ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Planning Development and Reforms, was informed here on Monday that brand new and environment-friendly machinery with supercritical technology, had been installed at the Sahiwal Coal Power Project to ensure best results from the project.
Briefing the committee on the project, Additional Secretary Ministry of Energy, Musaddiq Ahmed Khan said this project was launched under the country’s power policy, the policy ensures that only new and modern technology is installed.
He informed the meeting that both units of the plant were operating successfully and were fully contributing to the national grid.
The committee was held here on Monday under the chairmanship of Senator Col (r) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and was attended by senators Mohsin Khan Leghari, Sherry Rahman, Sirajul Haq and Agha Shahzain Khan Durrani.
The additional secretary informed that the 1320 MW project was established under the umbrella of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and was based on Independent Power Producers (IPP).
He said the plant would produce 9039 GWh (9039 billion units) electricity annually, and it would require 3.1 million ton of imported coal annually at a cost of $ 434 million. He informed that currently per ton of coal is costing around $ 140 million.
He said currently the coal was being imported from South Africa, Australia, and Indonesia, however once coal from Thar is available, the Indonesian coal would not be imported as its efficiency was same as that of Thar coal.
Senator Sirajul Haq pointed out that why a huge amount of $ 30 per ton was being spent in respect of transportation cost from Port Qasim Karachi to Sahiwal instead of constructing the plant at a place near to the port adding that the environment issue would also be another factor in the densely populated area of Punjab.
The additional Secretary clarified that as another 1320 MW coal power plant was already under construction near Port Qasim so it was not feasible to construct another such plant in the same area. Moreover, he said since the maximum load of electricity was being utilized in the middle of Punjab so evacuation of electricity from Port Qasim through transmission lines would cause huge line losses.
He said there was the negligible effect of pollution due to this plant as the supercritical technology was used in this plant.
To another question from Senator Mohsin Khan Leghari, he clarified that brand new machinery was used in Sahiwal Coal Power Plant and rejected the perception that since this project was working under CPEC, therefore, China had installed the used technology.
Senator Leghari raised another point saying that use of an extra amount of water from nearby canals for purpose of cooling of the plant would result in less water for agricultural land of that area.