Asia, New Projects, Strategic Development

Pakistan celebrates launch of new $2bn coal plant

The government of Islamabad has announced that its $2bn, 1320 MW coal-fired power plant has successfully commenced commercial operations.

The plant will add nine billion kWh of electricity to the national grid every year, meeting the electricity needs of four million households within Pakistan.

The plant was established by the China Power Hub Generation Company (CPHGC) under the China-Pakistan Econo­mic Corridor (CPEC) project, designed to boost regional connectivity and infrastructure development.

The CPHGC achieved full capacity under system requirements on August 17 2019; confirming operation of ,320MW (2 x 660) imported coal power plants and integrated jetty with coal transhipment capacity of 4.2 million tonnes per annum.

The project had completed a reliability run test last week, involving a week-long uninterrupted power supply at different loads, completing the commercial operation certification. This was followed by net electrical output confirmation by engineers in the presence of representatives of the National Transmission & Despatch Company.

“CPHGC has successfully undergone thorough commissioning tests as per the agreed procedure. The engineer has certified the successful commissioning of the complex,” said a notification issued by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) — a government-owned subsidiary responsible for procuring power from plants and selling them to distribution companies.

The CPHGC is a joint venture between the Hub Power Company (Hubco) and China Power International Holding (CPIH), and is one of the first energy projects under the CPEC framework agreement.

The project was initially approved in November 2014, with National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) approving the upfront tariff for the power project in February 2016.

According to the CPHGC, the project was completed on schedule and within budget limitations.

The project’s two units achieved synchronisation with the national grid on Dec 28, 2018 and May 28, 2019, respectively, while the Integrated Coal Jetty became operational in December last year with the arrival of the first shipment of coal.

“The successful completion of CPHGC project has fortified the dream of energy independence of Pakistan,” said Khalid Mansoor, the chief executive officer of Hubco, adding that “Pak-China synergy has resulted in engineering excellence and has fulfilled our promise of providing Pakistan with affordable and ample energy”.

The company said the project will improve lives of those in local communities, namely Hub and Lasbella. Together with its partners, the CPHGC has set up a school in Gadani, a floating jetty for fishermen in Abbas village and conducted various training and development programmes for the youth of Balochistan.