Two new power plants to add 1650 MW to national grid

The government signed four agreements on Wednesday to set up two coal-based power plants of a total of 1650 MWs in Hub and Thar under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The agreements included two each for implementation and power purchase.

The agreements were signed by representatives of the China Power Hub Generation Company (Private) Limited (CPHGC), HUBCO, and the Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on behalf of their respective organisations.

Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif and Water and Power Secretary Younas Dagha also witnessed the signing ceremony.

Under the agreements, a 1320 MW coal-fired power plant is being set up in Hub, Balochistan, with at an estimated cost of over $ 2 billion while a 330 MW power plant will be established in Thar, Sindh, at a cost of $ 500 million.

The 1320 MW power project would be completed by August 2019 while the 330 MW project would start generation by December 2019.

Terming both the projects a major milestone, Khawaja Asif said that construction work on the 1320 MW power plant had already started and that both projects would be completed in 2019.

He said the government was also implementing projects to be completed after its tenure keeping in view the future requirements of energy.

Asif said that preference was being given for the use of local coal from Thar for generating cheap electricity. These projects would open up a new chapter in the energy sector, he said, adding that Thar would be the country’s energy generation centre in the future.

He said it would not only help save precious foreign exchange but also generate electricity at affordable rates.

Regarding the Thar project, he said it was a pilot project and would attract huge investment in the future.

To another question, the minister said that equal attention was also being given to the up-gradation of the transmission system. “Work on up-gradation of transmission lines is being carried out simultaneously,” he said.

To a query, Asif said that the Nandipur power plant was supplying 430 MWs and that the furnace oil treatment plant (FOTP) had already been set up.

Gasification for the plant has already been started and it will be run on gas in May, he said.

He said that payments had also been made to the Sui Northern Gas Company for laying pipelines to supply gas to the plant.

Regarding Bhasha and Mohmand dams, the minister said that both projects would begin this year.

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