China Economic Net
Islamabad: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) power project in the Sindh province was making steady progress.
The envoy appreciated the work on the Thar Energy Limited (TEL) Power Plant under the CPEC.
“Good news that the TEL 330MW Power Plant Project in Thar Block-II is making steady progress by joint efforts of both Chinese and Pakistani staff,” he tweeted with pictures of the project.
The envoy added: “Sound safety SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) at the construction site are strictly followed, safety of all staff at the site is fully ensured. #CPECMakingProgress.”
The TEL power plant is a 330MW mine-mouth lignite-fired power project being built by Thar Energy, which is owned by Hub Power Company (Hubco), China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), and Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC).
The TEL power plant will supply electricity to the national grid under a 30-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Two more coal-fired power plants named Engro Thar Block II power plant and ThalNova are also being developed in Thar Block II.
The Engro Thar Block II power plant is a coal-fired power station in the Tharparkar district, Sindh, Pakistan. It is Pakistan’s first power plant to use indigenous coal reserves of Thar.
The 660MW power plant is part of the CPEC, which forms part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to link China with Europe. It was developed by Engro Powergen Thar (EPTL), a joint venture of Engro Powergen (EPL), China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), Habib Bank, and Liberty Mills.
Construction on the Engro Thar Block II power plant 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 is located 5 kilometres away from Thar Block II near Thar coalfields in the Sindh province. It consists of two 330MW subcritical units, which integrate circulating fluidised bed (CFB) boilers, tandem compound steam turbine units, and generators.
CFB is an ideal option for the low calorific value Thar lignite coal. It helps to regulate the plant’s environmental footprint by reducing nitrogen oxide emissions and capturing sulphur oxides.
The 20kV, 50Hz, three-phase intercooled generators feature a hydrogen-cooled rotor and stator core, as well as water-cooled rotor windings.
The power plant is also equipped with associated equipment and systems such as cyclones, air pre-heaters, and water walls.
Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) supplies approximately 3.8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of coal for the coal-fired power plant from a new opencast mine.
SECMC is a joint venture (JV) between the Government of Sindh (GoS) and Engro Powergen (EPGL). The JV was formed to extract the coal reserves available at the seventh biggest coal mine site in the Thar Desert in Sindh province.
The new coal-fired power plant feeds electricity to a 500kV double-circuit transmission line of the grid network between Thar and the Hesco grid station in Jamshoro.
The estimated cost of the Engro Thar power plant is US $995.4 million – funded by a syndicate led by China Development Bank (CDB) with support from China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure).
The syndicate includes Habib Bank, United Bank, Bank Alfalah, National Bank Pakistan, Faysal Bank, Construction Bank of China, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
ThalNova is a 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.