KARACHI: The water shortage in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has been exacerbated by yet another breakdown at the COGEN plant which may not be fixed until June 15.
The plant, a joint venture between DHA and M/S Sacoden, a Singaporean firm inaugurated by General Musharraf more than two years ago was installed in DHA phase VIII to generate up to 90 megawatts (MW) of power and three million gallons of water per day (3MGD) for DHA residents.
“The plant was closed down after it encountered technical problems,” said Aziz Suharwardy of the Clifton Board Cantonment and the Association of Defence Residents. The problem was that its shafts were not synchronised with the KESC power supply. According to Suharwardy, the warranty covered parts but not the entire plant. “Siemens had replaced the turbine shafts as it was covered by the warranty,” he said.
But when the plant developed a problem again, the company refused to take responsibiltiy on the grounds that the entire plant was not covered. When The Express Tribune asked how they planned to repair the plant without the company’s help, Suharwardy said that previously a loan had to be acquired but he could not give its figures as he needed to look them up.
Siemens Pakistan, Siemens AG Germany and Sweden Alfa Laval provided technical assistance. Alfa Laval provided the desalination units and Siemens Germany provided the combined- cycle power plant. The plant consists of a gas turbine, heat recovery boiler, steam turbine and two desalination units that produce desalinated water through the thermal evaporative process.
In a recent meeting with the managing director of the Karachi Water and Sewage Board, the authority complained that it was not getting proper supply because of five illegal hydrants. “If this matter were properly addressed then the supply to DHA according to its requirement would be possible,” said Suharwardy.
The water board’s MD assured them that if they supplied them the water the cantonment would be willing to pay taxes. DHA’s Col (retd) Raffat Naqvi told The Express Tribune that DHA COGEN was not DHA’s concern and had its own separate management. “Defence Cogen Limited (DCL) was a private company and we had no say in its management,” he said.
“The technology was not sucessful and it was flawed. It was long ago when DHA supplied water and the CBC managed the supply and distribution. If someone says that the CBC was giving water to any of DHA’s non-taxpaying ventures then [it is wrong as] it would go bankrupt.” He said that they would be holding a meeting with the CBC to discuss the scarcity of water soon.