Jan 21 - 27, 2008

Pakistan despite having enormous energy resources is being bracketed with the countries, which are considered as energy starved economies.

This painful situation has been developed mainly due to lack of planning, lack of passion to capitalize available resources and of course the lethargic attitude of the people at the helm of affairs in realizing the future energy needs.

At present the total shortfall of electricity comes at 33 percent but the gap between demand-supply may be widened even to 50 percent if remedial steps were not taken on war footings.

Currently, the wind power is the hot talk in the government circles as well as in the energy sector where some 9 investors have moved LOIs but these requests are pending for several months for determination of tariff for the energy produced through wind power.

Zubair Moitiwala, a senior industrialist and the member of Prime Ministers Task Force on Textile told Pakistan & Gulf Economist that the tariff for wind power energy has almost decided at 6cent a unit, yet the investors were insisting for including the idle hours of the wind power turbines. Since the power purchase agreement has been agreed on the same conditions with the IPPs working in the country, hopefully the matter would soon be resolved. Keeping in view of electricity shortage and growing need for energy the project should not be delayed any more.

Actually, the shortage of energy coupled with worsening law and order situation is adversely affecting the perception of the country specially in terms of meeting export commitments. It is painful to note that Younus Brothers, one of the largest textile exporters of the country, had to lose an annual export order worth $21million due to unpredictable supply line guaranty. It is worth mentioning that Younus Brothers were supplying home textiles to that particular importer for over a decade but this year that particular order was placed to an Indian exporter at a 12 percent more price only for an assurance of timely delivery of the consignment.

The downward revision of GDP from 7 percent to 6.5 percent is primarily attributable to electricity shortage and law and order situation prevailing in the country. According to a report the suicide bombing cases have jumped from 6 incidents in 2006 to 60 in 2007 also added fuel to fire to shatter the image of the investors as well as export regime of the country.

Since the cost of fuel oil has already slipped out of hand, it is the highly time for the economic managers to augment the alternative resources for power generation. The cheapest source of power generation is hydropower, next is nuclear while wind power comes on third position. Luckily all the three options are available the only thing required is the will to capitalize these available options.

Our political quarters have played dirty on hydel resources and opposition construction of high dams on for the sake of opposition in fact they are playing with the economic future of the country. Instead of making a prestige point the government quarters may also go for a large number of options for developing dams on over 80 available sites in the country.

As far as development of hydropower projects was concerned, the government is conducting a feasibility study costing Rs281 million for generation of 46,000 MW of electricity from seven hydropower projects to be developed on Indus River and its tributaries in Northern Area.

In this regard, ADB has agreed to provide assistance amounting to rs72.65 million for the project while the government would also share the rest of the amount.

Actually, Pakistan has a potential of generating 46000 mw out of which 15000mw has been identified on river Indus and its tributaries upstream of Tarbela. Seven hydro power projects identified were including Diamer-Bahasha with a capacity to generate 4500mw Dasu 3700, Pattan 2800, Thakot 2500, Spat Gah 545, Chorbala Palas valley 386 and Bunji 5400mw.

Though these reports and feasibility projects are good but such announcements are frequently made in our society however time has come for on ground display of such projects to save the people and the economy. Equal responsibility lies on the shoulders of the opposition leaders to help in developing such projects, which are the need of the coming generations.

As far as nuclear power generation was concerned Pakistan was heavily tilted in favor of China obviously due to strategic relations between the two countries. However, the option for developing nuclear energy with the support of France should require active consideration of the economic managers.

The best examples of the lethargic attitude are the IPI gas pipeline project lingering on for over a decade and exists only on papers. Because of this lack of interest the price of the project escalated from $2.5 billion to over $7.5 billion today. Governments come and go but the tall claims of utilizing huge coal reserves in Thar for cheaper power generation still remains a distant dream.


Currently, representatives of Siemens and a private sector investor are in Germany to negotiate for installation of wind power turbines at ideally located windy spots near Thatta and Keti Bunder besides some wind corridors at Hawks bay for installing one to ten megawatt wind powered turbines. The wind power technology was in vogue in the entire Europe despite facing the problem of climate change which affects the velocity of the wind while the spot identified in Pakistan at Thatta and Hawks bay do not have this problem as the wind continue to main its speed round the year hence the nature is kind to us. The question remains to make the lemon lemonade.


In the future Siemens and E.ON Energie are to cooperate on the development of climate-friendly power plant technology. The aim of this partnership is the development of an economic and efficient method for carbon captures - an important step on the way toward the low-carbon power plant. The starting point is a solvent with special characteristics, which provide the basis for a new process to capture CO2 from the flue gases of power plants. A pilot installation on an E.ON power plant site in Germany will be operational by 2010. Further developments will follow up until 2014. The mid-term target is to develop this new CO2 capture process ready for large-scale, commercial deployment by 2020.

"E.ON as a world leading energy supplier brings into this partnership its experience from the planning and operation of numerous fossil-fueled power plants and the site for the planned pilot plant," said Bernhard Fischer, Chief Technology Officer, member of the executive board of E.ON Energie. Siemens in turn provides extensive experience and know-how in the engineering and project execution for complete power plants.

Siemens also brings in excellent chemical process development competencies and engineering skills of the former Hoechst AG. Those are very good preconditions for successful development of an efficient CO2 capture process, as well as for its optimum integration in a power plant process.

"Combating global climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century," said Michael Suess, CEO of the Siemens Fossil Power Generation Division. Even in the foreseeable future, it will not be possible to meet the rapidly growing demand for electricity worldwide without fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. Climate experts agree: CO2 emissions have to be reduced quickly and significantly to limit the increase in temperature. "For that a broad variety of technologies have to be implemented. This includes technologies to further increase the efficiency of power plants and processes to capture and store carbon dioxide (CCS)," added Suess. Just under a quarter of global CO2 emissions are attributable to power generation. It is anticipated that viable large-scale CCS technologies will capture approximately 90 percent of the CO2. Within the EU, mandatory carbon dioxide capture and storage is being debated for beyond 2020. For this reason new solutions have to be developed and tested today.

"One of the most promising CCS technologies is post-combustion CO2 capture," said Tobias Jockenhoevel, head of the innovative power plant concepts division and project manager at Siemens Energy. "The goals are development of advanced ecologically compatible CO2 solvents, optimization of the capture process and intelligent integration into the power plant. The real challenge is to attain high power plant efficiency and to avoid negative impact on the environment, for example, by emitting solvent."

"This is exactly the strategy and purpose of the technology initiative pursued by E.ON," added Joerg Kruhl, Head of the division Technology Policy / New Technology at E.ON Energie. "Besides the mid-term development of beneficial technologies, the fast transfer of promising post-combustion capture processes to real power plant operation is what counts in particular for E.ON today. This is the necessary next step on the way toward large-scale deployment of CCS in the energy sector."

The new process and the energetically optimum integration into conventional power plants will be verified in 2010 in a small pilot plant under real operating conditions, with particular considerations of the significance for a full-scale plant. The new process will not only be feasible for new power plants, but it will also be appropriate for retrofitting existing plants, which opens up significant application potentials worldwide.

This joint development project is an excellent example of the strong technology sector in Germany, where Siemens, a leading global power plant supplier, cooperates with the largest private energy services provider E.ON. The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) within the framework of the COORETEC initiative.

The Siemens Energy Sector is the world's leading supplier of a complete spectrum of products, services and solutions for the generation, transmission and distribution of power and for the extraction, conversion and transport of oil and gas. In fiscal 2007 (ended September 30, based on IFRS), the Energy Sector had revenues of approximately EUR20 billion and received new orders totaling around EUR28 billion and posted a profit of EUR1.8 billion. The Energy Sector had a work force of 73,500 at the beginning of fiscal 2008.

All figures represent the sum of the non-consolidated figures for the Power Generation and Power Transmission and Distribution Groups and for the Oil, Gas and Marine Solutions Division of the Industrial Solutions and Services Group.

E.ON Energie, headquartered in Munich, is Europe's largest privately owned provider of energy services. Over 44.000 employees are responsible for the company's central European electricity and gas business. E.ON Energie supplies some 17 million customers Europe-wide with electricity, gas, and the full range of energy-related services. With its highly efficient fleet of power stations, fuelled by a balanced mix of primary energy resources - primarily fossil fuels, nuclear power, and hydropower - the company generates over 270 billion kWh of electricity per year. E.ON's annual gas sales total 130 billion kWh.