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Energy Projects...Updates

Braindead stuff
These projects were cancelled by PTI(actually delayed) for the same reason
Lack of fuel and concern for being surplus power

Yet PMLN comes in and bull doze the projects located in Punjab while still keeping the project pause elsewhere
Construction Glimpses from Under Construction 300MW Balakot Hydropower Project.

The construction on multiple work fronts is in progress such as access adits for Headrace Tunnel, main access tunnel for the underground power house, tailrace area, access road and residential colony.

300MW power project would be completed with an estimated cost of Rs85.00 billion in a period of six years with the financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank.

It is pertinent to mention here that it is the biggest-ever project of hydropower generation under the KP government and important development in the energy sector.





Under Construction Diamer Basha Dam - 4500MW

Construction work is being carried out on multiple sites, which includes excavation of dam abutments from the top, diversion tunnel, diversion canal, power intake, permanent access bridge, and access roads. Scheduled for completion in 2029,

Diamer Basha Dam will have a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 MAF to irrigate 1.23 million acres of additional land. It will have an installed power generation capacity of 4,500 MW…






Rethinking power sector reforms​

Decentralise distributed generation instead of using grid extensions for electrification

Faran Mahmood
September 04, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Since the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Moscow has weaponised its energy exports by cutting world gas supplies – resulting in surging energy costs since then. Now even households in Pakistan are feeling the heat of energy poverty as power costs here have almost doubled since the war. With inflation in double digits, there is a cry for massive electricity subsidies, which unfortunately the government can’t afford due to a poor revenue structure and massive circular debt. So naturally, the question arises: what have we done wrong to land in such a dire state, and how can we reform the power sector?

Here are some points that explain the power crisis and how we can manage the power debt problem in the future:

Decentralised Distributed Generation (DDG) by provinces instead of grid extension for rural electrification

Since the post-Zia era, politicians have often used parliamentarians’ schemes to bring electricity to their respective constituencies for political scoring. An extension of the grid for rural electric supply doesn’t normally have a business case due to extraordinary line losses and fewer commercial/business users. Though grid extensions have been the most favoured approach to rural electrification, we badly need off-grid systems as our transmission and distribution systems require a complete overhaul. Despite a generation capacity of over 40,000MW, the Transmission & Distribution (T&D) system’s capacity is stalled at 22,000MW – which calls for taking almost half of our generation off-grid.

What the government can do is start off-loading some power plants to provinces for local power generation and distribution – bypassing the grid completely. Sri Lanka, Nepal, and hilly areas in India have extensively used mini/micro hydro power systems to create mini-grids to extend electrification off-grid – where financing matters are often looked at by indigenous village energy committees (VEC) or rural electric cooperatives (REC). This off-grid model, whether funded by the local government or communities, implies that the business model shall be deregulated to a much extent, and most of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) tariffs may not be applicable. In provinces like Balochistan, with sparse but distributed population, this decentralised distributed generation model is the way to go.

Lower barrier to entry for new entrants in distribution

With the exclusivity for distribution companies (DISCOs) ending earlier this year (except for Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO)/ Tribal Areas Electric Supply Company (TESCO)), there is hope for more deregulation and open competition. There is a business case for Bulk Power Purchasers in industrialised zones to get a DISCO license so that they can buy directly from producers offering a competitive tariff and then resell to domestic and industrial consumers. However, the approval process of setting up a distribution company is tedious. If the government lowers the barrier to entry for new DISCOs, we will see some competition for K-Electric (KE) in Karachi – with probably smart prepaid metering solutions that will be a win-win for everyone.

Shift to local coal where possible

Coal power plants are a global choice for base loads so negotiations with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) over modalities of imported coal-fired plant at Port Qasim could really help. We may be looking into import substitution with local coal but that needs extensive consultations with Chinese investors. Similarly, we can consider converting debt into project bonds through a project Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), once the policy rate is back to single digits.

Say no to free loaders

Whether it is the kunda mafia stealing electricity or the generator mafia illegally using infrastructure for private electricity supply, these illicit activities and malpractices need to be dealt with an iron fist. Honest consumers should not be made to bail out losses incurred due to theft in the name of line losses.

Similarly, when it comes to free units enjoyed by government officials, it must be monetised. Many employees are involved in reselling their free units to other people, so it is better to monetise free units altogether, and every employee should pay the bill in full.

However, the biggest problem here is the millions of free units enjoyed by retired Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)/ex-WAPDA company employees. This facility for retired officials must be phased out slowly as it can’t be monetised since pension contributions in respect of free unit facilities were not made at the time of their service. It is unfair on the part of taxpayers to continue paying bills of retired power sector government officials – especially when they have already enjoyed such perks throughout their careers.

Panjgur, Chagai ideal for renewable energy, say experts

Newspaper Correspondent
September 5, 2023

QUETTA: Energy experts told a conference here on Monday that Panjgur and Chagai districts of Balochistan have the potential to produce thousands of megawatts of renewable electricity from wind and solar panels but financial, administrative and political issues are hampering using these resources to resolve power crisis in the province.

They highlighted various problems being faced by the people in the province such as low level of access to electricity, high electricity costs and long hours of load-shedding, and said that the most effective option to address these problems is to produce electricity from renewable resources close to where the people need it.

They said that Balochistan-based electricity projects in general and renewable energy projects being planned in the province, in particular, get neglected because of the bad law and order situation, lack of policy preparation and policy planning at the provincial level and the absence of coordination between provincial and federal government officials.

The conference titled, ‘Balochistan’s Renewable Energy Journey: Making Accessible, Affordable and Sustainable Power in the Province’, was organised by the Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP), a non-governmental organisation working in Balochistan since 1998.
Construction Highlights on Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project
Location: Tunnel No. 5 of Tarbela Dam, Hazara. KPK
Installed generation capacity: 1530 MW




Under construction Mohmand Dam Project located on River Swat in Mohmand District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The construction works have been in progress since 2019 on multiple sites including the upper stilling basin of the spillway;, left and right abutments of the dam, irrigation tunnels, Powerhouse slope protections, permanent access roads, and various components of the diversion system including the diversion tunnels.




Supply from Jhimpir Wind Farm to go down: KE seeks 60 MMCFD more gas to operate BQPS-II

Mushtaq Ghumman
September 17, 2023

ISLAMABAD: K-Electric has sought an additional 60 MMCFD gas to operate its BQPS-II for 45 days on gas instead of expensive furnace Oil (FO) as supply from Jhimpir Wind Farm will be reduced to 200-250 MW during the shutdown period.

In a letter to Minister for Energy, Muhammad Ali, Chief Executive Officer Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi has sought intervention of the top brass of Energy Ministry (Petroleum Division and Power Division).

The NTDC is availing shutdown of its network (500kV K2K3 - NKI circuit) for 45 days outage period from mid of September to the end of October 2023.

According to K-Electric, due to this outage and in times of reduction in power generation from Jhimpir wind corridor, supply to KE from the National Grid is being curtailed by 200-250 MW.

The KE is presently getting 30 MMCFD of RLNG from SSGC, which is significantly lower than the ECC allocated 276 MMCFD of gas supply for KE.

The current supply of 30 MMCFD RLNG is not sufficient to operate 560 MW gas-based combined cycle power plant (BQPS-II) at full load, as per the Economic Merit Order (ECO), to meet the shortfall caused by NTDC outage and variability in power generation in Jhimpir wind corridor.

The KE noted that power demand in its territory increased during the month of September and October, and the power demand in September 2023 has already crossed 3,000 MW with further increase expected in later half of September and during the month of October.

Therefore, to manage the reduction in supply to KE from NTDC and insufficient gas supply preventing the power utility company from operating BQPS-Il at full load “We will either have to burn Furnace Oil (FO), as per the Economic Merit Order, which would lead to higher consumer tariff and enhance burden on exchequer by around Rs 10 billion during the Outage Period (impact of around Rs 3.5/kWh) or carry out additional load-shed of around 2-3 hours to meet the demand-supply position,” Moonis Alvi argued.

K-Electric which is already facing protests within the city and criticism during public hearings of FCA and QTA at NEPRA, has also highlighted that the incremental load-shed to manage the demand-supply position amidst rising temperatures may result in hue and cry from the consumers, thus adversely impacting smooth business operations as well.

“We request for extended support from GoP and would be grateful if Minister for Energy office requests the concerned authorities to provide KE with additional 60 MMCFD gas at adequate pressure during the Jhimpir outage period enabling KE to bridge the gap for serving power requirement of Karachi through increased utilization of KE’s power plants, “ Moonis said adding that this would enable the power utility company to provide cheaper power to KE consumers as well as mitigate the requirement of additional load-shed in KE’s territory.

Utilising Thar coal

Hammad Ahsan
September 18, 2023

Pakistan’s power sector faces a capacity trap because of the excessive capacity contracted during 2013-18. This resulted in power capacity additions for both indigenous and imported fuels. Undoubtedly, the generation capacity added through hydel, nuclear and Thar coal has played a role in stemming the exorbitant rise in energy prices.

However, the power plants constructed to utilise imported fuels — imported coal and RLNG — face underutilisation challenges.

During the aforementioned term, Pakistan built about 3,600MW capacity on imported coal and 4,800MW capacity on RLNG. Understanding why the non-utilisation of these projects is a challenge for the entire sector is important.

Consider that you have rented an SUV for a year to use it for your commute to your office; however, after three months of renting the car, you realise you can’t afford the expensive fuel to drive it. Hence, you end up parking it in your garage and start using other inexpensive means of travel. However, the rent for the car will need to be paid, regardless of its use.

This issue of underutilisation of imported fuel capacities can be traced primarily to two factors — one being that the expected power demand growth of the country did not materialise, especially during the last two years.

It can be argued that the decision makers of that time should keep this consideration in mind that Pakistan’s economy is prone to constant boom and bust cycles. Unfortunately, this was never factored into their workings while deciding to add this capacity.

If imported coal projects had been built on Thar coal, their combined utilisation in the first nine months of FY23 could have saved the country roughly Rs129bn

The other factor is that Pakistan faces a severe foreign exchange crunch. Owing to the unavailability of required dollars, Pakistan has not been able to procure the imported fuels needed to run these facilities.

A comparison of the quarterly indexation carried out by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority for ex-Wapda distribution companies shows that the combined utilisation of the imported coal fleet of Pakistan has reduced from 65.41 per cent during the first nine months of FY22 to 24.67pc in the same period of FY23, indicating a steep decline in the use of installed imported coal capacity.

This statistic can be compared with the local coal facility of Engro Power Thar Limited (EPTL). Since the rest of the Thar coal-based projects have started commercial operations recently, their data is not available for this entire period.

EPTL’s utilisation increased from 62.67pc in 9MFY-22 to 67.78pc in 9MFY23, whereas imported coal’s combined fleet average utilisation was 66.41pc in 9MFY22 and it decreased to 24.67pc. Referring back to the earlier example of the parked SUV, the rents for the contracted capacity must be paid. Thus, the government actually paid Rs203.59 billion to imported coal projects in capacity payments during the period.

The power regulator, while awarding the tariffs to these generators, calculated the capacity component, assuming that these facilities will be running at 85pc of their available annual capacities. Thus, the massive underutilisation of these assets has contributed towards excessive capacity payments that are required to be borne by the common electricity consumers.

Working out a hypothetical scenario, had these imported coal projects been built on Thar coal, their combined utilisation would have been equal to the one achieved by EPTL in 9MY23, saving the country roughly Rs129bn. This amount could have been directed to finance the capital requirements needed to convert imported coal facilities to Thar coal.

Not only would capacity payments be reduced, but Thar coal mines could be expanded, enabling them to achieve the required economies of scale to attain further cost reductions.

While the counterargument is that this option is not technically viable, the conversion can be achieved by drying Thar coal. This would reduce its total moisture content and make its utilisation possible in the existing boilers installed in these projects.

With recent chatter of contract renegotiations expected to be conducted with independent power producers, it is high time that the policy and decision makers start working towards such initiatives that can be amicably agreed upon by all the parties involved. The option to convert the imported coal assets to Thar coal seems achievable, with a little intent and out-of-the-box decision-making.
Construction Progress on Mohmand Dam
Gross Water Storage: 1.2 MAF
Command Area: 18,233 Acres (160,000 acres of existing land will also be supplemented)
Installed Power Generation: 800 MW ...


Construction work continues on all key sites of Dasu Hydropower Project, which is to be completed in two stages.




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