NTDC advocating conversion of power plants to Thar Coal

The National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) has thrown its weight behind the
conversion of M/s Lalpir (LP) and Pakgen (PG) to Thar coal, citing potential improvements in
voltage stability and short-circuit power within the Mepco region. In a detailed letter addressed
to the Managing Director of PPIB, Ali Zain Banatwala emphasized the pivotal role that the
proposed conversion plays, contingent upon the future balance between electricity supply and
demand, along with the availability of transmission infrastructure.
Outlined within the correspondence is NTDC’s ongoing estimation of dispatch hours, rooted in
recalibrated fuel prices, to be integrated into the Integrated Generation Capacity Expansion Plan
(IGCEP). However, the IGCEP currently does not account for generator “re-dispatch” owing to
constraints related to transmission or system stability, awaiting finalization of the Transmission
System Expansion Plan (TSEP).
Banatwala delved into the intricacies of existing transmission limitations, highlighting the
potential transformation capacities at specific grid stations and NTDC’s strategic blueprint to
establish new stations in the MEPCO region by 2027. The letter encompassed discussions on
hydropower generation, ongoing hydro projects, and the necessity of power transmission
southwards via FESCO and LESCO. Additionally, it contemplated the viability of linking the
Chashma 5 nuclear power station to Mepco to counterbalance energy deficiencies.
A comprehensive analysis was provided regarding how Mepco’s burgeoning demand could
potentially be satisfied, drawing from resources like C-5 as a base-load generator, solar
projects, and the ensuing challenges of transforming Mepco into another zone reliant on energy
Solutions proposed included leveraging the operations of LP and PG, integrating synchronous
condensers, or considering the implementation of proposed STATCOMs to effectively address
the voltage stability concerns at hand.