KARACHI: The regulator has granted a power generation licence to Maple Leaf Power Limited, clearing the way for setting up an imported coal-fired plant of 40 megawatts at an estimated cost of Rs5.5 billion.
It will supply electricity to its parent company, a cement manufacturer based in Lahore, which is expected to start by July 2017.
“Electric power from the coal-based generation facility/thermal power plant of the licensee/Maple Leaf Power Limited (MLPL) will be supplied to Maple Leaf Cement Factory,” said National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), the power industry regulator, in a notification on Wednesday.
Group Director Finance Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi had stated in the application sent to Nepra in August that expected cost of the power plant was Rs5.5 billion, being financed by the holding company. The expected project life is 25 years.
The project is likely to utilise approximately 150,228 tons of coal during 330 days of operations in a year. Coal will be imported from South Africa or Indonesia.
“MLPL intends to utilise either existing facilities of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) or upcoming Pakistan Bulk Terminal facilities for coal receiving and handling. Transportation to the site will be done using trucks,” the Nepra notification added.
The power plant is being set up in Mianwali district, Punjab. “Maple Leaf Cement Factory owns 369.2 kanals of land…out of the said, 112 kanals have been specifically allocated for the power project,” the regulator said.
Earlier, the firm had signed an agreement with Sinoma Energy Conservation Limited, China, for supply of the power plant.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, in its comments to Nepra, said in the wake of current energy supply scenario and availability of indigenous coal resources, the power generation licence to MLPL for its imported coal-based power plant may be granted.
It was subject to the condition that due consideration would be given in the power plant design to the use of indigenous coal, independently or after blending with coal from other sources, subject to the availability of indigenous coal, the ministry said.
Preference should be given to indigenous coal-based power generation and imported coal may be used only in case of unavailability of local coal of required quality, it said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2016.