Work on the Jamshoro power plant, which is based on coal and has a 1,320-megawatt generation capacity, could be delayed as financing process of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) takes a long time.
Officials told the Cabinet Committee on Energy, in its meeting held on June 18, that production of 1,320MW - 660MW in 2018 and 660MW in 2019 - through the Jamshoro power plant would not be possible because of the ADB’s lengthy process of financing.
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique pointed out that funds for building the capacity of Pakistan Railways for transporting coal to the Jamshoro plant had not been allocated in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for fiscal year 2015-16.
The ADB has also not given its consent to the disbursement of funds to the railways in this regard.
The committee told the Ministry of Water and Power to provide a loan facilitation letter to the Ministry of Railways in order to enable the Pakistan Railways to submit PC-I of the project.
It was pointed out that railway tracks had not been built to the location where coal ships were harboured and that required a conveyer belt at the Port Bin Qasim to connect a distance of approximately 5 km.
Speaking about renewal energy initiatives, the water and power secretary apprised the committee that these measures could not contribute to maintaining the base power load.
The committee was also informed about additional power generation with various energy projects over the next three years and beyond. In 2016, 640MW of electricity would be added to the national grid by the Chashma nuclear plant-III (340MW) and wind power projects of 300MW other than the schemes envisaged under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In 2017 and 2018, an additional 6,872MW and 1,660MW respectively were expected to be produced with the help of new projects.
However, the committee was told that import of 1,000MW under the Central Asia-South Asia (Casa) 1,000MW power project would not be possible by the year 2018.
Minister of Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal asked about completion timeline of the Tarbela-IV project with a generation capacity of 1,470MW.
Replying, an official of the water and power ministry said according to the PC-I, the project was expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and extra funds had been paid to contractors for an early wrapping up of work.
The prime minister directed the water and power ministry to ensure that work on the project came to an end by February or March 2017 in order to make it fully functional in summer of that year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2015.
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