ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is making efforts to address its power woes but seems like most projects are catering to Punjab, which would spark controversy and resentment among the other provinces.
According to sources, electricity import from China and liquefied natural gas shipments from Qatar are catering to northern areas of Punjab.
The federal government, led by PML-N, had decided to transport LNG to Punjab’s power plants in a bid to generate 3,600MW electricity. Now, in a recent move, the government is also looking to allocate 4,000MW power import from China to upper Punjab, which would trigger controversy.
The cabinet committee on energy, in its meeting held on March 12, was informed that officials of state grid/CET visited Pakistan on January 22, to explore the possibility of providing electricity to Pakistan out of their national grid.
The electricity will be transmitted through Kashgar on the Chinese side and into the northern areas of Pakistan. The projects have been tipped to be crucial for Pakistan.
They include an inter-connection project for power import from China, Matiari to Lahore transmission line plus 660 HVDC project and Matiari to Faisalabad transmission line plus 660 HVDC project.
The committee was further informed that the Pakistan government had approved the transmission line policy for private sector projects. The National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) had formalised proposals for upfront tariff and submitted them to the power regulator, Nepra, for approval.
The committee was apprised that the Chinese side had shown interest in China-Pakistan transmission line and sought northern transmission lines.
A state grid delegation visited Pakistan and held meetings with NTDC on March 4-5, and the ministry of water and power on March 7-8. Both sides discussed priority projects including two domestic HVDC lines from south to north and one HVDC line from China to Pakistan.
The committee was also briefed that the convertor station site will be located near the load centres — Faisalabad, Lahore and Gujranwala for the terminal and of China-Pakistan HVDC transmission line. A potential site was visited by both parties on March 6.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2015.
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