2000MW surplus power by 2018: GoP

The government reiterated that Pakistan will be loadshedding free by mid 2018 with projected surplus generation of around 2000 MW electricity as compared to actual demand.

Secretary Water and Power, Younus Dagha, who has been given this task by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, briefed a media team at the site of 1223 MW (net capacity 1199 MW) LNG-fired Baloki Thermal Power Plant which is being set up as an Independent Power Producer (IPP) from the financial resources of federal government through Public Sector Development Program (PSDP). The total EPC and non EPC cost of the project was Rs 86 billion. The project will generating 800 MW by September next year and after installation of combined cycle boilers it will generate 1223 MW. It will be completed by January 2018.

The completion of a project of this capacity is around 36 months but the present government has revised it down to 27 months after extensive deliberations.

The country’s generation and demand gap is around 6000 MW in the months of June and July which will be bridged by 2017.

The government is focusing on nine plants i.e. three LNG-fired power plants of 3600 MW, two imported coal-fired power plants and two nuclear power plants with total combined capacity of 10400 MW. In addition small power plants of wind and solar will also come into the system with a few of these likely to be inaugurated by the Prime Minster very soon.

“Next year we will be able to generate more than our domestic demand and will be in surplus,” Dagha added. The 2400 MW RLNG power plants will help overcome 56 percent of this shortfall and will reduce the average national daily power outage from 6 hours to 2.6 hours.

The Chief Executive Officer National Power Parks Management Company Rashid Langhrial informed media that total strength of the project’s work force was around 2200 of which 300 to 400 are Chinese nationals.

At the heart of this generation facility will be two General Electric Gas Turbines of Frame 9HA.0l and an Alstom Steam Turbine. The Frame 9HA.0l turbines boast high fuel efficiency and operational flexibility. The site for the power plant has been carefully chosen considering its proximity to load centers (Lahore and adjacent industrial areas), grid connectivity and availability of cooling water. R-LNG will be supplied to the site via an eight km spur line which is under construction already.

The EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) Contractor for this plant is HEI-HRL Joint Venture (Joint Venture of Harbin Electric International Company Limited and Habib Rafiq (Pvt.) Ltd. Individually, both these organisations have successfully executed multiple large-scale projects nationally and internationally.

Dagha said backup fuel of the project will be HSD (7 days back-up in two fuel oil storage tanks). Two gas turbines along with two heat recovery steam generators and one steam turbine would ensure the efficiency of the project at 61.63 percent with close proximity to load centers of Lahore, Kasur and adjacent Industrial areas.

The current tariff approved by the Nepra is Rs 6.30 per unit which is substantially lower than 2015 average basket price of Rs. 9.84/kWh. The total saving on three LNG-fired plants will be around Rs 100 billion of which saving from Balloki is calculated at Rs 37 billion. Power plants being set up on sites identified in 1980s by NTDC for coal-based power plants. After ten year tariff will be reduced when the company will pay its debts. Of Rs 6.30 per unit, Rs 1.40 are for debt servicing and 40 paisa is Return on Equity (RoE) totaling it to Rs 1.80 per unit and the remaining is fuel cost. Annual saving will be Rs 6 billion per annum.

Secretary Water and Power maintained that power plants had not been established in Punjab in the past due to non-availability of gas.

He added: “with the establishment of power plants near load centres, transmission losses will be reduced and voltage issues will be resolved. Transparency has been ensured in the project that’s why its cost has been reduced by Rs 37 billion.”

The government had awarded the EPC contract to Harbin Electric International of China whereas OEM Company is GE which will provide turbines.

The media team visited different areas of the project where work was going on at fast pace in two shifts to complete the project as per the commitment given to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Chinese engineers working on the project also informed the media team that the project will be completed by January 2018.

“When any one makes up his or her mind to ensure transparency and not to seek commissions, a project’s cost can be reduced,” Secretary said adding that perhaps in the past there was no intention to lower project cost.