A joint venture of Hub Power Company (Hubco) and a Chinese company on Wednesday announced that they would set up two coal-fired power plants of 1650MW in Hub, (Balochistan) and Thar, Sindh under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Documents relating to Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Implementation Agreement (IA) were signed in Islamabad in the Ministry of Water and Power between China Power Hub Generation Company, Hubco, Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) and Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA).
Under the agreements, 1320MW coal-fired power plant will be established in Hub, Balochistan and 330MW in Thar, (Sindh).
Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif who was present on the occasion termed these projects a major milestone, adding that Thar which was known as drought hit area would now become the energy capital.
He said construction work on 1320MW power plant in Hub has already begun and these two projects will be completed in 2019. This is demonstrative of the fact that the government is fully implementing projects for completion even after its present tenure is complete keeping in view the future requirements of energy, he added.
The minister said the government is giving preference to the use of local coal from Thar for generating cheap electricity. He said these projects will open up new chapter in the energy sector and in the coming years Thar will be the centre of energy supply. These projects will prove to be pilot projects as Thar coal will be opened up.
Replying to a question regarding National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (Nepra) independence after coming under the administrative control of Water and Power Ministry from the Cabinet Division, Khawaja Asif said that earlier Nepra was also under the federal government, not a police station.
“Nepra was under the administrative control of Cabinet Division and now it is with the Water and Power Ministry,” he added.
Chairman Nepra Brigadier Tariq Saddozai (Retd) recently stated that the regulator’s independence has been compromised after shifting from the Cabinet Division to Ministry of Water and Power. Answering another question, the minister said that Nandipur Power Project was running on full capacity of 430MW on furnace oil. The plant would generate 525MW in May this year.
The minister argued that new FOTPs (Furnace Oil Treatment Plants) have been installed in the project, adding that rumours about the project are not accurate. Khawja Asif further stated that work on 4500MW hydropower project’s dam would start this year. The government has decided to fund the dam from Public Sector Development Plan (PSDP).
In reply to another question, Khawaja Asif said that work on Mohmand Dam will also start this year. During the signing ceremony, electricity went off not once but twice plunging the committee room of Water and Power Ministry into darkness for few minutes. The minister said the government is giving preference to use local coal from Thar for generating cheap electricity.
To a question, he said electricity shortfall has been decreased as a result of government measures. Khawaja Asif said over 100MW of electricity is being generated through alternate energy sources. He said a National Water Policy covering all dimensions will be announced in a few weeks.