occasion for a few minutes but he reiterated the remarks of the senior advisor.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Islamabad, Washington to resume strategic dialogue Focus on energy and market access

Posted on June 14, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |


ISLAMABAD, June 13: Continuing to work on their rocky bilateral relationship, Pakistan and the United States agreed on Monday to prune the strategic dialogue to make it more “focussed and result-oriented”.US Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Thomas Nides, who heads the State Department’s policy planning and civilian assistance for Pakistan and Afghanistan, discussed with his Pakistani interlocutors the resumption of bilateral strategic dialogue, currently stalled because of tense ties and future of Kerry-Lugar assistance.

And to an extent the two allies succeeded. Dawn has learnt that the expected prioritisation of dialogue components was finally agreed upon. The two sides through diplomatic channels will decide on the priority areas of cooperation and then prepare a schedule of meetings between working groups.

In March last year, when the strategic dialogue was upgraded, Pakistan and the US had identified 13 segments and formed the working groups for preparing action plans and discussing their implementation.

Three sessions of the dialogue were held last year, but after that the relationship hit one rocky patch after another — first with the arrest of CIA operative Raymond Davis and then the US Abbottabad raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. No significant results could be achieved this year, frustrating both Islamabad and Washington if media reports are to be believed.

The spread-out strategic dialogue will be limited to four priority areas, which probably include energy, law enforcement and counter-terrorism, water and market access. The rest -communications and public diplomacy, defence; education, health, science and technology, security, strategic stability and non-proliferation, women empowerment, economics and finance — will be put on the backburner.

“The idea is to make the dialogue highly focussed on routing the resources to high-profile signature projects,” a source said.

During his meeting with Thomas Nides, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani identified development of the energy sector as the country’s most immediate requirement and urged the US to channel its economic assistance to high visibility power projects.

According to the PM’s office, Mr Gilani also emphasised the need for immediate resumption of the strategic dialogue by scheduling the next round of talks.

After his meeting at the Foreign Office, Mr Nides said: “I believe we are now heading in the right direction.” But he was quick to caution about the challenges ahead by underlining that “still, all of us have a great deal of work ahead to sustain this momentum”.

He asked the people of Pakistan not to expect the US to solve all their problems. “It is for the democratically-elected leaders of Pakistan to deliver results for the people. What the United States can do is what we strive to do every day as long as we are there. We work with you to identify our common goals and then work together to realise them. You can see this approach at work in our civilian assistance programmes.” At the finance ministry, Mr Nides announced the transfer of $190 million pledged last year to the Citizens Damage Compensation Programme aimed at providing cash transfers to more than one million households affected by last year’s floods.

“The United States is giving a significant portion and making good on our promise to help the people of Pakistan. We will work in cooperation with the govern ment to ensure it is spent transparently, honestly and effectively for the people of Pakistan,” he said.

JOINT EFFORTS: During a meeting with Thomas Nides, President Asif Ali Zardari reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to cooperate with international forces in combating terrorism and militancy.

He said Pakistan and its people had rendered “unparalleled human and economic sacrifices” in the process of combating militancy.

He said it was in the interest of both Pakistan and the US that relations based on respect for sovereignty and mutual trust and interest should move forward in a mutually beneficial manner.

Bilateral ties and coopera tion, progress on various segments of strategic dialogue in multi-faceted fields and issues relating to regional stability, including counteringterrorism and peace in Afghanistan, were discussed at the meeting.

Mr Nides said Pakistan was an important ally in the war on terror and for defeating the violent extremism. He acknowledged the sacrifices rendered by people and law enforcement personnel of Pakistan for world’s peace in the struggle against terrorism.

Mr Nides assured the president that the United States would continue it support and cooperation in combating terrorism and assistance in other fields.


Source: Dawn.com

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