Texas leaders failed to heed warnings that left the state’s power grid vulnerable to winter extremes, experts say

Texas officials knew winter storms could leave the state’s power grid vulnerable, but they left the choice to prepare for harsh weather up to the power companies — many of which opted against the costly upgrades. That, plus a deregulated energy market largely isolated from the rest of the country’s power grid, left the state alone to deal with the crisis, experts said. As Texas faced record-low temperatures this February and snow and ice made roads impassable, the state’s electric grid operator lost control of the power supply, leaving millions…

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In haste

This refers to the letter ‘Electrical vehicles in Pakistan?’ (Feb 17) by Ammar ul Hassan Chishty. The writer has raised a valid point. Our planners are in the habit of putting the cart before the horse. The government must fix the power sector before it considers spending billions of dollars on the import of electrical vehicles. Even today, we have not moved beyond the assembling of fuel-based vehicles. On the other hand, our neighbouring countries have set up full-fledged manufacturing units. The import of foreign cars doesn’t only drain the…

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Kohat Cement plans 10,000 ton/day capacity plant

KARACHI: As cement demand has seen an upsurge amid government’s support to the construction industry, another main player planned a new plant to enhance its production capacity by up to 10,000 tons a day by investing an estimated Rs30 billion, it was learnt on Wednesday. The board of directors of Kohat Cement Company approved setting up of 7,800 – 10,000 tons/day cement manufacturing plant along with 8-10 megawatts of waste heat recovery and 25 megawatts of coal-fired power plant in Khushab, Punjab. “The estimated cost of the entire project is…

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U.S. oil and gas production could face weeks of delays due to cold

The deep freeze will wreak havoc on oil and gas production for several days — if not weeks — according to industry experts, as companies deal with frozen equipment and a lack of power to run operations. Texas produces more oil and natural gas than any other state, and its operators, unlike those in North Dakota or Alaska, are not accustomed to dealing with frigid temperatures. Numerous refineries in Texas have also been shut, though weather events rarely knock substantial amounts of production offline in oil patches far from the Gulf…

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NAB looking for ‘wrongdoing’ in altered deals with IPPs

ISLAMABAD: In an unexpected development, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has swung into action and started staring down with ‘doubt’ at the conversion of MoUs into altered contracts, starting from signing of MoUs with 47 IPPs up to the signing of amended power purchase agreements (PPAs) to look for ‘any wrongdoing.’ And to this effect, the anti-graft body wrote a letter to secretary power on February 10, seeking details till today (Thursday) about the MoUs, amended Power Purchase Agreements and ask for rationale to invoke local arbitration on excess profit…

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Forest cover expands across K-P

Secretary Environment, Forests and Wildlife, Shahidullah Khan inaugurated the spring plantation campaign by planting an olive tree at Bajaur tribal district. Chief Conservator North One, Conservator Merged Areas, Deputy Commissioner Bajaur and Conservator Wildlife were also present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, the secretary said forests play an important role in making the environment clean besides combating environmental pollution, desertification and climate change and urged people to actively participate in afforestation campaign by planting trees. He said that the PTI government’s flagship 10 Billion Trees Afforestation Project has…

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SEPA directs builder to halt construction

The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued an Environmental Protection Order (EPO) to Messrs Creek Marina Builders and Developers, directing the company to suspend construction of a building on Abdul Sattar Edhi Avenue in Defence Housing Authority phase-VIII, it emerged on Tuesday. According to the EPO, the company has been served the notice over its failure to file the mandatory environmental impact assessment (EIA), as required by the law. Besides, SEPA director-general Naeem Ahmed Mughal has maintained in the EPO that the builder in question was offered an opportunity of a…

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PM inaugurates Islamabad’s ‘first ever’ Miyawaki forest

Prime Minister Imran Khan kicked off the Spring Tree Plantation Campaign 2021 and inaugurated Islamabad’s first ever Miyawaki forest on Wednesday. The premier launched the campaign in the capital as part of the federal government’s commitment to fight climate change. Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid was also present at the plantation ceremony where the premier himself planted a chir pine tree. Speaking of the Miyawaki method, the PM said last week, “I have launched urban forestry on the lines of Miyawaki technique in Japan where the trees grow 10 times faster and 30 times…

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Govt to decentralise power sector

ISLAMABAD: As the circular debt continues to plague the energy chain, the government plans to decentralise the power sector in order to incentivise devolved generation and distribution in future under the new National Electricity Policy 2021. According to a draft of the policy, all rules/regulations shall be made in a manner which shall ensure decentralisation of the power sector in order to incentivise devolved generation and distribution in future. It further revealed that stranded costs of the power sector have been observed as counterproductive for future investments. In this regard, viable solutions…

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