Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reportedly lifted ban on Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) fired power plants on IPP mode, setting aside the decision of Water and Power Ministry and Public Private Infrastructure Board (PPIB), well informed sources told Business Recorder.
This decision was taken at a recent meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) convened to review progress on under construction power projects, energy requirements and load shedding.
The sources said, Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Water and Power to initiate the process of advertisement through PPIB for inviting prospective investors for installation of 1200 MW RLNG-fired power plants on IPP mode which could fulfil the following requirements: (i) give assurance for single cycle operations of power plant by March 2018; (ii) be able to bring Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) as partners or with given commitment to provide turbines; (iii) be willing to start installation without financial close; and (iv) be able to provide a performance guarantee for meeting timelines other than quality and standards.
PPIB headed by Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Asif, in August 2016 had decided to put a ban on imported fuel projects but those interested in such projects were angered particularly the Punjab government. The Ministry of Water and Power argues that this policy is not feasible for the country in the long run, sources added.
According to sources, PPIB top brass was looking for room to “accommodate” imported fuel projects and for this purpose, this issue was again raised in 106th board meeting held recently in the Ministry of Water and Power.
PPIB’s top boss continued to “misguide” the investors on this issue, the sources said adding that Secretary Water and Power, Younus Dagha took serious notice of the situation and directed the PPIB to convey the decision of the Board to the investors and sponsors in clear terms.
Official documents available with this scribe reveal that Managing Director PPIB, Shah Jahan Mirza sought guidance on the observations conveyed by the Secretary Water and Power regarding decision of the Board on “capping proposal for various generation options” and stated that the decisions as listed in the minutes of the 105th meeting may be reviewed and any changes, if deemed necessary, may be advised by the Board.
Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Asif, argues that power generation based on imported fuel cannot be left unwatched as it entails considerable amount of foreign exchange on importing fuel.
Accordingly, a reasonable measure for capping such power generation based on imported fuel should be in place in order to provide local economical sources of power for the country in the long run.
Secretary Water and Power, Younus Dagha noted that the Board has already approved what was proposed in the presentation during 105th meeting and accordingly PPIB should not entertain and process projects based on imported fuel.
The sources said, in the CCoE meeting, Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Water and Power to review the generation requirement rate due to increase in electricity demand on account of industrial growth and economic activities. -Business Recorder