In a positive development in regards to reducing the import bill, the power division has approved the blending of Thar coal with imported coal for the generation of electricity at Port Qasim Electric Power Company Limited (PQEPCL).
It had recently been proposed by PQEPCL that the 1,320 MW imported coal project ought to be converted in such a way that it utilizes local coal being mined from Thar Coal mines. In this regard feasibility study was conducted through a foreign consultant Fichtner GmbH KG & Co.
The main concern which needed to be adressed was that Thar coal contains excessive amounts of sulphur and the equipment/ burners or other facilities might need modification to cater for the high moisture and sulphur content of Thar coal.
According to the report submitted by Fichtner GmbH KG & Co. most of the PQEPCL’S plant systems have extra capacities that can handle a certain percentage of Thar Lignite with the exception of limiting equipment, ie, Fuel Gas Desulfurization (FGD), electrostatic precipitator, pulverizer and primary air fans.
Fichtner claimed that the power plant can operate at approximately 50% capacity on Thar coal alone without any major modifications and with 20% blending ratio the power plant can operate at 85% of capacity. If 100% operation of the plant on Thar coal is required, then equipment capacities need to be enhanced. The study performed by Fichtner is a desktop study which requires further confirmation through on-site testing.