Minister insists Pakistan has come out of crisis, now focus is on energy security
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Division Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari has announced that the 1,230-megawatt re-gasified liquefied natural gas (LNG)-based power project at Haveli Bahadur Shah has started electricity production, which has the world’s highest efficiency rate of 62.5%.
“It is a great achievement made possible by efforts of the Power Division, Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) and other key players,” Leghari said while chairing the 116th meeting of the PPIB on Wednesday.
He emphasised that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had greatly helped Pakistan in securing self-reliance in power production while its full-scale implementation would deliver fruitful results across the country.
He pointed out that after controlling blackouts, Pakistan had come out of the crisis mode and now prime focus had turned to achieving energy security.
With low capacity utilisation, LNG terminal charges go up
“Considering the complexity of the crisis and its serious ramifications, a number of measures were taken to ensure availability of electricity at affordable cost to the industry, agriculture, commercial enterprises and domestic consumers,” the minister said.
Efforts of the government to turn miseries of the people into comfort had borne fruit, he remarked.
“Our dream is to ensure … future capacity additions for which hydel, coal, solar and wind assets are particularly vital that are abundantly available across the country and enough to provide round-the-clock power supply for a long time,” Leghari said.
In the meeting, the PPIB reviewed the progress made on under-construction power and transmission line projects including CPEC and non-CPEC schemes. It also talked about the overall demand and supply situation in the country.
PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza told the meeting that the PPIB had declared commercial operation dates for 1,320MW Sahiwal and 1,320MW Port Qasim coal-based power plants, adding most of the projects were either at the stage of construction or achieving financial close.
Meeting participants particularly focused on Thar coal mining and power generation projects being set up in the downtrodden Tharparkar that was emerging as an energy capital of Pakistan, courtesy CPEC.
The board agreed to extend financial close dates for the 1,320MW Thar coal-based power project at Thar block-I and 700MW Azad Pattan hydroelectric power project at Jhelum River on the dual boundary of Rawalpindi district, Punjab and Sudhnoti district, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Major power breakdown after LNG-based plants undergo ‘testing’ in Punjab
The board also allowed provision of a revolving account facility for the 660-kilovolt high voltage direct current (HVDC) Matiari-Lahore transmission line project as provided for power generation projects under CPEC.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform Secretary Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, representatives of power and petroleum divisions of the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Finance, Wapda, Federal Board of Revenue, Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, AJK and other senior government officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2018.
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