Deadlock in commissioning of Matiari-Lahore HVDC transmission project

ISLAMABAD: In the latest development, Chinese company Pak Matiari- Lahore Transmission Company (PMLTC), which completed ±660kV Matiari-Lahore HVDC Transmission Project with investment of $2.2 billion in two years time, has threatened to move the international arbitration court against the government-owned company National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC) for creating hurdles in the commissioning of the project. The Chinese company has asked the board of directors of NTDC to hold a meeting and give it an opportunity for briefing on the causes of oscillation that happened on December 2, 2020 during the…

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CPEC’s Thar Coal Block-1 project making rapid progress: Li Jigen

KARACHI: The Thar Coal Block-1 project, which is an important part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is making rapid progress despite all odds, says a top official. At the office relocation ceremony of Sino Sindh Resources Private Limited (SSRL), Li Jigen, Chief Operating Officer of SSRL, a subsidiary of Shanghai Electric, said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic and other obstacles, the mega project in Thar has picked up pace in recent times. Tariq Shah, Sindh Energy Secretary, Meng Donghai, CEO of Thar Coal Block-1 Power Generation Co and Li…

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Govt makes significant progress towards energy reforms: Nadeem Baber

ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Petroleum Nadeem Babar has said that the government has made significant progress towards energy reforms despite challenges caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. He said this during a virtual meeting with Asian Development Bank team in Manila. The Special Assistant informed the forum that government has prepared framework of regulatory authority for upstream petroleum sector, and it would be put in place after approval by Council of Common Interest and necessary legislation. The Country Director ADB lauded the efforts of…

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Towards knowledge

Prime Minister Imran Khan is leading a historic effort aimed at developing a strong knowledge economy. Projects worth about Rs120 billion are in various stages of approval. Some have already been approved and their implementation begun. These include a Rs12 billion scholarship project of the Knowledge Economy Task Force that is chaired by the prime minister and of which I am vice-chairman. The project is aimed at strengthening the faculty in our universities by sending a large number of our brightest students to top universities abroad. Another Rs6 billion project…

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Setting up of provincial regulators: Nepra chief gives his consent

ISLAMABAD: Chair-man, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Tuesday gave his consent to the establishment of power regulators at the provincial level for provision of better service to people and resolution of electricity issues. He made these remarks during a hearing on issuance of transmission licence to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Transmission Grid Company (KP-PGC) which the provincial government intends to establish with its own transmission and grid system to supply electricity it has generated, mostly cheap hydel electricity to its industry and people. The provincial government argued that National Transmission…

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Pakistan to seek debt relief from China power projects’ loan

KARACHI: Pakistan plans to ask China for relief on payments for power projects Beijing financed over the past eight years, the latest developing nation that’s struggling to repay debt under President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. In informal talks, Pakistan and China have discussed easing terms on the repayment of debt on about a dozen power plants, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who said Islamabad hasn’t made a formal request yet. The parties have canvassed Beijing’s willingness to stagger debt payments,…

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The neglected institutional aspect of energy policies in Pakistan

Starting with the 1994 private power policy, Pakistan has seen a streak of energy policies, introduced at regular intervals by successive governments in their bid to fuel the growing economy and serve the demands of the burgeoning population. Most of these policies, however, failed to deliver their intended outcomes during implementation. Often, these policies have also led to serious unintended consequences such as excess capacity, suppressed demand, piling up of circular debt, relocating of local businesses to other countries, and raising fuel and electricity prices beyond the reach of common…

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ADB reaffirms support for energy sector reforms in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has reaffirmed its support for energy sector reforms in Pakistan. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar on Tuesday held a virtual meeting with the ADB team in Manila together with ADB Country Director Xiaohong Yang and the energy team, said a statement issued by the Petroleum Division. The meeting was aimed to discuss the progress on the reform programme in the petroleum sector of Pakistan. The forum was informed that energy sector reforms were part of the government’s policy to improve energy…

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Hedge funds bet on oil’s ‘big comeback’ after pandemic hobbles producers

Such limitations on supply would push prices to multi-year highs and keep them there for two years or more, several hedge funds said. The view is a reversal for hedge funds, which shorted the oil sector in the lead-up to global shutdowns, landing energy focused hedge funds gains of 26.8% in 2020, according to data from eVestment. By virtue of their fast-moving strategies, hedge funds are quick to spot new trends. Global oil benchmark Brent has jumped 59% since early November when news of successful vaccines emerged, after COVID-19 travel…

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President Biden Freezes New Oil and Gas Leases and Pauses Permits on Federal Lands and Offshore

On his first full day in office, President Biden indicated that the moderate Joe Biden we were all expecting might not be appearing on oil and gas issues and his administration’s energy policies would be informed by the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party. On January 21, an acting Secretary of the Interior issued Order 3395, which imposes a 60-day pause on the issuance of new leases and permits for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and offshore, without being approved by one of nine senior Department of…

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