NJHP last unit synchronised with grid

LAHORE (APP): The fourth and the last generating unit of Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP) was also successfully synchronized with the national grid on Monday, which started providing power to the system on trial basis. During its trial run, the unit would be tested on various loads ranging up to 242-MW, according to Wapda spokesman here. With successful commissioning of its all four units, the NJHP is expected to attain its installed generation capacity of 969-MW in a couple of days, he said. The spokesman said that three units of NJHP had already been generating 726-MW electricity and since commissioning of its first unit in April 2018, has contributed around 900 million units of electricity to the national grid. He added that the project had been constructed in the vicinity of Muzaffarabad in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and it has four generating units, each of them having 242.25-MW capacity. The project would contribute about 5 billion units per annum to the national grid with annual benefits of Rs 55 billion.

It merits a mention that Neelum–Jhelum Hydropower Plant is part of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric power scheme in the country, designed to divert water from the Neelum River to a power station on the Jhelum River. The power station is located in POK Kashmir, 42km south of Muzaffarabad, and has an installed capacity of 969 MW. Construction on the project began in 2008 after a Chinese consortium was awarded the construction contract in July 2007. After delay of many years, the first generator was commissioned in April 2018 and the entire project is expected to be completed in July 2018 and will generate 5,150 gigawatt per year at the levelised tariff of Rs 13.50 per unit for 30 years.

Rs 838m collected for dams

ISLAMABAD (APP): The fund dedicated for the construction of Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand dams has so far received over Rs 839.88 million from various individuals and groups. According to the latest update issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the “Supreme Court of Pakistan’s Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund” received Rs 87.4 million on August 09, Rs 63.4 million on August 08 and Rs 44.9 million on August 06. Similarly, total donations received in the fund through various public and commercial banks on August 03 was Rs 16.1 million, on August 02 Rs 21.3 million, on August 01 Rs 41.4 million and on July 31 Rs 66 million. The country wise data shows that within Pakistan an amount of Rs 833.424 million was collected through bank branches, interbank transfers and mobile phone SMS service. Out of total donation received from within in the country, Rs 39.1 million were collected through SMS service, Rs 20.6 million from Interbank transfer service whereas an amount of Rs 773.018 million was collected at bank branches.

Similarly, from USA, an amount of Rs 1.45 million was received for the Fund, while from UK Rs 0.927 million, from Germany Rs 0.963 million, from UAE, Rs 0.664 million, Canada Rs 0.4 million, from Singapore Rs 0.478 million and from Netherlands and amount of Rs 0.25 million was received.

The Fund has been established by the SBP on the directions of the Supreme Court. All the commercial and micro-finance banks, and field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation have opened the Fund account to receive donations in cash, and through cheques, pay orders and demand drafts at all their branches across the country.

The donors can also make online donations to the Fund through internet banking, automatic teller machines (ATM) and other alternate delivery channels (ADC) using IBAN of their respective bank. The banks have sent the IBANs of the Fund account to their clients through SMS alerts, while the bank-wise list of IBANs is also available at the SBP's web page.

The general public can also make donations in cash at over 400,000 branchless banking agents of commercial and micro-finance banks across the country against proper receipt in electronic or paper form duly confirmed by the SMS alert.

The donations can also be made through credit / debit cards from anywhere in the world by clicking the “Online collections for Supreme Court Diamer Bhasha & Mohamand Dams Fund” on the SBP's web page.

The overseas Pakistanis may deposit their contributions to the Fund in cash, cheques, pay orders, demand drafts etc at the Pakistani missions in the relevant country. They can also make the contributions through credit / debit cards from anywhere in the world.

The overseas Pakistanis having PKR accounts in Pakistan can also make donations in the Fund through the internet banking facility of their respective banks.

Services exports decline by 6pc

ISLAMABAD (APP): The exports of services from the country witnessed negative growth of 6.29 percent during financial year 2017-18 as compared to the corresponding period of last year. The services exports during July-June (2017-18) were recorded at $5.205 billion against the exports of $5.554 billion during July-June (2016-17), according to the latest data released by PBS. The imports of services into the country increased from $9.893 billion last year to $10.376 billion during the current year, showing positive growth of 4.88 percent. Based on the figures, the services trade deficit during the current fiscal year witnessed growth of 19.18 percent by going up from the deficit of $4.338 billion last year to $5.171 billion during the current fiscal year. Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the services exports from the country during the month of June 2018 decreased by 2.32 percent compared to the same month of last year. The services exports during June 2018 were recorded at $444.88 million against the exports of $455.45 million in June 2017, the PBS data revealed.

The imports of services on year-on-year basis also decreased by 5.53 percent by going down from $913.25 million in June 2017 to $881.02 million in June 2018.

On month-on-month basis, the exports of services from the country, however, witnessed positive growth of 1.24 percent in June 2018 when compared to the exports of $539.42 million during May 2018.

On the other hand, the imports of services into the country decreased by 0.58 percent in June 2018 when compared to the imports of $886.15 million in May 2018, according to the data of PBS.

Bayer share slumps after Monsanto ruling

BERLIN (Xinhua): The share price of German agrochemicals giant Bayer AG has dropped by more than 10 percent on Monday after a U.S. court ordered its subsidiary Monsanto to pay a total of $298m in damages for selling a carcinogenic weed killer. Bayer's shares were the worst-performing in the DAX stock index in early Monday trading, reflecting concerns amongst investors that the court ruling could spark further legal action shortly after the Leverkusen-based completed its $63b takeover of Monsanto in June. Critics of the merger have repeatedly warned that Bayer could suffer reputational damage from the move given that Monsanto is mainly known in Europe as the producer of the controversial pesticide glyphosate. Late last week, US judges found Monsanto guilty of selling the glyphosate-based weed killer "Roundup" without adequately warning consumers that it could cause cancer. In the widely-publicized court case, a terminally-ill groundskeeper who contracted a type of blood-cell cancer after exposure to glyphosate was awarded $39m in personal compensation.

The plaintiff argued successfully that Monsanto had "fought science" over the course of several years in a bid to falsify and obscure evidence of the damaging effects which Roundup has on human health.

Monsanto is planning to appeal the verdict and rejects the court's assertion that glyphosate, the world's most widely-used pesticide, caused cancer.

Bayer chief executive officer (CEO) Werner Baumann recently announced that "Monsanto will no longer be a company name" following its acquisition. The products of the U.S. agrochemical company will instead become fully-integrated into Bayer's own marketing portfolio.