Practical steps: Nandipur Power Project kicks off

The supply of electricity has begun, formal launch soon.

News Desk May 30, 2014
The Punjab government in the five-year term of the PPP government tried to deal with the issue but failed at every stage due to problems created by the central government. PHOTO: FILE


Acute energy shortage has been the biggest hurdle in economic progress of the country for a couple of decades. Every government in its tenure made efforts to get rid of power outages but nothing worked out. In fact, the crisis turned severe in the five-year tenure of the previous government as the people took to the streets to protest against prolonged outages. The offices of the PEPCO were also attacked many times.

According to a press release, unfortunately, the previous government did not make sincere efforts, which were urgently needed, to deal with the crisis. It a pity that the officials associated with the power energy projects, were involved in corruption scandals, which discouraged public greatly.

The Punjab government in the five-year term of the PPP government tried to deal with the issue but failed at every stage due to problems created by the central government, for instance, Nandipur Power Project.

Shahbaz Sharif wrote in a national newspaper about the project: “In the middle of the 2010, a major chunk of the project was almost complete and it seemed as if the project would be over on time as we believed there would not be any monetary issues but we were disappointed.”

Since the PML-N government came to power, it started the projects again. The supply of electricity from the first turbine of the Nandipur Project has begun, which will officially be launched shortly. It appears, they will be able to overcome energy problems in near future.

The population of Punjab is 93 million and around 43,000 industries are operational in the province, therefore, the people are facing more problems due to the energy crisis, says the press release. To deal with the crisis, the Punjab government allocated Rs9 billion for the energy projects for the current fiscal year.

An amount of Rs1.36 billion was allocated for the tube wells run by solar energy to meet the requirements of agriculture department. Likewise, the projects of 500 megawatt will be run in partnership with private firms.

The Nandipur project

It is a combined cycle thermal power plant which is built in Nandipur, Gujranwala. If run with Furnans oil it will produce 425MW of electricity while with gas it will produce 525MW and by the end of the year it will be compeletly operational. The first turbine of the project has started producing electricity which is being added to the national grid.

In January 2008, Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) signed a Rs23 billion contract with a China based company Dang Fing Electric Corporation for the construction of the project. Ten- per cent down payment was also made at that time. In the middle of the 2010, the project was in its final stages of the completion and the completion was expected in April 2011. Unluckily, the central government ran by the PPP government misplaced the summary documents of the project and the summary was ignored for two years. Resultantly, the machinery worth 85 million dollars kept lying at the Karachi port. In September, 2012, the Chinese firm, canceled the contract of the Nandipur Project, saying that they had faced huge financial due to the unnecessary delay in collection of the machinery as it has starting rusting at the port. The company also demanded 40 million dollar as compensation.

Soon after coming to power in May 2013, the PML-N government re-started negotiation with the Chinese firm in order to kick start the Nandipur Project.

After a few days of discussions, the company agreed to help complete the project.

One July 8, 2013, the Chinese engineers arrived at the Karachi port to examine machinery and the arrangements were made to complete the project.  Some more machinery was bought and the damaged and rusted machineries were got fixed immediately.

According to an estimate, the cost of the project which was Rs23 billion, increased to Rs57.38 billion due to unnecessary delay.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2014.


mianadeel | 8 years ago | Reply

how is there nandipure project is blocked

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