Engro 49.5MW Wind Energy Plant at Gharo

This week we went to visit Tenaga Wind Farm in Gharo being commissioned by Engro Pakistan. The project has a total capacity of producing 49.5 MW of electrical energy from 31 turbines rated at 1.6 MW each (one turbine out of the 31 produces 1.5 MW). The total cost of the project is $120 m and it is expected that this investment would be recovered in 5-6 years. The cost of a unit (kwhr) is going to Rs.15 as agreed with the Government of Pakistan.

The total energy produced annually would be 134 GWh which can be used to calculate the average power produced by the 31 wind turbines.

Power = Energy/Time = (134,000,000 kwhr)/(365 x 24 hours) = 15296 kW = 15.3 MW

That is the project would produce on average only 30.9 % (15.3 / 49.5) of its rated capacity. Furthermore the electrical energy needs to be converted to a level suitable to be supplied to the national grid. For this the electrical energy is converted from 690 Volts AC to 33,000 Volts AC. Lastly the project would be monitored and maintained by General Electric (GE) for two years as this is part of the turbine purchase contract. Three such projects are at various stages of installation in Gharo and seven such projects  are being undertaken in Jhimpir which is the preferred wind corridor in Sind due to quality/firmness of the soil there.


Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park - The Reality

There have been conflicting claims about the capacity of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park (QASP) in the media. While the the chief executive officer of the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power (Pvt) Limited claims that the project is producing 12% more energy than expected, opposition parties are claiming that it is producing only 18 MW as compared to the advertised capacity of 100 MW. So what is the truth?

Energy vs Power

Actually both the parties are correct in some sense. While the project does have the capacity of producing 100 MW peak power, this only happens for a very short duration during the day (around noon time). When averaged over 24 hours the park is only producing about 20 MW. This can be easily calculated by assuming that the peak solar energy is available for 5 hours (typical for this region) and average it over 24 hours.

100 MW x (5/24) = 20.83 MW

We can also calculate the average power produced by the park by looking at the numbers provided by Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power (Pvt) Limited on its website. According to the website the park is producing 169 Gigawatt Hour as compared to the original estimates of 153 Gigawatt Hour per year (a 12% increase). But this is energy, how do we calculate power?

The answer is simple, divide the energy produced in a year by the number of hours in a year (365 x 24 = 8760 hours).

Average power produced = 169 GWH / 8760 hours = 19.29 MW

Cost of Production and Tariff

The good news is that there is very minimal cost of production of solar energy (there was an installation cost of Rs.13 billion plus there are about 700 security personal deployed for the security of 700 Chinese engineers working in the park). The tariff can be easily calculated by the revenue earned and the energy produced. According to QASP sources the revenue reached a peak of Rs. 320 million in September. Lets calculate the cost per unit from the total revenue earned in September and the energy produced in the month of September.

Cost per unit = Rs.320,000,000/(19,290kW * 24 hours * 30 days)= Rs. 23.04/unit.

So the QASP claim that it is costing a consumer Rs.12/unit is not true. The actual cost to a consumer is Rs.23.04/unit. Again the data has been taken from QASP website.

Environmental Impact

There is no doubt that there is going to be a negative impact on the environment. About 500 acres of desert have been taken over by QASP and this will definitely impact the biodiversity of the region. The total area dedicated to this project by Chief Minister of Punjab Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is 6500 acres (near Lal Sohanra National Park). Lastly there are vasts swaths of land in Balochistan which receive about 10-20% more Solar Irradiance than any location in Punjab and there are a number of new and existing Hydel projects that are crying for attention (case in point being Tarbela expansion which can yield additional 1400 MW of power).

Information taken from:



World Fossil Fuel Reserves

While alternate energies such as solar and wind are becoming increasingly important by the day, fossil fuels still have an important place in the energy mix and will continue to do so in foreseeable future. In this post we compare the reserves of three most important fossil fuels and their total value as per market rates at the moment amongst the top ten producers of the world.

Rank Country Oil (billion barrels) Gas (trillion cubic feet) Coal (billion tons) Value (trillion dollars)
1 Russia 87 1163 157 40.7
2 Iran 157 1187.3 35.3
3 Venezuela 297.6 196.4 479 34.9
4 Saudi Arabia 265.9 290.8 33
5 USA 35 300 237 28.5
6 Canada 173.9 70 6.58 20.2
7 Iraq 150 126.7 18
8 Qatar 23.9 885.1 16.4
9 UAE 97.8 215.1 13.8
10 China 17.3 109.3 115 13.2
Iran Pakistan Gas Pipeline

Iran Pakistan Gas Pipeline

From a regional perspective it is important to note that two of Pakistan's neighbors namely Iran and China have substantial reserves of oil, gas and coal. Iran is in fact number one as far as proven reserves of natural gas are concerned and fourth in the world in oil reserves. However, large production of fossil fuels has been hampered by the sanctions imposed on Iran by USA and EU.

It is expected that once these sanctions are removed Iran will have a greater role to play in the international market of fossil fuels. It must also be noted that work is under progress on the Pak-Iran gas pipeline which will bring natural gas from Iran to the cities of Pakistan. Iran has completed most of the work on its side of the border but work is slow on the Pakistani side.

Source: Business Insider

Business Insider used data from British Petroleum’s 2013 statistical review of world energy and calculated the countries with the largest reserves in three key fossil fuel categories—oil, coal, and natural gas.

BI then calculated the total value of the reserves by using current global prices.