The End of a Pakistani Oil and Gas Mafia
Malik Ayub Sumbal
More than eight heads of the various Pakistani oil and gas companies have been removed from their services. The decision is a step towards solving the prevailing energy crisis in the country initiated by the Prime Minister of Pakistan under immense pressure by the citizens of the country.
The Prime Minister failed to save the service of his beloved and most loyal Managing Director of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), Abdul Rashid Lone, who was retired from service since March 2003 but still on sacred extension.
Lone’s was the longest tenure of any Managing Director served in the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited. He received six extensions and enjoyed an 11-year-long tenure.
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The Auditor General of Pakistan had recommended immediate termination of Lone’s sixth contract, as it was discovered that the Rs.30 million paid as both salary and perks to the ‘favorite’ officer of every regime since 2003 was absolutely unjustified.
Abdul Rashid Lone arguably claimed the privilege of being the only top gun to have gotten generous extensions from three prime ministers of Pakistan after his retirement.
Several corruption charges cited the nepotism witnessed in the 11-year-long Managing Directorship of the terminated Abdul Rashid Lone. However, despite the expulsion orders from the service, the official spokesperson of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited stated that he has not been fired from the job, but rather has ‘resigned.’
It is also pertinent to mention here that the decision of the Prime Minster came earlier than the resignation of Abdul Rashid Lone. Arif Hameed who was serving Senior General Manager in the company endorsed the charge of the new Managing Director of SNGPL.
Malik Ayub Sumbal is a freelance journalist based in Islamabad
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.