Another LNG power project approved for Punjab

Costing $802m, the 1,250MW plant at Trimmu Barrage will help end outages


Our Correspondent October 26, 2017
PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB), in a board meeting on Wednesday, approved the construction of a 1,250-megawatt liquefied natural gas (LNG)-based power generation plant near Trimmu Barrage in Jhang district, Punjab at an estimated cost of $802 million.

The government is already setting up three LNG-fired power plants in Punjab and this is the fourth LNG power project in the province, which will help eliminate electricity outages. The board meeting approved the project, which was expected to start producing electricity in simple-cycle mode by December 2018, for further processing.

The Cabinet Committee on Energy has also given the go-ahead to developing the 1,250MW LNG power project near Trimmu Barrage.

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In another decision, the PPIB decided to advertise the 132MW Rajdhani Hydropower Project, which would be built on Poonch River in Azad Jammu and Kashmir under the Power Policy 2015.

“Hydroelectric power projects will improve energy mix in the country and reduce dependence on imported fuels. This project will be instrumental in generating economic activities as well as creating employment opportunities for people of the area,” said PPIB in a statement.

As hydroelectric power has been the top priority of PPIB, four projects of approximately 1,850MW are currently going through the construction phase. Apart from these, the 1,124MW Kohala Hydropower Project will achieve financial close by early next year.

In order to facilitate project sponsors, the PPIB allowed extension in the period for signing agreements with Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company Limited, which was laying the first-ever private transmission line. It will also be the first-ever high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission line in Pakistan of more than 660 kilovolts with power transmission capacity of 4,000MW.

The project is being sponsored by China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company Limited, a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework.“This project is of great national importance as it is aimed at supplying electricity from upcoming coal-based power projects located in southern parts of the country,” the statement said.

PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza briefed the meeting on various power projects including CPEC and non-CPEC schemes being handled by the board.

He said PPIB was currently handling 32 independent power projects of more than 20,500MW capacity based on hydro, coal and LNG sources as well as the HVDC Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line.

Twelve of these projects with around 11,000MW capacity and the transmission line project are being executed under the CPEC framework.

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Majority of these projects are at advance stages of implementation, some are in the process of declaring the start of trials and tests, some are under construction while others are in the process of announcing financial close or are at pre-financial close stage.

Presiding over the meeting, Federal Minister of Power Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari stressed that the government had announced incentives through the Power Policy 2015 and the facilitation extended to new investors should be further enhanced.

The government had executed many projects that were now bearing fruit and the country was about to enter an era of abundant electricity for the people and economy, he said.

However, he acknowledged that there were still complex issues which required further work and diligence. “The government is assessing the power sector issues and will soon come up with a comprehensive plan for future course of action,” Leghari said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2017.

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