Monday, October 29, 2007

Pakistan has Fourth Largest Coal reserves in the World

Pakistan has Fourth Largest Coal reserves in the World

The Geological Survey of Pakistan organized a workshop on the Coal, Granite and other Mineral Resources of Thar on May 31, 2005 at Karachi in collaboration with Sindh Coal Authority. Workshop was well attended by eminent geoscientists from all over the country. This event was dedicated to Dr. N. M. Khan and Dr. Farhat Hussain, former Director Generals of the department. The Secretary Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources was the chairman and the Sindh Minister for Mine and Minerals Development, Mr. Irfan ullah Marwat was the Chief Guest. Pakistan is faced with a serious energy crises. It is widely known that the present level of energy generation in the country is far short of that which is necessary to sustain the rate of industrial growth and satisfy growing consumer requirements. In the energy based societies of today, every indigenous source of energy must therefore be tapped and put to optimum use. Pakistan has considerable oil, gas, coal reserves; tidal, solar and hydel potential. It is ironic that Pakistan has fourth largest coal reserves in the world but it is importing 2.5 million tons of coal per annum for cement industry. At the same time, due to high cost of energy resources, the government has also decided to enhance the share of coal in the overall energy mix from 5 % to 18% up to 2018. Among the other alternative sources, coal is the man source for producing cheaper electricity and its availability is much higher. In view of anticipated shortfall of electricity and other energy resources during the next 10 years, demand for indigenous coal would grow in power generation considerably.
Pakistan has emerged as one of the leading country - seventh in the list of top 20 countries of the world after the discovery of huge lignite coal resources in Sindh. The economic coal deposits of Pakistan are restricted to Paleocene and Eocene rock sequences. Economists say that the energy demand over the next 5 years is expected to grow at a rate of 7.4 % per annum. It may be noted that in India the share of coal is as high as 54.5% in the total energy mix. To meet the future requirements of the country with indigenous resources, domestic exploration would have to be intensified to increase the share of coal from 5 to 25% by 2020. The GSP’s workshop provided a platform to highlight the role of the indigenous resources in the national economy especially in energy and industry.
Coal -the black gold, is found in all the four provinces of Pakistan. Country has huge coal resources, about 185 billion tons, out of which 3.3 billion tons are in proven/measured category and about 11 billions are indicated reserves, the bulk of it is found in Sindh province. The current total mine-able reserves of coal are estimated at 2 billion tones (60 % of the measured reserves). The speakers at this moot enlightened the audience with the importance of Thar coalfield and its development and utilization as less expensive fuel for power generation and other process industry. Because of Thar coal’s extraordinary importance for power generation, industrial development and economy, Sindh government and GOP are making all out efforts to develop this huge deposit for power purpose. It is one of the world’s largest lignite deposits discovered by GSP in 1992, spread over more than 9, 000 sq. kms. comprise around 175 billion tones sufficient to meet country’s fuel requirements for centuries. Pre-feasibility study to utilize this coal resource for 2x300 MW indigenous, mine mouth, coal fired power plants has been completed. Hydrogeological investigations over an area of around 650 sq. kms. have also been completed. Estimated lignite deposits in Sindh, suitable for electric power generation and other applications are around 218 billion tons- about 98% of coal deposits of the country. A feasibility study on coal gasification has been undertaken and the gasification of coal was found feasible where the gas has to travel less in pipelines. Exploration of Thar coal will supplement the existing energy output in the country and will give boost to the economy of Sindh province. The GSP had successfully completed coal resources evaluation in the four specific tracts/ blocks of Thar coal field. The evaluation study of the GSP consisted of drilling 167 bore holes with a cumulative depth of over 50, 000 meters and chemical analyses of more than 2, 000 coal samples. On the basis of these studies, the required coal potential of a minimum of 500 million tons in each block has been established by the GSP. The recent studies on coal bed methane (CBM) proposed to be carried out in Thar will enhance the value of this deposit.
The GSP has met the challenge of identifying the coal resource available to meet the energy needs, to reduce dependence on its fast depleting supply of natural gas and lessen the oil import bill. This workshop focused on technological developments with respect to coal exploration, extraction, handling, transportation and utilization that could accelerate future development of Pakistan’s coal. It is hoped that GSP’s workshop will be fruitful in determining whether institutional, infrastructural and policy changes are needed to encourage exploitation of indigenous coal resources and would evaluate potentially attractive business opportunities associated with further coal development in the country. The workshop was attended by an assorted audience comprising earth scientists, city planners, government functionaries and researchers. A brief on coal deposits of Sindh compiled by S.G.Abbas and Muhammed Atiq was also distributed on this occasion among all the delegates.

Pakistan is a Saudi Arabia of coal reserves

Pakistan has as much coal as Saudi Arab has Oil

Pakistan can overcome its energy problems
By Syed M. Aslam

More than a half of the electricity, generated in the United States is provided by coal which also accounts for a quarter of all energy supplies in the States. In China coal is the source of three-quarters of country’s total energy needs including cooking, heating and power generation. In neighbouring India coal supplies 57 per cent of energy and 70 per cent of electricity.
In Pakistan, a country which has abundance of coal reserves, less than 12 per cent of the coal produced in the country is used by the power sector while the rest is used by the brick-making sector for the benefit of the construction industry. Over three-forth or about 77 per cent of the energy in Pakistan is obtained from oil and gas, 18 per cent from hydel power while coal accounts for just 4 per cent of the energy needs of the country. The rest of one per cent is obtained from nuclear and liquefied petroleum gas combined.
The coal reserves in Pakistan are estimated at over 183 billion tonnes. However, the measured or drill-proven reserves are estimated at 579 million tonnes which are enough to last for 180 years at the present rate of excavation which averages 3.2 million tonnes annually.
Coal has long been used to provide power, heat and light. It is used to generate energy, warm homes besides being used as fuel for cooking and the cheapest fuel in railway engines. In many industrialized countries coal has been replaced by natural gas and other cleaner fuels as a source to generate power. But the heavy dependence on coal for energy and power in the US, the second leading consumer, proves that with proper safeguards it could still be a much less expensive fuel substitute particularly the countries in the developing world.
International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that over 40 per cent of the projected growth in global electricity demand by the year 2010 would come from East and South East Asia where coal is currently the dominant fuel for power generation. For instance, China plans to build some 500 power plants many of them coal-fired by year 2010 and Indonesia, the third largest coal exporter, predicts a ten-fold increase in coal used for power generation by 2009.
Lack of planning to fully exploit coal reserves in abundance and a meaningful way to utilize it to generate power by Pakistan which is facing acute energy shortages even in winter this year can be attributed to many factors.
The two main sources of electricity generation in Pakistan are hydel and thermal power— the first from water and the second from any of the fossil fuel; oil, natural gas or coal. The major hydel projects are Tarbela and Mangla both of which are managed and maintained by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) one of the two public sector power producers. Less than 43 per cent of the total installed generating capacity of WAPDA comes form hydel while the rest is through thermal. Hundred per cent of installed capacity of the other power producer, the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC), is thermal. Every other independent power producer including Hubco is thermal.
The country is heavily dependent on hydel energy the production of which is dependent on the amount of rainfall and the level of water in the dams.
The massive loadsheddings which started last month all over the country and is still continuing at present during the winter season during which electricity demand is much lower than in summer is blamed on the low water levels at Mangla and Tarbela. Of Wapda’s total hydel capacity of 4,825 mw the combined installed generating capacity of the two is 4,478 mw.
The construction of large and smaller dams in the early seventies and the work in progress on another at Ghazi Barotha, a 1,450 mw project downstream of Tarbela, shows that the policy makers in Pakistan have always favoured these big projects over the thermal ones. However, as dams could not be built just about everywhere and are costly projects the bulk of power generation by public as well as private sector in Pakistan is thermal. The total installed generation capacity in Pakistan is over 14,500 units including WAPDA 9,646 mw, KESC 1,801 mw and IPP 2,892 mw— Hubco 1,292 mw Kot Addu 1,600 mw.
WAPDA has just two coal-fired thermal plants with a combined installed generating capacity of 233 mw — an 83 mw plant in Quetta and another 150 mw fluidized bed Lakhra. It has 20 per cent share in Lakhra Coal Development Company (LCDC), a joint venture company having equity share of Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) and Government of Sindh 20 per cent. The rest of the 30 per cent share is reserved for the private sector participation.
The LCDC has to supply 750,000 tonnes of coal per annum to WAPDA for its 3x50 mw coal-fired plant at Khanote Sindh. However, the production at Lakhra mines remained below the expected level as during July-March 1996-97 LCDC produced 258,055 tonnes of coal from its small coal mines.
The largest coal field in Pakistan, discovered in 1992 by Geological Survey of Pakistan, is located at Thar Desert. On an average 3.4 million tonnes of coal is produced annually in Pakistan all of which is used locally— over 88 per cent by the brick-making sector and the negligible rest by the power sector— WAPDA’s coal-fired plants.
Province-Wise Excavation
Sindh has a very large coal resource potential— 183 billion tonnes outlined in and around in Lakhra, Sonda-Jherruck, Indus East, Thar and Badin coal fields. Coal mining is reported from Lakhra and Meting-Jhimpir mines. Annual production is about one million tonnes or about one-third of the total national production. Sindh has measured reserves of 734 million tonnes. Coal produced in Sindh contain a high level of sulphur.
The known coal producing fields of Balochistan include Duki, Khost-Sharig, Harnai, Pir Ismail Ziarat, Mach-Abe-Gum, Sor Range-Deghari and Ghamalong-Bahlol. The overall source potential is 194 million tonnes with measured reserved of 52.5 million tonnes. Average annual production is the same as that of Sindh— one million tonnes.
Coal production in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) is restricted to one field in Hangu. The resource potential is over 44 million tonnes with measured reserves of 0.5 million tonnes. The annual production is negligible.
Punjab has a coal resource potential of 234 million tonnes with drill-proven reserves of 43 million tonnes annually. Average annual production is 0.45 million tonnes. Coal resources in Punjab are located in the Eastern and the Central Salt Range and in Makerwal area of Surghar Range.
The vast reserves of coal has failed to benefit Pakistan in any meaningful way particularly as the least inexpensive fuel for generation of electricity. No attempts were made to diversify into coal-fired power projects and though WAPDA generates energy from coal it remains too little.
While coal offers developing countries a cheap power generating fuel as compared to much more costly oil or natural gas the growing awareness about carbon and the affect it has on the environment. However, the huge contribution coal— the most carbon intensive fossil fuel— is playing in the energy and power sectors of such developed countries as the United States and developing nations like China and India go to show that with proper technology and environmental measures and safeguards it still remains the cheapest source of energy and power.
According to Review of Energy Policies of IEA (International Environmental Agency) in 1996 IEA member countries, mostly developed, had a combined reported Research and Development Budget of $ 403.3 million for coal. In fact the total R&D Budget on coal surpassed $ 361 million for Oil & Gas in the same year. With right policies and measures coal can help reduce heavy dependence on imported oil at the fraction of the cost for power generation.
But the abundance could hardly mean anything if the product can not match the chemical properties. All kinds of coal could not be used as source of energy for power generation.
The two most important types of coal are anthracite, often called the hard coal, and the bituminous or soft coal. Anthracite coal was formed under greater pressure than bituminous and as a result it has higher carbon content and a lower water content. Anthracire makes up a small portion of world’s coal production.
Bituminous coal is the most important and the most plentiful kind of coal. It is the chief fuel in power producing plants that generate electricity with steam. It also provides coke for the steel industry and is the raw material for thousands of by coke-products including gas and chemicals. It keeps homes and offices warm.
The majority of coal produced in Pakistan is of sub-bituminous quality, particularly that in the Sore Range, Balochistan. Sub-bituminous coal has a water content of almost 25 per cent of its weight. It burns readily and before the coal in general was replaced by oil and other cleaner substitutes was usually used to warm the houses and industrial factories. It is not as good as bituminous coal as it contains more moisture. Pakistan, Canada, New Zealand and the US all have large deposits of sub-bituminous coal.
Though this coal has been successfully used by WAPDA in its coal-fired thermal power plant of 7.5x2 mw at Sheikhmanda near Quetta and report shows that the coal from Sore-degjari coal fields is suitable for coal-fired thermal power plants.
The abundance of sub-bituminous coal limit, the use of coal in Pakistan as it requires special technology to be used in power generation. It also means that no coke, an industrial raw material, can be made to make the mining and usage of it even less limited and profitable.
But vast reserves still offer Pakistan many economic advantages provided it restructures its state-owned coal industries by either shutting the inefficient mines and/or making those already existing into better productive ones.
Though cleaner fuel has replaced fuel to a great extent and its use in the developed countries for heating has shrunk tremendously notwithstanding the important role its playing in electricity generation in the United States and in the developing countries like Pakistan its use is now limited to use in brick-making industry and to much smaller extent in power generation. Only 0.39 per cent of local production in Pakistan is used in households.
However, people across the world still use coal in various forms not recognizing that they are using it. Chemicals obtained from coal are used to make varnish, detergents, and thousands of other useful items. These products and raw materials are obtained from coal by the four basic processes— carbonization, hydrogenation, gas synthesis and gasification.
Carbonization consists of baking coal in an airtight oven. In this process, about two-thirds of the coal is turned into either ‘coke’ or ‘char’, depending on the quality of the baked coal. Coke is particularly useful in making iron and steel and as an industrial fuel. The remaining one-third of the coal so baked turns into tar and gas— the former is used in road surfacing in many developing countries including Pakistan and also as a raw material that can be broken down into hundreds of valuable chemicals. The coal gas, or coke oven gas, can be used both as a fuel and as a raw material for industrial chemicals.
Hydrogenation is a process of treating coal with oil and hydrogen under heat and pressure and then separating the liquid mixture into useful products. It produces hydrocarbon gases such as ethane, propane and butane, many valuable chemicals such as benzene, phenol, naphthalene and aniline. These chemicals in turn are used in the making of such everyday products as dyes, perfumes, paints and plastics. The hydrogenation can also be sued to produce fuel oil and petrol.
Gas synthesis is the method of developing chemicals from coal by oxidation. Pulverized coal is turned into a gas by being exposed to oxygen and superheated steam. The gas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, is in turn passed over various solid catalysts that change it into various products. For instance, cobalt catalysts change the gas into diesel fuel and iron catalysts change it into petrol.
Gasification is a method of obtaining fuel gas from coal. Experiments were carried out in Britain, Russia and the US by which the coal is burnt in the ground to produce gas which then is piped to the surface. The gas can be used as a source of heat to make electricity or can be broken down into liquid fuels such as petrol.
While the excavation and demand of coal in Pakistan has increased by 25 per cent from 2.751 million tonnes since 1989-90 the global consumption of it increased one per cent from 2,507 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 1996 to 2,532 in 1997. In addition, the fact that coal still accounts for 27 per cent of overall energy used globally also seems to emphasize the strong position that it dominates in the energy sector.
With all the restrictions, be they arise out of the chemical contents, the lack of infrastructure or the absence of long-term policies to use the abundant coal reserves that Pakistan has, the potential to use oil to lessen the dependence on imported oil and many coal-based industrial raw materials which are being imported into the government to be used in various industries, for instance chemicals, paints and tyre.
With improved infrastructure network, consistent long-term policies to encourage use of coal and measures to check the resultant environmental degradation can go a long way to help Pakistan benefit from the abundant coal deposits and reserves.

Pakistan 2004 Predictions on Economics come True

Pakistan spreads its message for attracting FDI

This article was published in FDI magazine in October 2004
October 20, 2004

The Pakistan government is working hard to attract large scale FDI into the country, including allowing foreign investors to hold unlimited equity and making concerted efforts to project a positive country image. Jules Stewart reports.
Pakistan’s economic track record over the past five years could hardly look more encouraging. Since General Pervez Musharraf’s takeover in 1999, the country has enjoyed a period of rapid expansion that is dazzling even by Asian standards. General Musharraf’s bloodless coup ushered in a team of technocrats led by former top Citibanker Shaukat Aziz, who is now prime minister and minister of finance. The team has managed to drag Pakistan back from the brink of economic disaster.
Foreign exchange reserves have been boosted to more than $12bn from a perilous $300m. GDP grew by more than 6% in 2003-2004, large scale manufacturing expansion topped 17%, inflation was less than 4% and the rupee has become a stable currency. Major multinationals operating in Pakistan achieved between 17% and 88% return on equity and the Karachi Stock Exchange registered the best performance in the Asian region.
FDI rose 19% to $950m last year, although much of that came from overseas Pakistani investors and relates to small scale projects. The sort of big ticket FDI that is flowing into neighbouring China and India remains on the sidelines, holding back over two crucial issues: security and political stability.
Since last year, General Musharraf has emerged unscathed from two assassination attempts, while gunmen also tried to kill Mr Aziz. So far this year, 165 people have died in sectarian violence. Army units are engaged in a bloody battle with tribesmen who are allegedly sheltering Al Qaeda militants in the wild border area of Waziristan. A fledgling insurgency has emerged in the province of Baluchistan, a region rich in power resources. And border tensions with India over the unresolved Kashmir dispute, while seemingly on the mend, remain a potential flashpoint between the two nuclear powers.
Project potential
Yet business leaders on the ground argue that it would be short-sighted to ignore Pakistan’s potential for infrastructure projects and investment in basic industries and services. “The image factor is a deterrent but there is a big difference in perception between those who view Pakistan through their television screens and we on the ground who can appreciate quite a different reality,” says Musharaf Hai, chairwoman and CEO of Unilever Pakistan.
“There are top level changes taking place in the country. Prime minister Aziz is leading Pakistan into the mainstream through economic reforms. In the past four or five years, we have seen steady macro-economic growth and this has provided people with a good degree of predictability. The awareness of the need to engage the business community is at its highest ever level. Yet much work remains to be done in areas like judicial reform, as well as the need to provide state-of-the-art entry points for investors,” she says.
Unilever has been in Pakistan since the country’s inception in 1947 and Ms Hai says that today, more than ever, the population profile makes the country a high growth market, with 60% of the people under the age of 20. “We are averaging a turnover of some Rs20bn [$337m] a year and we rank among the top 10 shares on the Karachi exchange,” she says. “We are seeding the market with soaps and other basic products and our intention is to be in there as the business takes off. All the fast-moving consumer goods majors are slugging it out in this space and you have got to be extremely cost competitive to survive.”
The government has identified telecoms as a key sector for attracting overseas investment. Mobilink, owned by Egypt’s Orascom, has uncovered a vast pool of mobile phone users, with the number of customers soaring from one million to 3.7 million in the past 18 months.
“We will have invested $775m in Pakistan by the end of the year and we now control 64% of the market,” says Mobilink’s chairman Zouhair Khaliq. “We are now in the process of raising $200m from export agencies to help fund our $400m investment programme for next year. Our network now covers 350 towns across the country, some without running water or metalled roads.”
This is one business sector in which foreign operators have been piling into the market. Norway’s Telenor and UAE-owned Warid Telecom were recently awarded GSM licences and two Luxembourg-based groups, Instafone and Paktel, are competing along with state-owned Ufone, which holds a 25% market share.
Mr Khaliq forecasts a tougher market in the future, but one with a great deal of potential. “We now have about six million mobile users in Pakistan and that should double by the end of next year,” he says. Mobilink is also using Pakistan as a springboard into other regional markets, like Bangladesh, where it has just obtained a licence and will invest $100m.
Issues to address
Mr Khaliq recognises the need to address certain fundamental issues to combat foreign investors’ reluctance. “We need to clean up the legacy of the Afghan extremist elements in Pakistan, which are very vocal and attract a lot of attention from the Western media,” he says. “People should come and see the reality instead of just following events through the media. Overall, the political situation has taken a positive turn with the appointment of Shaukat Aziz, who enjoys a high degree of credibility. The fact is you do not make a $750m commitment, as we are doing, if you do not feel positive about the country’s outlook.”
Minister for Investment and Privatisation Abdul Hafeez Shaikh says the government is focusing on four areas in its bid to attract more FDI: policy regime, investor facilitation, marketing opportunities and improving the country’s image.
“The first area is the policy regime and here we need to look at the bigger picture,” says Mr Hafeez Shaikh. “We operate one of the world’s most liberal investor regimes. We have opened all sectors to FDI and investors can hold unlimited equity. There are no restrictions on the movement of capital or remittance of profits and dividends.
“We are also focusing on investor facilitation to help overcome bureaucratic obstacles. We are aggressively marketing investment opportunities, and to this end, we have appointed about 30 investment counsellors, and we are supporting a dialogue and exchange of ideas with business people round the world,” he says.
Image improvement
On efforts to project a positive country image, Mr Hafeez Shaikh concedes that security is a “legitimate but vastly exaggerated concern”. He says tension has abated with Afghanistan and that in the past two years there has been a dramatic leap forward in relations with India. “Our neighbourhood is improving so the perception is bound to change,” he says. “People now go away with a strong positive feeling. We are a country of 150 million so there will always be pockets of incidents, but it is important to highlight their isolated nature.”
Mr Hafeez Shaikh says that the government has identified critical power and infrastructure projects that offer opportunities to foreign investors. “The quality and quantity of Pakistan’s infrastructure needs to be enhanced,” he says. “To mention only one power sector, we have about 200bn tonnes of coal reserves – an attractive proposition given the price of oil. The average share of coal in power generation is 38% worldwide, while it is less than 1% in Pakistan.”
He says the country’s privatisation programme has shown the international investor community that Pakistan is serious about promoting a market-based economy. “It has now been going for 15 years and, while in the first decade receipts amounted to about Rs6bn a year, in the Musharraf government’s first three years this figure doubled and it is now averaging Rs30bn,” he says. “When General Musharraf came to power, he stated that the government had no business being in business and, to this end, we have virtually privatised the entire financial sector and we are well advanced in utilities, telecoms and large scale manufacturing.”
Economic stability
Government officials point with pride to the stable environment that has been in place, at least in terms of investment environment and economic policies, for the past five years. “There was a time when Pakistan would devalue the rupee twice in one day,” says secretary for industries Mutawakkil Kazi.
“Stability is crucial to attracting FDI and, thanks to legal and economic continuity, we now have investors like the Chinese building a massive power plant next to our coalfields and BP operating gas fields in Sindh province, accounting for 60% of the country’s gas production. The potential is vast in almost every area when you consider that if you discount the seven million households below the poverty line, you still have 20 million others that rank as fully-fledged consumers.”
EPZ expansion scheme
Pakistan’s Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) is working on an ambitious expansion programme to help facilitate the government’s drive to attract FDI. EPZA chairman Lieutenant Colonel Syed Akbar Husain is negotiating the start-up of more than two dozen new zones to expand its existing network of four installations. “We are now on the brink of revolutionising the traditional EPZ concept,” he says. “We plan to set up a public-private partnership (PPP) for a new EPZ, called Pakistan Textile City Ltd, to promote investment in textiles, which represents 68% of the country’s exports and accounts for 10.5% of GDP. This is designed to compete in world markets after World Trade Organisation quotas are abolished next year and will focus primarily on dyeing, processing and finishing.”
The EPZA has attracted some top name firms in the textile and consumer goods sectors and is manufacturing for Wal-Mart, Tesco, K-Mart and Spain’s Zara, among others. Lt Col Husain says priority is given to hi-tech and capital and labour intensive projects, and those based on maximising local raw materials. “We offer investors a one-stop service and simplified procedures,” he says. “In return, we provide all basic infrastructure, as well as an abundance of skilled and semi-skilled labour, costing on average from $75 to $500 a month. Our success can be measured in the growth of exports from our EPZs, which rose from $90m to $202m in the past three years.”
Despite the negative press and fears over political stability and security, there is a sense of bullishness on almost all levels. Waseem Haqqi, chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI), claims that there are no longer any grounds for investors to feel uneasy. “No foreign business interest or executives have ever been targeted by terrorists and, moreover, we have shown our ability to root out the militants, with the arrest of about 600 Al Qaeda militants since 9/11,” he says.
“The atmosphere has definitely improved and proof of that is the fact that multinationals are starting to arrange their board meetings here, whereas in the past they were usually held in Dubai. It is important to remember that even in the dark days of nationalisation back in 1973 no foreign businesses were touched.”
Investment needs
Mr Haqqi says he would like to see investment in five areas: oil and gas exploration and production, power generation, IT and telecoms, agriculture, and small and medium size enterprises. He says that only 3% of Pakistan’s 27 billion barrels of oil reserves have been explored and only 15% of its 380 trillion cubic feet of gas deposits. Shell and Total are two of the foreign majors now working in this area. The BOI has received 35 expressions of interest to develop power plants to add 7000 megawatts to the country’s 19,000 megawatt capacity. There are also plans to seek investment to help construct seven cement plants.
“Side by side with these achievements goes a step change in our bureaucratic procedures,” says Mr Haqqi. In the past two to three years, with the country hit by a crippling drought as well as sanctions, Pakistan implemented a number of sweeping reforms in tariffs, corporate tax, banking, governance and the capital markets, and also raised tax collection from Rs3bn to Rs520bn.
“We are hungry for technology and our hi-tech appetite is unlimited,” he says. “We have identified 15 countries in North America, Europe and Asia that we want to tap for investment in this sector. We are actively sending the message out to the world, and have received more than 100 delegations from 25 countries last year. I am confident that we can attract $1bn in FDI this year and in due course match China’s growth rate.”

Pakistan hires another lobbyist in Washington

Pakistan hires another lobbyist in Washington
* Former assistant secretary of state for South Asia to represent Pakistan for $1.2m * Lobbying contract has a year’s validityBy Khalid HasanWashington:

Washington: Pakistan has got itself yet another lobbyist at a yearly cost of $1.2 million, which brings the number of those it has been using to sell itself on Capitol Hill and in the corridors of the government to two, though there could be more.The other firm representing Pakistan here is Van Scoyoc Associates, which is paid $55,000 a month. “We continue to represent the embassy and work with the ambassador and his team on a daily basis,” according to Mark Talvarides, vice president for Van Scoyoc and lead lobbyist on the contract.Pakistan’s representative:The new lobbyist for Pakistan is a firm called Cassidy and Associates, and the person who would be carrying Pakistan’s flag will be former assistant secretary of state for South Asia, Robin Raphael. Raphael, who retired from the foreign service a few years ago, earned the permanent ire of the Indian government and the Indian-American community for questioning the authenticity of the instrument of accession allegedly signed by Maharaja Hari Singh, which, India maintains, put the seal of approval on the state’s accession to India. That is a position accepted neither by Pakistan nor the people of Kashmir, nor the United Nations for that matter. This correspondent was present at the press conference where the erstwhile assistant secretary made her observation, which caused an uproar in India. She was instructed never to repeat that bit again and she did not. The only other government Cassidy works for is Eqatorial GuineaYear-long contract: According to records filed with the Justice Department, the contract with Pakistan has a year’s validity. However, other things being equal, there is every likelihood of its being renewed. Cassidy’s work will involve lobbying and public relations campaigns promoting Pakistan’s status as an “important strategic partner of the US”, according to The Hill, a small publication devoted to congressional coverage. Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, fist secretary at the Pakistan embassy, told The Hill, “We thought we had some challenging issues and we thought we should add another lobbying firm.” Robin Raphel, who is also senior vice president at Cassidy, stressed Pakistan’s necessity as an ally for the American counter-terrorism strategy. “We need to recognise it is not easy what Pakistan is trying to do here in assisting us in the fight against the terrorism in the region,” she said. She said her job would be to make sure “all relevant parties have the facts”, adding, “I think it’s clear there is a less than perfect understanding of Pakistan here.” Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party is represented by BKSH and Associates and its affiliate Burson-Marsteller LLC to promote fair elections in Pakistan. Pakistan Embassy first secretary Baloch told The Hill, “We believe there is common ground between her party and the government.”

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Mukesh Ambani Beats Bill Gates in Wealth

Reliance's Mukesh Ambani becomes world's richest beating Bill Gates

Monday October 29, 07:43 PM
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani on Monday became the richest person in the world, surpassing American software czar Bill Gates, Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim Helu and famous investment guru Warren Buffett, courtesy the bull run in the stock market.
Following a strong share price rally today in his three group companies -- India's most valued firm Reliance Industries, Reliance Petroleum and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd -- the net worth of Mukesh Ambani rose to 63.2 billion dollars (Rs 2,49,108 crore).
In comparison, the net worth of both Gates and Slim is estimated to be slightly lower at around 62.29 billion dollars each, with Slim leading among the two by a narrow margin.
Warren Buffett, earlier the third richest in the world, also dropped one position with a net worth of about 56 billion dollars.
Ambani's wealth of about Rs 2,49,000 crore includes about Rs 2,10,000 crore from RIL (50.98 per cent stake), Rs 37,500 crore from RPL (37.5 per cent) and Rs 2,100 crore from RIIL (46.23 per cent).
Slim's wealth has been calculated on the basis of his stake in companies like America Movil (30 per cent), Carso Global (82 per cent), Grupo Carso (75 per cent), Inbursa (67 per cent), IDEAL (30 per cent) and Saks Inc (10 per cent).
According to information available with the US and Mexican stock exchanges where these companies are listed, Slim currently holds shares worth a total of USD 62.2993 billion, with more than half coming from Latin American mobile major America Movil. Slim is closely followed by Gates with a net worth of 62.29 billion dollars currently.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

India, Israel planned to hit Kahuta in 1980s’

India, Israel planned to hit Kahuta in 1980s’
LAHORE: India and Israel had secretly planned to hit Pakistan’s nuclear facility in Kahuta in 1983-84, but backed off when the CIA tipped off then president General Ziaul Haq. According to APP, The Asian Age reported this in a report published on Sunday. The report states that a new book, “Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the Global Nuclear Conspiracy” by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, reveals details about India’s secret intelligence links with Israel. It claims that Indian military officials secretly travelled to Israel in February 1983 to buy electronic warfare equipment to neutralise Kahuta’s air defences.According to the book, India put its plans on hold when the chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission warned the director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre that Islamabad would attack Mumbai if Kahuta were attacked. It states that at this juncture, Israel suggested that it would attack Kahuta from Indian bases, adding that former premier Indira Gandhi signed off on the Israeli-led operation in March 1984. However, India and Israel backed off after the US state department warned India “the US will be responsive if India persists”.The book also claims that Pakistan was preparing to use nuclear missiles against India during the Kargil war, citing a conversation between former US president Bill Clinton and former premier Nawaz Sharif from 1999.According to a report released on the Times of India website, the book states that Sharif was unable to inform Clinton of his military’s moves. The president then warned Sharif that he would release a statement pinning all blame for Kargil on Pakistan if Sharif refused to pull his forces back. agencies

About the Authors :

Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark are internationally renowned and award-winning investigative journalists who worked as staff writers and foreign correspondents for the Sunday Times of London for seven years before joining the Guardian as senior correspondents. They are the authors of two highly acclaimed books, The Amber Room: The Fate of the World’s Greatest Lost Treasure and The Stone of Heaven: Unearthing the Secret History of Imperial Green Jade. They have reported from South Asia for more than a decade, and now live in London and in France.
Authors website :

Saturday, October 27, 2007

2456 MW power by 2010

13 projects to provide 2456 megawatts power by 2010

ISLAMABAD (October 27 2007): Thirteen private power projects, of 2456 MW, will be commissioned by 2010, of which 554 MW will be available to the national grid next year, while 1343 MW and 559 MW will be injected into the system in 2009 and 2010, respectively. These projects would be completed through private sector investment of $2 billion.This was announced in the 74th meeting of the Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB) held here on Friday. Liaquat Ali Jatoi, Minister for Water and Power, chaired the meeting.The Minister termed the planned projects a massive achievement as the country's power demand has been increasing. Due to liberal policies of the government, both local and foreign investors have shown keenness to invest in the country' power sector, he added.He appreciated the efforts of PPIB Managing Director Yousuf Memon and his team, and the quick decision-making of all Board members for facilitating the investors. The meeting was informed that PPIB was currently processing 62 multiple-fuel (oil, coal, gas and hydel) power projects having a cumulative capacity of 16,790 MW, which are expected to be commissioned from 2008 to 2016.Out of these, Letters of Interest (LoIs) have been issued for 33 projects with a cumulative capacity of 9,276 MW. Letters of Support (LoS) have been issued for 14 projects totalling 2,590 MW, while Implementation Agreements (IAs) have been signed for 10 projects of 2,026 MW capacity.The projects for which PPIB has signed IAs include 225 MW Orient Power, 225 MW Sapphire Power, 225 MW Saif Power, 165 MW Attock General, 202 MW Fauji Mari, 200 MW Nishat Chunian, 200 MW Nishat Power, 225 MW Atlas Power, 134 MW Star Power and 225 MW Halmore Power. Moreover, IAs of 227 MW Engro Power and 179 MW Gulf Power are ready for signatures.A number of companies have also concluded Direct Implementation Agreements with their lenders, while five IPPs, namely Orient Power Project, Sapphire Power Project, Fauji Mari project, Attock General and Saif Power have achieved financial closure. Other project sponsors are aggressively working to achieve financial close.The meeting was also informed that IA has also been signed for the 84 MW New Bong Hydel Power Project which is the first private hydropower project in the country to make such a breakthrough, and will make way to other 21 hydropower projects in the pipeline which are being processed by the PPIB. The Board also recommended that tariff of hydropower projects be rationalised to attract further investment in this sector.Jatoi said that there was a rapid growth in economy, and expansion in the industrial sector was being witnessed because of the radical development reforms of the present government. "This has to be augmented with uninterrupted supply of electricity, and the progress in the power sector is a proof to our commitment towards the development of the country and economic betterment of the people," he added.

$60bn income likely from mega projects

$60bn income likely from mega projects
By Khaleeq Kiani
ISLAMABAD, Oct 26: Pakistan expects to earn $60 billion a year from transit trade after completion of the national trade corridor, a couple of shipyards and improvement of the North-South road network.The estimate has been prepared by the Planning Commission that is seeking advisory services from international firms for establishment of two large shipyards at Port Qasim and Gwadar Port on a fast track basis. The appointment of an adviser for preparation of project structure would lead to international competitive bidding to develop the shipyards and related infrastructure at an estimated cost of $500 million, to be raised through an emerging public-private partnership facility.Official sources said the government had already asked the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited to coordinate with reputable international financial institutions, investment banks having direct or partnership with technical, legal and other consultants to assist in planning, development and implementation of the project. The private sector will be responsible for designing, financing, building, operating and maintaining the Shipyard.The national trade corridor —of which Gwadar port is an integral part — is a major communication link for Central Asian states, China and the Gulf as 60 per cent trade of oil and gas is done through this route. The government expects it to play a major role in the region by reducing the transport time from and to China, the Middle East, Central Asian states, Europe and Africa.The first project, Gwadar Shipyard will be set up at Gwadar East Bay (Shamba Ismail area), over approximately 500 acres. Starting with ship repairing, the facility will be converted into building Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) and Ultra large Crude Carriers (ULCCs) and will have at least two dry docks of approximately 600,000 DWT.The second project, Port Qasim Shipyard is planned to be developed adjacent to Korangi Fish Harbour (Port Qasim Area), covering an area of approximately 500 acres with at least two dry docks of 600,000 DWT. The main function of this shipyard will be to build large ships up to VLCC/ULCC size and offshore and onshore oil rigs. It will also have ship repair facilities.A recent meeting presided over by President General Pervez Musharraf decided to accord high priority to the shipbuilding industry to make Pakistan a leading shipbuilding player by taking advantage of its location and emerging opportunities in shipbuilding, including engine and equipment manufacturing.The meeting also constituted a high-level policy board headed by the prime minister to provide policy initiatives for development of shipbuilding and marine industries in the country. The board was asked to facilitate the development of large shipyards at Port Qasim and Gwadar Port and to ensure acquisition of land and provision of related infrastructure. The board comprises governors of Sindh and Balochistan, ministers for ports & shipping, defence production and privatisation, adviser to the PM on finance, deputy chairman of the planning commission, chief of Naval Staff and secretaries of defence production and ports and shipping.Currently, more than 80 per cent of Pakistani trade is carried by foreign ships as the state-run Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) manages a fleet of only 14 ships. Last year 3,000 ships visited the Karachi Port and Port Qasim but none of these ships could be provided repair services as the two small docks currently available fall much short of even domestic requirement.According to official data, the international order book for shipbuilding jumped from 115.5 million DWT to 300 million DWT between 2002 and 2006 and the demand for new ships will increase from around 30 million DWT a year at present to around 90 million DWT a year in 2055.