Planning ahead: UAE company to set up coal-based power plants in Karachi

Published: February 22, 2013
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Electricity produced by the coal-based plants will cost approximately half of what electricity costs if generated using oil. PHOTO: FILE

Electricity produced by the coal-based plants will cost approximately half of what electricity costs if generated using oil. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

UAE-based Burj Power will invest up to $700 million in developing four coal-based power plants of 125 megawatts (MW) each at Port Qasim, Burj Power CEO Shahzad Qasim said on Thursday.

Speaking to The Express Tribune after signing a formal agreement with a representative of Harbin Electric International – the technical partner for the project – Qasim said the first plant of 125MW generation capacity will become operational by 2016. “We will try to add one plant annually 2016 onwards, until we achieve 500MW capacity,” he said.

The first phase of the project alone will cost up to $170 million, while the total cost of the project is expected to be between $650 million and $700 million, Qasim noted.

However, he did not state the expected tariff per unit of the electricity generated through the project, saying that Burj Power will approach the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) within the next six months to determine the rate at which it will sell electricity to the Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC).

“We have yet to finalise a power purchase agreement with KSEC. After that, Burj and KESC will go to Nepra together for the finalisation of the tariff,” Qasim said. He said that electricity produced by the coal-based plants will cost approximately half of what electricity costs if generated using oil. The project will be constructed near the upcoming coal and clinker terminal being developed at Port Qasim.

Burj Power is a UAE-based power project development and advisory firm, which is developing projects in key markets of the Middle East and Africa. It is also developing three wind power projects in Pakistan. The company is part of the Burj Capital group, which is also involved in the investment banking, retail, agriculture and oil and gas sectors.

Harbin is a Chinese power engineering, manufacturing and construction group with an established base of over 30,000MW of thermal power plants. It was also the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the recently-completed Bin Qasim Combined Cycle Power Plant, which is producing 560MW of electricity for KESC.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • C. Nandkishore
    Feb 22, 2013 - 6:20AM

    125 MW plant? 660 MW is the norm now a days. Its super critical and hence cheaper per unit. Capital cost is Indian Rs 3 crores per MW.

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  • MSH
    Feb 22, 2013 - 9:24AM

    Is this another publicity stunt like the 45billion dollar investment, I wonder. When you google Burj Capital Dubai it gives generic information about DIFC and nothing about the company itself. When you google the Directors, you find that one of them is a British special forces person who was involved in the tribal areas, with little financial experience. When you google Burj Power you get no information at all other than face book. The person who is named as CEO apparently has a credible background in the power industry, his political affiliations are unknown, therefore the announcement at this time is highly suspect. Maybe I am wrong, and I wish them all success, but a little transparency would go a long way. ET should always do a thorough background check if it is to maintain its own credibility.

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  • Revolter
    Feb 22, 2013 - 9:52AM

    Good move… I hope this can resolve the issue of Power deficit in the long run….:)

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  • Paindoo
    Feb 22, 2013 - 9:59AM

    Good initiative, Pakistan is in dire need of more projects like this.

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  • No_one
    Feb 22, 2013 - 10:30AM

    @ MSH change your search criteria and search for Burj Capital Pakistan and you will get the right holding co for Burj Power, which is located in Dubai simply because the CEO lives in UAE and being a start up company, it saves costs on relocating the CEO. what is questionable is the ability of Burj to raise the US$ 700M.

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  • iLiberal
    Feb 22, 2013 - 10:37AM

    After the 45 billion USD farce I have a feeling this too will fizzle out.

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  • Nathan
    Feb 22, 2013 - 10:42AM

    US $ 700 Million for 500 MW? That is 1400 $ a MW? Should be half of that. I agree with Nandkishore. one more ripoff a la rental power ???

    Nothing about the coal. will they import?

    Nathan

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  • Polpot
    Feb 22, 2013 - 11:07AM

    “Burj Power will approach the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) within the next six months to determine the rate at which it will sell electricity to the Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC).”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Unless the power tariff is well defined , the feasibility of the project is an open question. This very statement shows how pre mature the “investment “is !
    The other issue is the pollution generated by a coal based thermal project.

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  • MSH
    Feb 22, 2013 - 11:13AM

    @No_one:
    The company is raising 700miliion dollars and skimping on relocating the CEO, and that too to a cheaper location? Does that make sense?

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  • HollyCow
    Feb 22, 2013 - 11:33AM

    While the rest of the world is decommissioning coal-based power plants we’re going to build a new one. Let’s ruin our environment some more.

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  • JS
    Feb 22, 2013 - 11:52AM

    Does nooone here remember news from 2 days ago about a $4billion Oil Refinery being set-up in Gwadar by Iran?? Same thing was called the “$5 Billion Khalifa Refinery” in an article last year.?!?!?

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  • Aamir Naqvi
    Feb 22, 2013 - 12:38PM

    @Nathan: US$ 700K /MW may be cost in India or middle east. In Pakistan the project cost ranges between US$ 1200- 1600/MW. it’s not a rental power lala. It’s a serious move as KESC is already converting its fuel based plants on imported coal much cheaper than imported oil. This project if materialize will be a good addition as CEO has proven track record of succefull implementation of power projects in MENA region.

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  • Indian
    Feb 22, 2013 - 4:33PM

    It never going to happen my dear friends,these investment pledges are all political drama before election

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  • Feb 22, 2013 - 5:26PM

    @C. Nandkishore: ” Capital cost is Indian Rs 3 crores per MW.”

    Thumb rule for the cost of coal based power project is INR. 4. crores per MW( and not Rs. 3 crores per MW) in India . But the cost goes up( per MW) if the project is smaller than 100 MW

    (170 million USD for a coal based power project of 125 MW means capital cost of INR . 8.5 crores per MW)

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  • Bu azooz
    Feb 22, 2013 - 6:10PM

    Guys,

    why you are all upset, i need from every one in lives Pakistan one 1 Pakistani Rupee i will build for power that will never cut off, of give me just 70 million USD and i will do you 130 MW power plant with 5 MW additional free on charge so , vote for me to get this project lets go tomorrow infornt of MACdolnds and screem no coal just clean energy and vote that Theprince 9994 gets this project i will let you ppl live as in haven no hot weather after today , no hunger , no cold weather , you all will watch TV and american movies

    say after me theprince 9994 the prince 9994 the prince 9994 go go say it louder go go theprince 9994

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  • Feb 22, 2013 - 6:21PM

    @No_one: @ MSH change your search criteria and search for Burj Capital Pakistan and you will get the right holding co for Burj Power, which is located in Dubai “

    Mr. No_one Though your reply was to @MSH bur curiously i searched the google for Burj Capital and found that it is a Karachi based company engaged in the activities offering equity, commodity, and institutional brokerage services. It provides futures, money market, and foreign exchange brokerage; financial restructuring; asset disposal; feasibility study; and valuation services. . Burj Capital Pakistan (Private) Limited operates as a subsidiary of FI Management Company Limited.( google search for FI Management company Limited drew a blank except one located in UK)
    Burj capital, the name itself indicates its activities. It has no expertise of running an Industrial unit as complex as power plant.. All this raises doubt that the news clip relates nowhere to reality. sorry..

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  • cautious
    Feb 23, 2013 - 1:40AM

    Nice picture — can you image that belching smoke in the heart of Karachi? Anyone ever heard of a Financial Capital anywhere in the World that has coal fired generating plants located in/near it? – didn’t think so.

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