KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the completion of Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) scheme to provide water to Thar Coal plant in Block II was of utmost importance for future investments in the energy sector. Therefore, he said that appropriate technology for pre-treatment of water, such as Reverse Osmosis (RO) or Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR), should be installed as soon as possible.
This he said at a meeting regarding installation of pre-treatment for RO plant at Nabisar for Thar Coal Block-II at the Chief Minister’s House.
Murad was informed that the scheme of pre-treatment at Nabisar was approved by the government at a cost of Rs3.25 billion. The scheme could feed 60 cusecs of raw water to RO plant. The design of pre-treatment was based on ultra-filtration basis.
Later on, the work was stopped on the scheme and on the request of the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and other power companies, a revised scheme of Rs14.3 billion was prepared based on Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) technology, designed for inflow of 75 cusecs.
The Planning and Development department raised serious objections against the rise in the cost from Rs3.25 billion to Rs14.325 billion after which, the matter was referred to the provincial cabinet. On the recommendation of the cabinet committee, NESPAK was hired as third party consultant for recommendation of technology and financial review.
Now, the power companies have requested that due to urgency for operation of power units, updated ultra-filtration technology for discharge of 75 cusecs raw water may be approved and save the time required by the consultant.
The water quality required for the pre-treatment plant should have certain parameters such as biochemical oxygen demand (BODs), Chemical oxygen demand (COD) suspended solids (SS), total nitrogen (TN), ammonia nitrogen (NH4+), feed water fouling index, free chlorine, iron and manganese.
The CM directed Minister Energy Imtiaz Shaikh to call a joint meeting of power companies, SECMC and NESPAK to discuss the urgency of selection of the technology. “I feel that we should resolve this matter soon so that the power plants being installed can be started,” he said.
Murad said that launch of 660 MW Thar Coal power plant was a major achievement but he added, “We have to expand power generation by installing more plants”. He said that Thar was the future of Pakistan and work on it needs to be done more effectively and efficiently.
The meeting was attended by Special Assistant to CM on irrigation Ashfaq Memon, Planning and Development Chairperson Naheed Shah, Energy Secretary Musadiq Khan, Finance Secretary Najam Shah, Irrigation Secretary Dr Saeed Mangnijo, HUBCO Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Khalid Masroor, SECMC CEO Abul Fazal Rizvi, TEL & ThalNova CEO Saleemullah Memon, Engro Energy CEO Ahsan Zafar Syed, Thar Coal Project Irrigation Superintendent Engineer Haji Khan Jamali and other related officers.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2019.