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CPEC feeding 300MW of wind energy to national grid

Source: Pakistan Today

Date:  2nd January 2019

ISLAMABAD: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has contributed 300MW of clean wind energy to the national grid through its four early harvest wind power projects.

According to sources from embassy of China in Pakistan, the four wind projects that had been completed under CPEC and are connected with the national grid include Dawood wind power project (50 MW), Sachal Energy wind farm (50MW), three Gorges second wind farm project (100MW), and UEP wind farm project (100MW).

Dawood wind power project is a prioritized or early harvest project under CPEC, which installs 33 wind turbine generators with the capacity of 1.5MW per unit and total capacity is 49.5MW on 1,720 acres of land in the coastal area of Gharo wind corridor in Bhanbore, District Thatta, Sindh.

This is a direct investment (FDI) project and the total investment of Dawood wind power project is $115 million. The rate of equity to loan is 30:70 percent.

Dawood wind power project achieved Commercial Operation Date (COD) on April 4, 2017, and annual electric power supply to the National Grid is more than 130GWh, which is sufficient for daily use of 100,000 Pakistan families and is effectively easing the crisis of electricity shortage in Pakistan.

Sachal wind power project was completed in April 2017 at a cost of $110 million. It is located in Jhimpir, Thatta district, Sindh province, about 100km northeast of Karachi.

The total installed capacity of this project is 49.5MW, and 33 Gold wind brand wind turbine generators (WTGs) with a capacity of 1.5MW are installed.

The investment has been made by Sachal Energy Development (private) Ltd, in which Arif Habib Corporation Limited has a 100 percent stake.

HydroChina International Engineering Co, Ltd. is the engineering procurement construction (EPC) contractor. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) provided a loan. The debt to equity ratio is 85:15 percent.

Three Gorges second wind power project (2×50MW) is located at Jhimpir, Thatta district, Sindh province, 90KM west from Karachi.

This is a foreign direct investment (FDI) project and is invested, developed and constructed by Three Gorges Second Wind Farm Pakistan Limited (TGS) and Three Gorges Third Wind Farm Pakistan Private Limited (TGT).

The total investment amount is $224 million on the basis of Build-Own-Operate (BOO), with a construction period of 18 months and an operation period of 20 years.

The total installation capacity is100MW, with an annual electricity output of 286.6 GWH. It was listed as an actively promoted project in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in August 2014.

Pakistan Jhimpir UEP 100MW wind farm is located in Jhimpir, Thatta district, Sindh, 110km from Karachi.

The total installed capacity is 100MW with the supply of 66 sets of wind turbine generators (WTGs) of 1.5MW per set. It also includes construction of a 132KV substation and a control centre.

This is a foreign direct investment (FDI) project and is developed by UEP Wind Power (Pvt.) Limited, a joint venture of Orient Group Investment Holdings Co, Ltd. (99%) and United Energy Group Co., Ltd. (1%). China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (CGGC) is the engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) contractor.

The commercial contract of this project was signed on September 11, 2015. China Development Bank provided financing of $252 million to the project, with the debt and equity ratio of 75 percent: 25 percent. The project became operational in May 2017.

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Pakistan, Russia set to sign $10b offshore pipeline deal next week

ISLAMABAD: In a major breakthrough, Pakistan and Russia are poised to sign a $10-billion offshore pipeline deal, a project planned by the latter to capture the energy market of Pakistan.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the cabinet had approved the signing of the gas pipeline laying deal and Pakistan ambassador to Russia had been authorized to ink a memorandum of understanding with Moscow.

The envoy is likely to ink the understanding in Moscow on Monday. Final cost of the project will be assessed following a feasibility study to be conducted by Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Russia has nominated Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom for implementation of the project. Pakistan’s cabinet has also permitted the company to conduct the feasibility study at its own cost and risk.

One-week deadline: Sindh warns cutting off gas supply to country

Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) – a state-owned company of Pakistan established to handle gas import projects and is already working on gas pipeline schemes like Tapi, has been nominated by Pakistan to execute the offshore pipeline project along with Gazprom.

ISGS is also working on the $10-billion Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (Tapi) gas pipeline to connect South and Central Asia and construction work on the scheme in Pakistan will start in March next year.

These projects are called a game changer for Pakistan as they will not only lead to regional connectivity, but will also meet growing energy needs of the country.

Amid a long-running tussle with Europe and the United States over the annexation of Ukrainian region of Crimea, Russia is looking for alternative markets and wants to capitalise on the growing energy demand in South Asia.

Russia, which controls and manages huge gas reserves in energy-rich Iran, plans to export gas by laying an offshore pipeline through Gwadar Port to Pakistan and India, which are seen as alternative markets because Moscow fears it may lose energy consumers in Europe over the Crimea stand-off.

Russia has been a big gas exporter to European Union (EU) countries and Turkey since long and despite US anger the European bloc has continued to make imports to meet its energy needs.

Moscow receives gas from Turkmenistan and then exports it to EU states. Later, it has got gas deposits in Iran as well and is looking to gain a foothold in markets of Pakistan and India.

OGDC finds new deposits of oil, gas in Sindh

Pakistan has been experiencing gas shortages, particularly in winter, for the past many years as domestic production has stood static with new additions being offset by depleting old deposits.

In a bid to tackle the crisis, the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) kicked off liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports from Qatar under a 15-year agreement two and a half years ago and is bringing supplies through other sources as well.

According to a government official, after signing the MoU for the offshore pipeline, work on the feasibility study will begin in an attempt to assess viability of the project. Russia is even ready to finance the study. Russian gas exports touched an all-time high in 2017. According to Gazprom, gas flows to Europe and Turkey, excluding ex-Soviet states, hit a new daily record at 621.8 million cubic metres.

Annual exports touched 179.3 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2016, a significant jump from the previous high of 161.5 bcm in 2013 and well above the 2015 total of 158.6 bcm.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2018.


Transmission system back to ‘normal’ after major power breakdown: Leghari

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Division Awais Leghari Wednesday claimed the transmission system had “returned to normal” after a major power breakdown in the country deprived most of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) of electricity earlier today.

Power supply to several cities, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Swat, Multan, Bahawalpur and Muzaffargarh, remained suspended for several hours. The breakdown resulted from tripping of Guddu-Muzaffargarh power line, which led to faults at Tarbela and Guddu power stations, as well as other power plants, a spokesperson for Power Division said.

A spokesperson of the Atomic Energy Commission said the tripping of lines caused all four Chashma Nuclear Power Plants to trip as well causing a major power breakdown.

Around noon, the Power Division stated that electricity had completely been restored in Multan and 80 per cent of Islamabad, with restoration work underway. Its spokesperson said that Ghazi-Barotha hydel plant was also back online.

Speaking to Geo News, Leghari said that power supply was being restored in majority of areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

He said the breakdown resulted from a fault in power transmission line and it was not a shortfall.

“The [transmission] system returned to normal since 5:13pm,” the minister said, adding that it would take another one or two hours in complete restoration of power supply countrywide. He said that Wednesday’s situation did not affect power supply in Karachi.

Leghari further said the demand and supply of electricity was being controlled as per schedule since December 4.

Power breakdown affects hospitals, airport

Patients at Lahore’s Jinnah, Mayo, Gangaram, and Services hospitals faced immense difficulties in the wake of hours-long outage. Several operations were postponed, while medics were forced to conduct check-ups in Out Patient Departments (OPDs) in the dark.

Opposition members walking out of the Punjab Assembly today due to the power outage. Photo: Geo News

The proceedings of the Punjab Assembly were disturbed due to the power breakdown, with opposition members protesting against the government for its failure to fix the country’s power system.

The breakdown also affected the operations at the already-troubled New Islamabad International Airport.

Sources said the offices of airlines, baggage handling and the Airport Security Force base camp, among other areas, were devoid of power.

The loss of power also caused misery for patients and attendants at Rawalpindi’s Benazir Bhutto Hospital, with the public hospital’s generators also failing to give backup supply of electricity.

‘Industrial load-shedding in Punjab from today’

The spokesperson added that from today, industries in Punjab will also face load-shedding of 10 hours.

Reacting to the move, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association vowed to protest, saying only Punjab’s industries were being denied power for 10 hours a day.

The association said it would meet the finance minister today and then announce its next course of action.



Cost of CPEC coal power projects per MW 40pc higher

ISLAMABAD: The lowest ever price for one megawatt in the International Competitive Bidding (ICB) for Jamshoro coal power project of 1320MW headed by ADB has exposed the bitter fact how costly Port Qasim and Sahiwal coal power projects under CPEC coal projects, reveals the latest official document available with The News.

This has questioned the ability of authorities concerned who negotiated the PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) at higher prices with Chinese contractors for said coal power plants installed under CPEC umbrella.

The EPC per MW cost through recently held ICB for first phase of 660MW of Jamshoro power plant has been achieved at $0.578 million whereas the EPC cost of Port Qasim and Sahiwal coal power project per MW under CPEC coal projects is $1.21 million per MW showing that the cost of one MW of the said coal power plants under CPEC is 40 percent higher than that of Jamshoro coal power plant. The EPC cost is reflected in the final tariff.

This means that the said two coal power plants of 1320MW each under CPEC coal projects are getting unjustified Rs60 billion ($550 million) per annum due to over pricing of these projects, a senior official at Power Division told The News.

Nepra had extended the upfront tariff of 8.3 cents per unit for both Port Qasim and Sahiwal based on the inputs provided by PPIB (private power infrastructure board) and central power purchase agency (CPPA).“So, Nepra cannot be blamed for such a higher tariff.”

However, the expected tariff of Jamshoro coal power plant keeping its EPC cost of $0.578 million per MW will be around at 6.3 cents per unit. The official said the total production of Port Qasim and Sahiwal coal power plants stands at 18.7 billion unit in a year that will cost the consumers of Pakistan Rs231 billion.

Managing Director of PPIB Shah Jahan Mir, when contacted, said that Nepra has provided the upfront tariff of 8.3 cents per unit to both Port Qasim and Sahiwal coal power projects which was higher even than the tariff PPIB had proposed.

He said the PPAs cannot be reviewed unless and until the regulator feels that tariff needs to be reviewed based on new tangible facts. Former member Energy Planning Commission Shahid Sattar said that authorities in Pakistan needs to review the power purchase agreements (PPA) with the top management of both Port Qasim and Sahiwal coal power plants and bring down the tariffs of the said two projects as per international standards. He said that Pakistan’s authorities and the regulator should keep in view that country needs to bring down the cost of down business for competing the products of other economies in the international market.

The official said that the government of China holds competition in the country and then nominates the lowest bidding company for projects in Pakistan. Now, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has also made competition a necessary condition. Competition either under Nepra conditions or under Chinese government supervision, however, has not yielded required results of reasonable and fair costs.

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China to Train Pakistanis in Space Technology

For the first time, China is going to admit foreign students in its aerospace institute, including some from Pakistan. Pakistani students will get trained at China’s Space Technology Institution for the first time ever.

China will now concede outside understudies in its aviation organization. A total of eight foreign students from the following countries were given confirmation in Shenzhou College of Space Technology:

  • Pakistan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Cambodia
  • Venezuela
  • Belarus

A ceremony was held in Shenzhou College, which comes under China Academy of Space Technology, to welcome the students.

The Master’s degree in Aerospace Science program consists of a two-year course.

Space Science professor Jiao Weizix of Pecking University told,

“China’s aerospace industry technology is comprehensive, especially its satellites for navigation, communication and meteorology, a field in which China can and would like to help other countries cultivate talent. The enrollment of foreign students also proves that China’s technology in the field has made a huge progress during the past years.”

China Academy of Space Technology already cooperates with Pakistan, Algeria, Venezuela, Nigeria, and Ethiopia under the Know-How project.

Jiao added that the initiative will help in building China’s global image as well,

“China used to receive help from countries such as the former Soviet Union and now is able to help others, which is also good for China in building its international image.”

China and Pakistan recently partnered to launch a communications and remote sensing satellite in 2018 as well. China will also help Pakistan Airforce by equipping the world’s most advanced radar system in the JF-17 Thunder Jet Fighter.The CPEC Cultural Communication Centre (CCC) under its ‘Talent Corridor’ scheme is also offering one-year vocational training to Pakistanis.


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Pakistan and China to Launch a Communication Satellite for DTH Services

Pakistan and China have signed an agreement for development and launch of communication satellite PakSat Multi-Mission Satellite (PakSat-MM1).

The communication satellite already arrived at Pakistan’s geostationary orbital location of 38.2° East on 27th February. The satellite will primarily function as a communication satellite with the capability to provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) services.

According to the press release by the Planning, Development and Reforms ministry, China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) and Pakistan will equally divide the satellite development and launch cost between them.

Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning, talking on  the ceremony said;

“One important element of this contract (PakSat-MM1) is that both … sides are contributing 50%. It is a joint-effort of both countries that makes it (PakSat-MM1) even more valuable.”

Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and CGWIC signed the contract in the presence of several Chinese and Pakistani officials.

Ahsan Iqbal, while talking to the media, told that SUPARCO is working on two other satellites as well, apart from PakSat-MM1.

He added that Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) is Pakistan’s first ever low-earth orbit (LEO) earth observation satellite with a service life of 5 years. According to the minister, PRSS-1 will be launched this year.

Originally, SUPARCO proposed the PRSS-1 project to have two satellites onboard. One satellite was said to have Electro-Optical (EO) system while the second was visioned to be equipped with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).

SUPARCO is developing another satellite as well that will be solely produced and launched by SUPARCO engineers. Talking about this project, Ahsan Iqbal told;

“Pakistan Technology Evaluation Satellite-1A (PakTES-1A) is an indigenous project from concept till launch by SUPARCO engineers and scientists.”

Ahsan Iqbal, Chairman SUPARCO Qaiser Anees Khurram, Officials from CGWIC, and the Ambassador People’s Republic of China Mr. Yao Jing witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony.


US companies eager to participate in energy sector in Pakistan: David Hale

ISLAMABAD: The US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale has said that US companies are eager to participate and compete in the energy sector in Pakistan.

During the panel discussion at a seminar titled ‘Pak Power: Progress and Way Forward’ in Islamabad on Monday, he said the United States has worked with Pakistani authorities on good management and best practices in terms of policy development.

David Hale said that the United States has been engaged in supporting Pakistan’s energy sector since the 1950’s.


Chinese groups due next month to review CPEC projects

ISLAMABAD  –  Three Chinese experts groups are arriving Pakistan in March for preparation and early kick off of CPEC Industrial Zones, review energy project progress and explore the way forward in oil and gas sector.

The experts groups, working under Joint Working Groups, that are arriving in March includes industrial experts, experts of energy group and sub-group on oil & gas sector, official source told The Nation here Wednesday.

The source said that the energy experts will review the progress on the CPEC energy projects and will also discuss the inclusion of new hydropower projects in the CPEC portfolio. The hydro projects located in AJK, GB and KP will be the main focus of the experts’ interaction, the source added.

Regarding the industrial expert group the source said that their main focus will be the industrial cooperation particularly in the Special Economic Zones(SEZs).

The SEZs will be developed in phases and in the first phase the economic zones of Sindh, Punjab and KP will be developed. However , the source said, that now the federal government has also accelerated work on its economic zones which is also likely be discussed with Chinese experts.

Chinese Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are showing interest in the SEZs which is encouraging and will help the early completion of SEZs, the source said. Under CPEC China and Pakistan have agreed to establish nine SEZs throughout Pakistan.

The third group is a sub-group on oil and gas, of the main Joint Working Group on Energy, is coming to Pakistan to further explore ways for the oil and gas cooperation between the two countries under CPEC.

In July last year Pakistan and China agreed to establish an oil and gas sub-group under the Energy Working Group (EWG) aimed at facilitating the existing and future oil and gas sector projects.

Later on, oil and gas was incorporated in the CPEC Long Term Plan (LTP).

Earlier under the Short and Medium Term Plan of CPEC China was developing energy projects in Pakistan which was further expended under LTP.

As per the LTP “China and Pakistan should strengthen cooperation in the electricity and power grids, and focus on promoting the construction of major projects of Thermal power and renewable power generation, and thermal power, hydropower, coal gasification, supporting power transmission networks, in order to enhance its power transmission and supply reliability.

The experts from both countries will explore the possibilities of setting up refineries, storages and oil and gas pipelines along the CPEC route.

“We want cooperation in oil and gas sector in a way to make it win win situation for both the countries,” the source said. The source said that investment in the oil and gas sector will further enhance the CPEC portfolio.

It is pertinent to mention here that separately the government of Pakistan is planning to  develop a mega oil city at Gwadar under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and 80,000 acres of land is being acquired for the purpose.