So, What Exactly Are Virtual Power Plants?

We live in an increasingly virtual world. You can hold virtual meetings with virtual friends using virtual reality systems hosted on virtual servers. And in energy circles, one of the biggest buzzwords in recent years is the virtual power plant, or VPP.   The term first started to be bandied about in the 1990s. But VPPs have really taken off in the last 10 years, not just as a concept but as something that a growing number of energy companies are creating, using and commercializing. Here’s the real deal on this…

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NCOC sounds alarm after Covid-19 positivity rate increases for 5th consecutive day

Two days after issuing a lockdown  and calling for better compliance with Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday noted an increase in the country’s positivity rate, virus-related deaths and hospital admissions. During the morning session of the forum, health officials presented data on the country’s Covid outbreak. The forum noted that the positivity ratio had risen for the fifth consecutive day, a statement issued by the NCOC said. The average positivity rate is 40 per cent higher during the last four days, the…

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WAPDA Eyes On Rohtas Dam In Jhelum

October 21, 2020: Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) eyes on Rohtas Dam as it has decided to implement the Project for effective mitigation of floods and store flood water to be used for agriculture. With this in view, WAPDA has been evaluating the possibility to construct thisProject more vigorously. This was revealed during a meeting presided over by WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (Retd) and attended by the senior officers concerned. Underlining the need for construction of dams, the Chairman said that Rohtas Dam, like other water reservoirs,…

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WhatsApp turns to business messaging to generate revenue

CALIFORNIA: The world’s most popular messaging service is pushing more aggressively into customer service features, including a pay-to-message option for businesses, and says it’s focusing on enterprise tools, not advertising. WhatsApp paused plans for targeted advertising late last year, surprising those who thought it would follow in line with its parent company. “Our focus has been on the business messaging products,” says Matt Idema, WhatsApp’s chief operating officer. He said WhatsApp still envisions ads inside Status, a feature on the app similar to Facebook’s Stories, at some point. WhatsApp announced an…

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As Iranian petrol smuggling threatens to cause another shortage, PSO turns its head

On steep, jagged, dirt roads in Balochistan, a fleet of beat down Honda motorcycles make a treacherous trek across the unmanned and largely ignored border between Iran and Pakistan. From afar, to people sitting in Lahore or Karachi, these bikers with large blue drums attached on either side of their bikes might look like milkmen going above and beyond in the line of duty.  In reality, they are smuggling gasoline from Iran into Pakistan. Each biker can transport up to 40 liters, which can earn them up to Rs500 for…

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Engro’s profit jumps 50% to Rs15.5b

KARACHI: Engro Corporation reported a 50% increase in profit that reached Rs15.5 billion in the quarter ended September 30, 2020. According to a notice sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Friday, the company had registered a profit of Rs10.3 billion in the corresponding quarter of previous year. Earnings per share (EPS) of the company came in at Rs16.12 for Jul-Sept 2020 compared to Rs10.61 in the same quarter of last year. Alongside the result, the company announced a cash dividend of Rs10 per share, taking cumulative dividend for the…

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Reorganisation of 7 SOEs faces hurdles

ISLAMABAD: The cabinet has allowed the Ministry of Industries and Production to give additional roles to government officers for vacant posts of CEO or managing director of stateowned enterprises (SOEs) until the appointment of new heads. The permission was given in relation to those SOEs that had either been merged, made autonomous or were being privatised. During discussion in a cabinet meeting, the industries and production secretary highlighted the difficulties in the way of implementing recommendations of the Institutional Reforms Cell. It was pointed out that the Institutional Reforms Cell…

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Court bars SSGC from hiring new staff

KARACHI: A court of law has barred Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) from hiring new workforce, mostly on officer’s positions, after existing employees approached the court to get overdue promotions which have been on hold for several years. “The defendants (SSGC’s higher management) are directed to act strictly in accordance with the employment policy and no recruitment shall be made in violation and contrary to the employment policy till the next date of hearing (November 4, 2020),” the Sindh High Court said in an interim order dated October 19, 2020.…

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Power production drops 10.5% to 13,104 GWh

KARACHI: Commercial power production dropped to 13,104 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in September 2020 as industrial and residential consumers continued to switch over to cheaper options like generating their own electricity from solar and gas-fired plants to avoid comparatively expensive electricity from the national grid system. Power production dropped 10.5% in September compared to August 2020 and decreased almost 4% compared to September 2019, according to data compiled by power sector regulator National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and research house Arif Habib Limited (AHL). “Industries have gradually shifted to their own…

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Govt ready to make amendments Sindh wants in island ordinance: AGP

The federal government is ready to make the amendments that the Sindh government wants in the Pakistan Island Development Authority Ordinance, said Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan on Thursday. Speaking to the media outside the Sindh High Court (SHC) after appearing before a bench hearing a plea about the ordinance, the attorney general said the issue cannot be solved by the judiciary. He added that if there is development on the islands, it will benefit the people of Sindh. “I assure the people of Sindh that their rights…

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