CPEC power project in Sindh making steady progress
BEIJING: The 330MW Thar Energy Limited (TEL) power project in Thar Block-II being completed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Sindh was making steady progress, a senior Chinese official said.
The TEL power plant was a 330MW mine-mouth lignite-fired power project being built by the Thar Energy, which was owned by Hub Power Company (Hubco), China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), and Fauji Fertilizer Company.
The power plant would supply electricity to the national grid under a 30-year Power Purchase Agreement. Two more coal-fired power plants, Engro Thar Block II power plant and ThalNova, were also being developed in Thar Block II, the CEN reported.
The Engro Thar Block II power plant was a coal-fired power station in the Tharparkar district, Sindh. It was Pakistan’s first power plant to use the indigenous coal reserves of Thar.
The 660MW power plant, which was part of the CPEC, was developed by the Engro Powergen Thar Limited (EPTL), a joint venture of Engro Powergen Limited (EPL), China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), Habib Bank Limited and Liberty Mills.
The construction on the Engro Thar Block II power plant was commenced in April 2016. Trial operations at the plant began in July 2018, while commercial operations began in July 2019.
The coal-fired subcritical power plant was located 5km away from Thar Block II near Thar coalfields in Sindh. It consisted of two 330MW subcritical units, which integrated circulating fluidised bed (CFB) boilers, tandem compound steam turbine units, and generators. The CFB was an ideal option for the low-calorific-value Thar lignite coal.
It helped regulate the plant’s environmental footprint by reducing nitrogen oxide emissions and capturing sulphur oxides. The 20kV, 50Hz, three-phase intercooled generators featured a hydrogen-cooled rotor and stator core, as well as water-cooled rotor windings.
The power plant was also equipped with the associated equipment and systems such as cyclones, air pre-heaters, and water walls. The Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) supplied approximately 3.8 million tonnes/annum (Mtpa) of coal for the coal-fired power plant from a new opencast mine.
SECMC was a joint venture of the government of Sindh and Engro Powergen Limnited. The joint venture was formed to extract the coal reserves available at the seventh biggest coal mine site in the Thar Desert in Sindh.
The new coal-fired power plant fed electricity to a 500kV double-circuit transmission line of the grid network between Thar and the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) grid station in Jamshoro.
The estimated cost of the Engro Thar power plant was $995.4 million, funded by a syndicate led by the China Development Bank (CDB) with the support from the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure).
The syndicate included Habib Bank Limited, United Bank Limited, Bank Alfalah, National Bank of Pakistan, Faysal Bank, Construction Bank of China, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
ThalNova was the second similar 330MW power plant being developed in the same block. The financial closing for the power plant was achieved in September 2020 and the commercial operations are scheduled for 2022.
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