With a new 330 MW mine-mouth coal-fired power plant in Tharparkar, Pakistan has now reached 990 MW of power fueled by the local lignite. Thar coal production is being expanded and plans are in place to convert three more imported anthracite coal fired plants to burn domestic lignite as soon as its production is expanded and a rail link is completed to transport the fuel to the rest of the country. Plans call for using Thar coal in three coal-fired plants currently burning imported coal: Sahiwal Coal Power, China Hub Coal Power and Port Qasim Coal, each of 1,320MW installed capacity. These power plants may require some limited equipment changes to burn domestic lignite. It is worth noting that Pakistan contributes less than 1% of the global greenhouse-gas emissions. Using the higher polluting domestic Thar lignite is crucial to Pakistan's desperate need for cheap energy to spur industrialization for economic growth without running into recurring balance of payments crises.
|Pakistan Electric Power Generation Fuel MiX. Source: Arif Habib|
Lucky power plant in Karachi has been designed to use Thar Lignite Coal when it is available in sufficient quantity. Until that time, it will operate on imported lignite coal. Domestic lignite production is being expanded in a bid to replace costly fossil fuel imports that are depleting Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves and exacerbating circular debt in the power sector, according to Nikkei Asia.
SECMC (Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company) has commissioned a study for converting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor coal plants in Hub, Jamshoro and Sahiwal to indigenous lignite. A 105km long Thar Rail project is being planned to connect Thar coal fields with Main Line (ML-1) at the New Chhor Halt Station to transport lignite to the power plants in the rest of the country. The transportation of lignite by trucks to Karachi and Kallar Kahar shows its movement by road and rail is feasible and safe despite higher moisture.
|Pakistan Electric Power Generation. Source: Arif Habib|
|Cost Per Unit of Electricity in Pakistan. Source: Arif Habib|
Construction of 1,100 MW nuclear power reactor K2 unit in Karachi was completed by China National Nuclear Corporation in 2019, according to media reports. Another similar reactor unit K3 is now in operation. It will add another 1,100 MW of nuclear power to the grid in 2022. Chinese Hualong One reactors being installed in Pakistan are based on improved Westinghouse AP1000 design which is far safer than Chernobyl and Fukushima plants.
The biggest and most important source of low-carbon energy in Pakistan is its hydroelectric power plants, followed by nuclear power. Pakistan ranked third in the world by adding nearly 2,500 MW of hydropower in 2018, according to Hydropower Status Report 2019. China added the most capacity with the installation of 8,540 megawatts, followed by Brazil (3,866 MW), Pakistan (2,487 MW), Turkey (1,085 MW), Angola (668 MW), Tajikistan (605 MW), Ecuador (556 MW), India (535 MW), Norway (419 MW) and Canada (401 MW).
|New Installed Hydroelectric Power Capacity in 2018. Source: Hydroworld.com|
Hydropower now makes up about 28% of the total installed capacity of 33,836 MW as of February, 2019. WAPDA reports contributing 25.63 billion units of hydroelectricity to the national grid during the year, “despite the fact that water flows in 2018 remained historically low.” This contribution “greatly helped the country in meeting electricity needs and lowering the electricity tariff for the consumers.”
|Pakistan's Current Account Balance vs International Oil Prices. Source: Arif Habib|
Recent history shows that Pakistan's current account deficits vary with international oil prices. Pakistan's trade deficits balloon with rising imported energy prices. One of the keys to managing external account balances lies in reducing the country's dependence on foreign oil and gas.
|Pakistan Power Generation Fuel Mix. Source: Third Pole|
It is true that Pakistan has relied on imported fossil fuels to generate electricity. The cost of these expensive imported fuels like furnace oil mainly used by independent power producers (IPPs) has been and continues to be a major contributor to the "exaggerated external demand driven by its rentier economy" referred to by Atif Mian in a recent tweet. However, Pakistan has recently been adding hydro, nuclear and indigenous coal-fired power plants to gradually reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels.
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Thank you Riaz Sahib.
Rashid: "Excellent post"
Hope these strategies to save forex are implemented in a timely manner to prevent future BoP crises.
Good move, Brofessor sb. However, I hope the engineers are careful about it. Plants are designed for a particular type of foil, any change in fuel mix much beyond that can cause boiler damage and reduce life of the plant.
Majumdar: "Plants are designed for a particular type of foil, any change in fuel mix much beyond that can cause boiler damage and reduce life of the plant"
Some of these plants. like Lucky's in Karachi, are designed to burn lignite coal. Right now Luck is being fueled by imported lignite because of two problems:
1. Lignite production is just enough to meet the fuel requirements for the mine-mouth plants in Thar.
2. The rail-link needed for transport has not been built yet.
As the Thar lignite production increases and rail transport is built, it will be possible to use domestic lignite to fuel these plants.
If the plant is designed ab initio to burn lignite that's absolutely fine. I will be concerned if people try to convert a plan which was meant to run on coal, esp higher grades, into lignite.
Let's hope the expansion in lignite production and rail links happen quickly. Good thing is that in Pakistan such projects dont get unduly delayed like they are sadly in India.
hope they can do it quickly. Sometimes it feels like Ghalib has expressed our fears very well.
ہم نے مانا کہ تغافل نہ کرو گے لیکن
لیکن خاک ہو جائیں گے ہم تم کو خبر ہونے تک
Rather than celebrating Punjabis' theft of Sindh's resources, you should point out the gross robberies of the Punjabis from Sindh's gas to coal
Shams: "you should point out the gross robberies of the Punjabis from Sindh's gas to coal"
Sindh is a stakeholder in Thar coal projects. SECMC, the joint venture that operates Thar coal mines and power plants, is 51% owned by Sindh government. Engro and Hubco corporations own 49%.
#US wood pellets export booming. #UkraineWar has cut off the supply of compressed-wood pellets from #Russia, #Belarus and #Ukraine to the #power plants in Western #Europe that burn them instead of #coal to reduce #carbon emissions. #energy https://www.wsj.com/articles/wood-pellet-exports-boom-amid-ukraine-war-environmental-concerns-11659915622?st=99q5dmoc947co2l via @WSJ
The wood-pellet market is on fire.
War has cut off the supply of compressed-wood pellets from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to the power plants in Western Europe that burn them instead of coal. That has put a premium on pellets from North America, especially the U.S. South.
U.S. export volume, which has climbed steadily over the past decade, is running ahead of last year, when a record of more than 7.4 million metric tons of U.S. wood pellets were sold abroad, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service. The average price before insurance and shipping costs has risen to nearly $170 a metric ton, from around $140 last year.
Prices for on-the-spot deliveries, which can be scarce in a business that runs mostly on long-term supply deals, have jumped to almost twice that, analysts and pellet executives say.
The big winner has been Enviva Inc., EVA 5.69%▲ a Bethesda, Md., company that accounts for the bulk of U.S. wood-pellet exports, and its largest shareholder, New York energy investment firm Riverstone Holdings LLC, AP4 0.00%▲ which has a 42% stake.
Enviva’s shares have returned 114%, including price change and dividends, since just before the pandemic lockdowns, better than twice the S&P 500’s 46% total return over that span.
Enviva is building several new pellet plants in the Southern Pine Belt with the aim of doubling production capacity over the next five years. It buys branches, bark, understory brush, sawdust, spindly or diseased logs and other waste wood from landowners and sawmills and processes the fiber into pellets that are about the circumference of a piece of chalk.
The company’s output flows from ports along the Atlantic and the northern Gulf of Mexico to European utilities and through the Panama Canal to Asia. Japan is a big importer, and Enviva has set up a sales outpost in Taiwan ahead of a big state-owned coal plant’s conversion to pellets.
The company on Thursday said it signed five-, 10- and 15-year supply contracts with new customers in Germany. One will burn Enviva’s pellets to produce heat used in a manufacturing process and another is replacing lignite coal and natural gas, which have surged in price even more than pellets. An existing customer elsewhere in Europe agreed to pay a higher price in exchange for more guaranteed volume.
Analysts say changes in government policies are one of the biggest threats to Enviva and others in the pellet business. The European Parliament’s environmental committee in May voted to stop encouraging the burning of woody biomass by eliminating its eligibility for renewable-power subsidies and changing how emissions are counted, but the full parliament would need to sign on to change the rules.
“Particularly amid the war and resulting natural-gas supply crisis, this seems like the worst possible time to change policy on bioenergy,” Raymond James analysts wrote to clients last week. “We doubt that the committee will get its way, at least anytime soon.”
Enviva’s Mr. Keppler said he doesn’t believe Europe’s demand for pellets will slow, given the alternatives. “Europe used to have a natural-gas transition strategy away from coal,” he said. “Today, it’s nothing but risk.”
Pakistan’s Thar desert lignite coal boom gathers pace with SECMC mine hitting 10 Mt & SSRL mine starting up
On December 17, 2021, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) announced that it had successfully achieved the 10 Mt of coal production milestone. SECMC, one of the largest public-private partnerships in the energy sector in Pakistan, commenced commercial operations in July 2019 with an annual production capacity of 3.8 Mt. Over the past 2.5 years, SECMC has begun to transform the energy landscape of Pakistan by facilitating production of electricity using indigenous coal reserves. The coal feeds a 660MW coal fired power plant and the overall project is classed as a is classed as a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) priority implementation project.
SECMC is one of two main lignite coal mining operators in the country, and is located in in Block II of the Tharparkar (Thar) area in Sindh province of Pakistan. It is a joint venture between the Government of Sindh (GoS), Engro Energy Ltd (formerly Engro Powergen Limited) and its partners namely Thal Ltd (House of Habib), Habib Bank Ltd (HBL), Hub Power Company (HUBCO); and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC). The world class Huolinhe Open Pit Coal Mine in Inner Mongolia, China, a subsidiary of China’s State Power Investment Corporation, has also joined the SECMC board as strategic investor with preference shares’ subscription.
The other main mine in the country which is just going into production is operated by Sino Sindh Resources Ltd (SSRL) which is located in Block I of the same Thar region; it is also a CPEC project and is owned by Chinese group Shanghai Electric Power Company Ltd. It comprises a 7.8 Mt/y open-pit coal mine and installation of a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant (2 x 660MW). Mining work was set to be completed by end 2021 and the first unit of the power plant is due to start working from 2022 while the entire project is scheduled to be completed by 2023. SSRL has a large mining fleet comprised of 55 t MT86D Chinese wide body trucks from LGMG to be loaded by 28 Liebherr R 9100B hydraulic mining excavators, the largest single mine fleet of this model in the world.
The SECMC mine uses a large fleet of 130 Chinese 60 t TONLY TL875 wide body trucks for coal haulage which are loaded by 18 hydraulic excavators, mainly Komatsu PC1250 units. The record production has resulted in the generation of over 10,000 GwHs of electricity, contributing to the national grid. Besides, the company’s record production of coal and generation of electricity using Thar’s local reserves has benefitted the national economy by saving $210 million through import substitution during the same period.
Pakistan’s Thar desert lignite coal boom gathers pace with SECMC mine hitting 10 Mt & SSRL mine starting up
During the course of operations, SECMC has maintained a good safety record following international and world-class benchmarks – a feat that has earned international acknowledgements from organisations such as the British Safety Council. SECMC has also adopted the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework to deploy high-impact interventions prioritising education, health, economic growth and women empowerment amongst other areas.
SECMC has also contributed to uplifting the local community by generating employment opportunities for the local population and creating other economic avenues for the community. It is pertinent to mention that 80% of the employees in SECMC are locals from Sindh where the project has provided significant socio-economic benefit to the local Thari population.
“The 10 Mt coal production mark is a commendable achievement considering the constant fluctuation and vulnerability in international coal prices,” said Chief Executive Officer SECMC – Amir Iqbal. He added that Thar coal is the best resource to help the national economy in terms of easing out the pressure on the Current Account Deficit and also indigenise the current energy mix which is heavily reliant on imported fuels. Currently, the second phase of the SECMC mine is already under development which will increase SECMC’s production to 7.6 Mt per annum with a cumulative power generation of 1,320MW.
Talking about the subsequent phase III expansion project, Iqbal said that the estimated investment for phase III expansion is to be approximately $100 million which will enable Thar Block-II to achieve a sustainable supply of 12.2 Mt of coal annually over the next 30 years. SECMC is expected to complete this expansion by June 2023 and with this expansion coal price of SECMC mine is to be reduced to under $30/t – making it the cheapest fuel source in the country ensuring economic stability and energy security for the country. In addition, phase III expansion will also enable Pakistan to save $420 million per annum on the account of import substitution whilst also leading to a reduction of PKR74 billion in circular debt on an annual basis.
That rail line should be a priority, especially if it can be extended to Nagarparkar, which can be build up as a military strong point (due to the mountain range there, on the border with India.
The rail line should be standard gauge and not the same gauge as India so it can’t be taken in any war scenario.
Should relations one day improve with India, it would be the closest point with India’s dedicated western freight rail corridors, and could be a way to trans-ship cargo on a proposed Karachi-Gwadar-Iran Rail line to earn transit trade, and fund the line.
In the fiscal year 2019-2020, four coal-fired CPEC power plants generated 19 percent of Pakistan’s electricity. The 4.62 GW of coal-fired generation funded by CPEC includes the 1,320 MW Huaneng Shandong Ruyi-Sahiwal Coal Power Plant, the 1,320 MW Port Qasim Coal Fired Power Plant, the 1,320 MW HubCo Coal Fired Power Plant, and the 660 MW Engro Thar Coal Power Plant, all of which began supplying electricity to the national grid between 2017 and 2019. Construction on the Thal Nova, Thar Energy (HubCo), and Shanghai Electric (SSRL Thar Coal Block I) power plants to increase 1,980 MW of capacity is currently underway.
No light matters
By Engr. Hussain Ahmad Siddiqui Mon, 08, 22
In a major development, the government plans to use indigenous Thar coal, instead of imported coal, for generation of 3,960MW.
The three power plants that would be shifted to indigenous coal are Sahiwal Coal Power (Sahiwal), China Hub Coal Power (Hub) and Port Qasim Coal (Port Qasim, Karachi), each of 1,320MW installed capacity. It is indeed a landmark and timely decision since when implemented it would reduce reliance on costly imported coal, and bring down electricity rates, resulting in energy security and overall economic development.
Various measures have already been taken by the government in this direction. Consultants have been appointed to work out feasibility of substitution of existing import-based fuel mix to Thar coal. These power plants would require conversion of existing plant machinery partially, involving lead-time and additional capital cost for the conversion, since coal-based power plants are custom-designed and technology selected depends on coal analysis and characteristics. Also, the government will develop Thar Rail Project, a 105km long rail link for bulk transportation of coal from Thar coalfields to various power-plant destinations through main railway line at the New Chhor station. The project (track and rolling stock) will be established on BOT basis.
Thar lignite (brown coal) is suitable for thermal power generation, and a series of integrated mine-mouth power projects are being established. Two power plants of cumulative capacity of 990MW are operational. The pioneering project Engro Powergen Thar Coal of 660MW (2x330MW) installed capacity, is successfully generating billions of units (kWh) of low-cost electricity on an annual basis since July 2019, whereas Thar Energy Ltd (Hubco) of 330MW has been commissioned this month and will achieve commercial operations soon. Both power plants, which are connected to the national grid, are part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) energy programme.
At present, understanding about the nature of Thar coal is limited insofar as its physical properties, chemical analysis, and behaviour are considered. Thar coal, which is classified as lignite-B and subbituminous-A (ASTM classification) having heating value in the range of 6,244-11,054 BTU/lb, is suitable for power generation. Lignite of similar character and quality is being used for power generation on commercial scale in India, Germany, Hungary and Serbia. Its chemical composition and heating values vary from block to block, which have not been largely tested in use. Coal at Block-II has moisture 48.80 percent, ash 5.21 percent, sulphur 1.05 percent, fixed carbon 19.37 percent, and volatile matter 25.57 percent, having heating value 5,780 BTU/lb. High moisture is a major contributor restricting its transportation to long distances due to a variety of problems and risks.
Lignite is a coal in the early stages of coalification, with properties intermediate to those of
bituminous coal and peat. The two geographical areas of the U. S. with extensive lignite deposits are
centered in the States of North Dakota and Texas. The lignite in both areas has a high moisture
content (20 to 40 weight percent) and a low heating value (5,000 to 7,500 British thermal units per
pound [Btu/lb], on a wet basis). Due to high moisture content and low Btu value, shipping the lignite
would not be feasible; consequently, lignite is burned near where it is mined. A small amount is used
in industrial and domestic situations, but lignite is mainly used for steam/electric production in power
plants. Lignite combustion has advanced from small stokers to large pulverized coal (PC) and
cyclone-fired units (greater than 500 megawatt).
The major advantages of firing lignite are that it is relatively abundant (in the North Dakota
and Texas regions), relatively low in cost since it is surface mined, and low in sulfur content which
can reduce the need for postcombustion sulfur emission control devices. The disadvantages are that
more fuel and larger, more capital-intensive facilities are necessary to generate a unit of power with
lignite than is the case with bituminous coal. The disadvantages arise because: (1) lignite’s lower
heating value means more fuel must be handled to produce a given amount of power; (2) the energy
and maintenance costs of coal handling equipment are higher; (3) the high inherent moisture content of
lignite decreases boiler efficiency; and (4) the ash characteristics of lignite require more attention to
sootblowing and boiler operation to maintain high availability and reliability
In a pulverized lignite-fired boiler, the fuel is fed from the stock pile into bunkers adjacent to
the boiler. From there, the fuel is metered into several pulverizers which grind it to approximately
200-mesh particle size. A stream of hot air from the air preheater begins the fuel-drying process and
conveys the fuel pneumatically to the burner nozzle where it is injected into the burner zone of the
boiler. Firing configurations of boilers that fire pulverized lignite include tangential, horizontally
opposed, front wall, cyclone, stoker, and fluidized bed combustor.
In the tangential firing method, the pulverized lignite is introduced from the corners of the
boiler in vertical rows of burner nozzles. Such a firing mechanism produces a vortexing flame pattern
which essentially uses the entire furnace enclosure as a burner. In front-wall firing and horizontally
opposed firing boilers, the pulverized coal is introduced into the burner zone through a horizontal row
of burners. This type of firing mechanism produces a more intense combustion pattern than the
tangential design and has a slightly higher heat release rate in the burner zone itself.
With winter looming, Germany’s central planners have a new strategy for importing energy: prioritize coal shipments by rail. Passengers be damned. Ill-advised sanctions on Russia & an incompetent Scholz government are proving to be a deadly German cocktail.
Germany To Prioritize Coal Shipments Across Rail Network Over Passenger Trains Amid Worsening Energy Crisis | ZeroHedge
The latest sign lawmakers in Europe's industrial heartland are preparing for what could be a disastrous winter of reduced natural gas supplies from Russia and record high electricity prices is a new proposal to prioritize Germany's rail network for coal shipments over passenger services, according to Bloomberg, citing local newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
Even though Germany has promised to eliminate coal-fired power generation in the coming years, the historic energy crisis has made it more dependent on coal than ever as Russian flows of NatGas slump ahead of winter.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck recently said increased reliance on coal is bitter but necessary.
And we must give our readers a spoiler alert: there's no way Germany will eliminate coal as a power source by 2030. If anything, it will be more reliant on it than ever unless it extends the life of its nuclear power plants.
"Priority is normally given to passenger transport in Germany, and timetables are geared toward it. As a result, there's a risk of chaos on the rails from making the change," Bloomberg said, citing the draft.
Answering Pakistan’s Burning Question: How To Ignite Lignite?
Buried 1,000 feet below the parched Thar Desert in Pakistan lies more fuel energy than all the known oil in Iran and Saudi Arabia combined. Just a small fraction of this 175-billion-ton lignite coal reserve is plentiful enough to supply one-fifth of Pakistan’s current energy levels for 50 years. This would significantly bolster the energy supply to Pakistan’s 200 million residents, who per capita have access to roughly just 3 percent of the electricity a typical American consumes. As a local resource, it would also lower hefty bills for imported oil and coal, diminishing Pakistan’s reliance on outside sources for energy.
The problem is that lignite is about as combustible as soggy logs in a fireplace. Composed of more than 50 percent water, as well as other impurities, lignite is known as low-caloric fuel — an ideal description for diet products, but not so much for an electricity resource. That’s partly why Thar’s reserve has gone largely untapped since its accidental discovery in 1992 by geologists searching for drinkable water. Even nine years ago, when the private-public partnership Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company purchased 1 percent of the reserve for mining, one question continued to confound power plant operators: How to ignite lignite?
Last month, an answer arrived. GE Power — which has experience burning a similar form of lignite coal in Europe and the U.S. — will bring its boiler and steam turbine technology to Pakistan. Chinese contractor SEPCOIII announced plans, in June, to use GE Power’s systems as part of its new power plant near Karachi. Known as “Qasim-Lucky,” the plant will generate 660 megawatts of electricity to power 1.3 million Pakistani homes and businesses when Lucky Power begins commercial operations in 2021. “As the first lignite-fueled ultra-supercritical power plant across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region, the project will help to set new industry benchmarks in Pakistan,” Qin Xubao, project director at SEPCOIII, said recently.
An “ultra supercritical” steam turbine at the RDK8 power plant in Germany. The water pressure inside reaches 4,000 pounds per square inch, more than what’s exerted when a bullet strikes a solid object. The water, which exists in a “supercritical state,” is heated to 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit (600 degrees Celsius). Top: The boilers of an ultra-supercritical power plant in Neurath, Germany. Images credit: GE Steam Power.
When it comes to combusting lignite, size matters. Every square centimeter of the boiler must fill evenly with gas. Since different fuels burn at different temperatures, GE designs its boilers with Goldilocks dimensions: neither so small that the fuel overheats nor so big that it won’t combust. Just as crucial is the positioning of each component in the boiler. “The way you inject the air into the flame, the way you manage the size of the flame and positioning of the flame, it all impacts how the lignite will react and burn,” explains Sacha Parneix, commercial general manager for GE’s Steam Power business in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT). “We have a lot of design features to make sure that we manage to truly burn this fuel that does not want to completely burn easily.”
Answering Pakistan’s Burning Question: How To Ignite Lignite?
Flue gas then travels up to the steam boiler, where its heat transforms water stored in tubes into steam power. The steam’s mechanical energy spins enormous turbines to power electricity generators. It’s also when another kind of engineering magic — GE Power’s steam turbine — kicks in. GE’s ultra-supercritical science puts steam under pressure of roughly 4,000 pounds per square inch — the same impact as a bullet striking a solid object — and heats to 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit (600 degrees Celsius). The heat and pressure turn steam into a supercritical fluid, a phenomenon where a substance no longer has specific liquid and gas phases but exhibits properties of both at the same time. In this state, the steam can get turbines spinning faster than any other system in operation, more than 20 percent above the world-average net thermal-efficiency rate of coal-fired power plants — a measure of how well the plant converts fuel into heat. That kind of efficiency gobbles up less fuel, reducing both operating expenses and carbon dioxide emissions per kilowatt-hour generated.
Though Lucky Power plans to rely on lignite mined from Thar (with some exports for backup), the plant itself is situated 276 miles (445 kilometers) away in the outskirts of densely populated Karachi. That’s a significant boon to Qasim. “On top of being designed for local Pakistani Thar coal, the project’s location ensures easy connectivity to the national grid and very low transmission and distribution losses in supplying affordable power to the major load center of the city of Karachi,” Parneix says.
All of this further augments GE Power’s work to help Pakistan diversify its power grid. Last May, the company achieved commercial operation for two HA gas turbines for the Bhikki combined-cycle plant in Lahore to power up to 2.4 million homes. GE’s HA gas turbines are planned for operation at two other power plants in Pakistan: Balloki, near Chunian, and Haveli Bahadur Shah, in Jhang. The Haveli Bahadur Shah plant alone is expected to add the electricity capacity needed for another 2.5 million homes. GE also worked with Hawa Energy to launch a 50-megawatt wind farm along the Gharo-Keti Bandar wind corridor in Jhimpir. So far, a quarter of Pakistan’s electricity flows through fuel-agnostic GE-built technologies, supporting Pakistan’s fuel-diversification power-generation strategy.
If things go as planned at Qasim, Thar-mined lignite will get to play a starring role in this story of “How Pakistan Got Its Electric Groove On.”
The National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) connected the fourth 330MWs mine-mouth power plant built under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative at Thar coal Block II with the national grid.
“We successfully provided back feed supply/seller’s interconnection facility for Thal Nova power plant through 500kV Thal Nova-Matiari transmission line,” NTDC said according to a report published by Gwadar Pro on Friday. The back feed supply energized the power plant for testing its electrical equipment, the statement added. After completion of the testing, the power plant will start contributing cheaper electricity to the national grid, NTDC said.
Coal is the most widely used cheap electricity producing source, which is currently generating 36% of world’s electricity, stated Wang Zihai, President Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) during a think tank session held at PCJCCI secretariat on Tuesday.
He added that Pakistan has large reserves of coal specially lignite coal which China has imported for $8bn in 2021 from other countries instead of Pakistan due to the lack of technology and modern methods. The government of Pakistan should introduce modern technology to facilitate the miners with latest mechanisms, to work on the coal reserves.
Ehsan Choudhry, Senior Vice President PCJCCI shared his views by saying that Pakistan has large reserves of coal specially lignite coal which China has imported earlier. Pakistan has its coal deposits in Balochistan, Punjab and especially Sindh where Thar Desert having the 16th largest coal deposits. He further highlighted that owing to global energy insecurity caused due to continuing war between Russia and Ukraine, many European nations had been compelled to revive their decades-old coal-based electricity plants to avoid energy shortages for their countrymen.
Sarfaraz Butt, Vice President PCJCCI shared his views by saying that the total coal reserves discovered in Pakistan are 185 billion tons but the coal mining in Pakistan is facing a lot of issues due to lack of up-gradation of equipments. The old methods of mining cause numerous deaths cases due to suffocation and blasts. He added that the coal reserves in Thar could go a long way to make Pakistan an energy surplus country with least reliance on imported fuel for power production.
Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI said that it is high time that Pakistan can adopt a safe and balanced approach to exploit its vast coal reserve for power generation with least damage to the environment to overcome energy shortfall without burdening the economy.
India is fast catching up with China in its thermal coal imports, as the world's two biggest overseas buyers of the power generation fuel adjust purchases to align them with the varying trajectories of their economic growth.
India, widely seen as one of the last remaining major growth markets for the fuel, has stepped up buying from Indonesia and Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a special operation.
India's thermal coal imports are expected to rise 7% on year to 158 million in 2022, and a further 3% to 163 million tonnes in 2023, consultancy Wood Mackenzie said.
In contrast, shipments of the fuel resource into China, the world's biggest importer, could fall to 182 million tonnes in 2022 and 176 million tonnes in 2023, from 246 million tonnes in 2021, Woodmac said.
Coronavirus lockdowns stifled demand for the fuel in China while a steep rise in electricity demand triggered a spike in India's imports.
India's economy recovered from weak consumer demand to grow at the fastest pace in a year in the June quarter. On the other hand, China narrowly avoided contracting in the second quarter and has grown at a tepid 2.5% this year due to COVID-19 lockdowns in many parts of the country.
Indian thermal coal imports grew about 12% in the eight months ended August 2022 to 114.2 million tonnes, according to Indian consultancy Coalmint. China's overseas purchases of the fuel resource in the first seven months of 2022 fell 26% from a year earlier to 106.36 million tonnes, government data showed.
Analysts at Indian consultancies CRISIL and ICRA expect India's coal imports for the year ended March 2023 to rise 16%-20%.
Russia displaced the United States to become India's fourth largest supplier of seaborne coal in 2022. The share of Russian supplies of thermal coal to China also increased, according to government data.
Surge in services demand helps steady India’s economy in August | Mint
Electricity consumption, a widely used proxy to gauge demand in industrial and manufacturing sectors, showed activity is picking up. Numbers from India’s power ministry showed peak demand met in August jumped to 185 gigawatt from 167 gigawatt a month ago. However, rising unemployment numbers tempered the overall optimism, with data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. showing the jobless rate climbed to 8.3 percent -- the highest level in a year. That shows the current pace of expansion isn’t enough to create jobs for the million plus people joining the workforce every month.
When electricity projects now in the pipeline are completed in the next few years, Pakistan will have about 38,000 MW of capacity, Gauhar said. But its current summertime peak demand is 25,000 MW, with electricity use falling to 12,000 MW in the winter, he said.
66% of forex spent on fuel imports
NEPRA says maximum utilisation of local coal needs to be encouraged
Pakistan’s reliance on costly imported fuels continues to grow in parallel to the increasing energy needs causing stagnation in the sector.
Pakistan is currently spending approximately $21.43 billion annually on fuel imports, which is about 66% of its total foreign exchange reserves. Hence, the switch to or focus on indigenous resources is becoming a ‘must’ in order to meet the growing energy demands of the country.
The fuel cost per unit of energy generated from imported coal increased from Rs20.17/kWh to Rs29.12/kWh while per unit cost of energy generated from local Thar coal remained around Rs4-4.5/kWh. This was revealed in the State of Industry Report 2022 recently issued by Nepra.
It is worth noting that coal-fired powerplants in Pakistan import coal mainly from South Africa and Indonesia, and this imported coal has incurred a major price surge of late. The delivered price of South African coal increased from $177 per tonne to $407 per tonne during the last one year only. Keeping this in view, a proposal to convert imported coal-based powerplants already set up in the country to Thar coal is under consideration, the report added.
“The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) is leading the process. It apprised that as per the initial findings, imported coal powerplants can use Thar coal for some percentage without making any modification to their powerplants,” stated the report. Nepra believes that maximum utilisation of local coal needs to be encouraged and utilised to reduce reliance on imported fuel.
It is pertinent to mention that 3.8 million tonnes of coal per annum was being mined from Thar coal field by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and the recent commercial operations date (COD) of phase-II of the mine has now pushed coal production to 7.6 million tonnes per annum.
This expansion will further reduce coal prices from its current $65 per tonne to around $46 per tonne which in turn, will power an additional capacity of 660MWs for the Thar coal based independent power producers (IPP).
In the phase-III expansion, approved last year, production of around 12.2 million tonnes of coal from Thar Block-II is expected to be achieved by early 2024. This is important because of the impact it will have on price – which will stand under $30 per tonne.
In addition, given the unprecedently high prices of imported fuel, Thar coal expansion III could also provide a huge relief to Pakistan’s forex reserves, with savings of approximately $2.5 billion, it read.
The report added that enhancing the share of electricity based on indigenous energy supplies is crucial to ensure energy security, self-reliance, affordability, sustainability, and reduction in dependency on imported fuel-based
Pakistan National Energy Regulator (NEPRA) State of the Industry Report 2021-22
The State of Industry Report 2022 (SIR-2022) captures and presents the status and performance of
various segments of the electric power sector i.e. generation, transmission, distribution and supply,
during the FY 2021-22. The SIR-2022 provides a snapshot of developments, and delivery of sectoral
players, identifies weaknesses of the sector, and suggests improvements in each segment of the electric
power services. The SIR-2022 has highlighted various challenges that were faced during the FY 2021-22.
Some of the issues were the same as highlighted in SIR-2021, continued to have an impact on the power
sector, while a few more new challenges surfaced during the FY 2021-22, which added to the woes of
the power sector. As discussed in the succeeding chapters, all these issues contributed towards increase
in the cost of electricity adversely affecting the affordability of the end-consumers.
Supplying affordable and reliable electricity to the end-consumers is to be treated as a priority for
sustainable development, economic uplift, and poverty alleviation. This, in return, creates an
environment of growth in electricity demand per capita; which is linked with the GDP growth of the
country. According to the data submitted by DISCOs and KE, Pakistan’s per capita annual electricity
consumption of 644 kWh, is among the lowest in the world, which is only 18% of the world average,
7% of the developed countries’ average, and 12% of that of China. Per capita electricity consumption
is considered as one of the key parameters, reflecting the living standards of the people in a country.
This indicates that there is a lot of room for improving the living standards of the people and running
the wheel of the economy to ensure sustainable growth.
Climate Change is a reality all across the globe and Pakistan is termed as one of the most vulnerable
countries to its impacts. The impacts of climate change include weather shifts, an increase in temperature,
heat waves, alteration in precipitation patterns, precipitation intensity, occurrence, and seasonal
variations, and the resultant impact on the hydrology, affecting the power sector twofold i.e. increase in
the electricity demand particularly for cooling, and reduction in electricity generation from hydropower.
Due to this, the reliance on expensive fossil fuel-based power generation was increased during FY
2021-22. There is a dire need to take climate change mitigation into account for future power system
integrated planning and management.
The installed electric power generation capacity of Pakistan as of 30-06-2022 remained 43,775 MW
which includes 40,813 MW in CPPA-G System and 2,962 MW in KE System. Similarly, the dependable
capacity of Pakistan as of 30-06-2022 remained 40,532 MW which included 37,858 MW in CPPA-G
System and 2,674 MW in KE System.
During the FY 2021-22, 4,498 MW generation capacity has been added to the CPPA-G system which
includes 1,263 MW Trimmu RLNG Power Project which is under testing, 1,145 MW KANUPP-III Nuclear
Power Project, 720 MW Karot Hydropower Project, 660 MW Coal-Based Power Project of Lucky
Electric, Twelve (12) Wind Power Projects with an accumulated capacity of 600 MW and a 100 MW
Solar Power Project of Zhenfa Power. During the year, Licenses of 150 MW GENCO-IV, 97 MW Reshma
Power, 84 MW Gulf Powergen, 117 MW Southern Electric, 120 MW Japan Power, 31 MW Altern Energy
and 137 MW KANUPP have expired.
During FY 2021-22, total electricity generation in the country, including KE System remained 153,874.20
GWh. This generation translates into 43% utilization factor of dependable capacity meaning thereby
57% of the ‘Take or Pay’ based power generation capacity remained unutilized. The total electric
New hydel projects to produce over 11,000MW
Will enhance overall hydroelectric power capacity to 20,684MW
The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) is pursuing six hydroelectric power projects that will add 11,241 megawatts of environment-friendly electricity to the existing hydel generation capacity of 9,443MW in the coming years.
Talking to APP, Wapda officials said that at present total installed capacity of 24 hydel power stations of Wapda stood at 9,443MW and the addition of 11,241MW would enhance it to 20,684MW.
The existing hydel power stations included Tarbela, Mangla, Ghazi Barotha, Neelum-Jhelum and Warsak, which contributed about 25% to the total system capacity of 36,166MW from all sources.
The net electricity output of those power stations was about 32,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per annum.
Sharing details of the upcoming hydel power projects, the officials said that the Dasu Hydropower Project would contribute 4,320MW, Tarbela 5th Extension 1,510MW, Mohmand Dam 800MW, Diamer-Bhasha Dam 4,500MW, Keyal Khwar Power Project 128MW and Kurram Tangi 83.4MW to the national grid system.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has developed several nuclear power projects to support economic uplift in Pakistan.
Total installed capacity of the nuclear power plants connected with the national grid was 3,530MW, which included 1,330MW Chashma nuclear power project and 2,200MW Karachi nuclear power project.
#India, the world's 3rd largest polluter, binges on #coal, outpaces #Asia. India's coal-fired #electricity output has increased much faster than any other country in the Asia since #Russia's invasion of #Ukraine. #Carbon #cop27egypt #SharmElSheikh https://www.thedailystar.net/business/global-economy/indian/news/india-power-binges-coal-outpaces-asia-3173761#.Y3l3eKKhEsI.twitter
Coal fuels nearly three-quarters of the power output of India, which presented its decarbonisation strategy at the United Nation's COP27 climate summit this week - the last of the world's five largest economies to do so.
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Use of coal globally, including in power generation, has grown since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February sent prices of other fossil fuels surging, derailing efforts to transition to cleaner fuels.
But the increase in India's coal-fired power output has outstripped its regional peers, data from the government and analysts showed.
India's coal-fired power output increased more than 10 per cent year-on-year from March to October to 757.82 terawatt hours, an analysis of government data shows, as electricity demand increased off the back of a heatwave and pickup in economic activity.
The government expects this output to grow at the fastest pace in at least a decade in the current fiscal year ending March 2023.
An analysis of data from independent think tank Ember shows India's surge in coal-fired output for the March-to-August period was 14 times faster than the average in Asia Pacific.
The heat wave and economic revival following the pandemic meant overall electricity demand grew twice as fast as rest of the region, Ember's data shows.
The European Union was the only region where coal-fired power output grew at a rate faster than India, the Ember data says, as nations in the region scrambled to reduce their reliance on Russian supplies.
India is also the only major country in Asia, besides Japan, where the contribution of coal-fired power in overall electricity production increased in the six months since March, the data shows.
India wants countries to agree to phase down all fossil fuels at the COP27 summit, rather than a narrower deal to phase down coal as was agreed last year.
State-run Coal India, the country's dominant coal miner, ramped up production to meet the utility demand. It reported a 13.5 per cent year-on-year increase in its coal output in March-October to a record high of 432 million tonnes.
Imports of thermal coal, predominantly used in power generation, rose by more than a quarter in the same period, double the pace seen in the pre-Covid years between 2017 to 2019, data from consultancy Coalmint showed.
"Like in China, Indian coal-fired generation will be correlated with Indian power demand – if total demand increases, then more coal-fired generation will be needed," said Jake Horslen, an analyst at Energy Aspects.
In China, the government's strict "Covid-zero" policy and resulting restrictions, plus increased use of renewable and hydro sources of power generation, led to a decline in coal use.
Consultancy Wood Mackenzie expects India's coal-fired power output to grow 10 per cent in 2022 compared to the previous year. China's generation from the polluting fuel is expected to decline marginally.
India's government has said it was committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2070, and official data reviewed by Reuters shows that renewable energy generation grew 21 per cent in March to October, even as coal use for power increased.
India is expected to add up to 360 gigawatts of power generation capacity from clean energy sources to its overall output over the next decade, said Hetal Gandhi, director of research at CRISIL Market Intelligence. "This would help lower coal's contribution in generation by 40-45 per cent by fiscal 2032," he said.
The Thar coal power project has started generating 1,320 MW on a trial basis and the electricity would soon become part of national grid, a senior official said on Sunday.
“The test production of 1,320 MW has successfully been started,” Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Sheikh said in a statement issued on Sunday.
“This production plant is being run in cooperation with Shanghai Electric. The fresh production of power supply would soon be included in national grid. The power plants of Engro and Hub Power are already contribution 660 MW each in the national grid,” he said.
Only last week, the federal government had announced that the first unit of the Shanghai Electric’s coal-based power plant has been connected to the national grid.
The development was shared by Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, who termed it the fruit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative.
As Pakistan’s energy import bill touched an exorbitant $27 billion, Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif underlined the need to explore indigenous resources including hydel, solar, air and coal to produce cheap electricity.
Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan stated that a 1,320MW project has been initiated by the Shanghai Electric Group in Thar to use indigenous coal for electricity production.
“The plants have been connected to the national grid,” and that the initiative “was borne from the fruit of CPEC projects,” he observed.
Pakistan is suffering from the impact of the greenhouse effect, so green power generation is the trend. PM Sharif also revealed that the incumbent government has prepared a plan to generate 10,000MW of electricity through solar energy.
“We know that Pakistan is rich in solar and wind resources,” said Wang Haowei from Shanghai Electric, the Business Manager of the Zhang Jiakou Green Power Project. “The installed capacity of the project is 150 MW wind power, 30 MW photovoltaic power and 10 MW energy storage.”
Pakistan’s coal consumption is set to increase to 25 million tonnes by 2025, which is roughly 30 per cent higher than the current level of more than 19m tonnes.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday that coal consumption in Pakistan dropped 7pc in 2021 to 23m tonnes as its prices in the global markets surged to unusually high levels. The use of coal in Pakistan during 2022 is estimated to have fallen further by 3.8m tonnes, said the global intergovernmental organisation in a study released on Friday.
The reason for the drop in consumption of dirty fuel is the unaffordability of large seaborne imports, which forces the country to rely on supplies from domestic coal mines and land-based imports from Afghanistan.
“Additionally, the heavier-than-usual monsoon season brought severe flooding in June, covering more than one-third of the country’s land area and exacerbating the economic crisis,” it added.
The power sector, cement makers and the general industry are major consumers of coal in Pakistan. More than half of coal imports, which are lower than total consumption given the expanding production from the Thar coalfield, are still consumed by the power sector alone.
That’s the reason the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is considering a proposal to convert imported coal-based power plants to Thar coal. In a recent report, the power sector regulator said imported coal power plants could use Thar coal for some percentage without any plant modifications.
Two power plants, Engro Powergen Thar and Thar Energy, run on local coal. Four coal-based electricity makers — Sahiwal Power Plant, Port Qasim Power Plant, China Power Hub Generation and Lucky Electric Power — burn the fuel imported mainly from South Africa and Indonesia.
Lucky Electric Power has been designed to operate on Thar lignite coal. However, it’s going to run on imported lignite coal until the completion of the third and final phase of mining within Block 2 under Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC).
Being the only company that’s mining coal from the Thar coalfield, SECMC extracted 3.8m tonnes of coal every year and sold its entire output to Engro Powergen Thar until recently. It doubled its mining capacity to 7.6m tonnes per year in October, which coincided with the commissioning of the 330-megawatt Thar Energy plant. Another power producer of 330MW, ThalNova Power Ltd, will soon start producing electricity, ensuring 100pc consumption of the enhanced output of SECMC’s mine in Block 2.
With the mining block’s third-phase expansion by June 2023, its output will increase to 12.2m tonnes per year. The increased mining will supply fuel to the 660MW power plant that Lucky Electric Power Company has just commissioned at Port Qasim.
The share of coal-based electricity in the country’s power generation mix in October was 15.5pc.
Thar is solution to Pakistan's energy crisis, says Murad Ali Shah
“Chinese cooperation has proved a landmark in power generation from coal deposits in Thar,” chief minister said. “Chinese companies are increasing power generation from coal in Thar,” he further said.
Pakistan facing a formidable energy crisis that has badly affected economy of the country. The government sees energy generation from massive coal deposits in Sindh’s desert district of Thar could address the country’s energy problems.
Sindh’s Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh recently announced an additional 1320 Megawatt of electricity from the Thar coal power plant included in the national grid.
He said the trial run to generate 1320 megawatts of electricity from the Shanghai Electric power plant was started today. Meanwhile, 660 MW of electricity has been added from Engro and Hubco power plants.
Sindh energy minister, while talking about the full potential of the coal power project said that a total of 2640 MW of electricity will be supplied to the National Grid from Thar coal soon.
330MW from Thar coal added to national grid
Hub Power Company Limited (HUBCO)’s 330-megawatt (MW) power plant, fired by Tharparkar’s coal, formally started supplying electricity to the national grid on Friday in Islamkot. Inaugurated by the Minister of State, Mahesh Malani, this fresh addition of 330MW will take Thar’s coal contribution to power generation up to 3,000MW.
#China, #Pakistan mark completion of #Karachi 2&3 (K2 & K3) #nuclear #power plants, each generating 1100 MW. "Since entering commercial operation, the K-2 and K-3 units have generated nearly 20 billion kilowatt-hours of #electricity" #Infrastructure https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/China,-Pakistan-mark-completion-of-Karachi-2-3-pro
A ceremony has been held to mark the inauguration of unit 3 of the Karachi nuclear power plant in Pakistan. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said the two Hualong One reactors at the site have now both officially been delivered to Pakistan and put into operation.
During the event, speeches were made by Pakistan's Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Ali Raza, China Atomic Energy Agency Deputy Director Liu Jing and CNNC General Manager Gu Jun. International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi also delivered a speech via video.
"Since entering commercial operation, the K-2 and K-3 units have generated nearly 20 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, effectively alleviating the power shortage in Pakistan, as well as making positive contributions to Pakistan's social and economic development, energy security and independence, and addressing climate change," CNNC said. "At the same time, the K-2/K-3 project has provided more than 60,000 jobs for the local people throughout the whole cycle and trained a large number of local industrial workers."
Units 2 and 3 of the Karachi site - near Paradise Point in the province of Sindh - are the first exports of CNNC's 1100 MWe Hualong One pressurised water reactor, which is also promoted on the international market as HPR1000.
Construction of unit 2 began in 2015, with that of unit 3 following in May 2016. Karachi 2 achieved first criticality in February 2021 and was connected to the grid the following month after the completion of commissioning tests. The then Prime Minister Imran Khan formally inaugurated unit 2 on 21 May 2021.
Unit 3 achieved first criticality on 21 February 2022 and was connected to the grid on 4 March. Unit 3 passed acceptance tests on 18 April 2022, marking its entry into commercial operation.
According to CNNC, since Karachi units 2 and 3 have been put into operation, "the frequency and duration of local power outages have been greatly reduced".
The company noted Karachi 2 and 3 now provide Pakistan with nearly 20 billion kWh of clean electricity every year, meeting the annual demand of the local population of 2 million people. The units will reduce the equivalent standard coal consumption by 6.24 million tonnes per year, thereby cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 16.32 million tonnes.
The Karachi site - also sometimes referred to as KANUPP - was home to Pakistan's first nuclear power reactor, Karachi 1 - a small 100 MWe (90 MWe net) Canadian pressurised heavy water reactor which shut down in 2021 after 50 years of operation.
The first domestic demonstration plants of CNNC's Hualong One design are Fuqing 5 and 6, in China's Fujian province. The units entered commercial operation in January 2021 and March this year, respectively
Pakistan plans to quadruple its domestic coal-fired capacity to reduce power generation costs and will not build new gas-fired plants in the coming years, its energy minister told Reuters on Monday, as it seeks to ease a crippling foreign-exchange crisis.
A shortage of natural gas, which accounts for over a third of the country's power output, plunged large areas into hours of darkness last year. A surge in global prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and an onerous economic crisis had made LNG unaffordable for Pakistan.
"LNG is no longer part of the long-term plan," Pakistan Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan told Reuters, adding that the country plans to increase domestic coal-fired power capacity to 10 gigawatts (GW) in the medium-term, from 2.31 GW currently.
Pakistan's plan to switch to coal to provide its citizens reliable electricity underscores challenges in drafting effective decarbonisation strategies, at a time when some developing countries are struggling to keep lights on.
Despite power demand increasing in 2022, Pakistan's annual LNG imports fell to the lowest levels in five years as European buyers elbowed out price-sensitive consumers.
"We have some of the world's most efficient regasified LNG-based power plants. But we don't have the gas to run them," Dastgir said in an interview.
The South Asian nation, which is battling a wrenching economic crisis and is in dire need of funds, is seeking to reduce the value of its fuel imports and protect itself from geopolitical shocks, he said.
Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank have fallen to $2.9 billion, barely enough to cover three weeks of imports.
"It's this question of not just being able to generate energy cheaply, but also with domestic sources, that is very important," Dastgir said.
The Shanghai Electric (601727.SS) Thar plant, a 1.32 GW capacity plant that runs on domestic coal and is funded under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), started producing power last week. The CPEC is a part of Beijing's global Belt and Road Initiative.
In addition to the coal-fired plants, Pakistan also plans to boost its solar, hydro and nuclear power fleet, Dastgir said, without elaborating.
If the proposed plants are constructed, it could also widen the gap between Pakistan's power demand and installed power generation capacity, potentially forcing the country to idle plants.
The maximum power demand met by Pakistan during the year ended June 2022 was 28.25 GW, more than 35% lower than power generation capacity of 43.77 GW.
It was not immediately clear how Pakistan will finance the proposed coal fleet, but Dastgir said setting up new plants will depend on "investor interest," which he expects to increase when newly commissioned coal-fired plants are proved viable.
Financial institutions in China and Japan, which are among the biggest financiers of coal units in developing countries, have been backing out of funding fossil-fuel projects in recent years amid pressure from activists and Western governments.
The war in Ukraine: Impact on Pakistan’s energy security
by Waqar Rizvi
Pakistan has long dealt with energy-insecurity, a state of affairs exacerbated by the disastrous economic effects of the pandemic, floods and war in Ukraine. While some experts warned Pakistan that its energy dependence was untenable, there were others who believed such concerns were overblown thanks to the abundance and low cost of Liquefied Natural Gas. The war in Ukraine has proven the latter group wrong, the subsequent sanctions disrupting energy supplies from Russia and driving up global prices. Europe's entry into the market and ability to meet any cost in securing limited worldwide supplies place Pakistan in an even more difficult position.
Pakistani officials already warn of mass gas shortages, and load-shedding in households is rampant with areas of the country experiencing daily power cuts that are 16 hours long. The country’s vital textile industry also stands to suffer from an interrupted and limited supply. This situation exists despite Pakistan's possession of exploitable natural resources, owing to policy-makers' dogmatic view that the development of these resources for self-reliance was unachievable. In addition, insecurity and political instability in areas such as resource-rich Balochistan have thwarted any remedial measures.
Pakistan’s alliances and loyalties with traditional allies are being tested at this difficult time. To encourage vital foreign investment in Pakistan's energy sector, the government can take advantage of the desire of the Chinese, Russians, Americans and Europeans to gain influence in the country. Restricted by geopolitical considerations from taking sides in the war on Ukraine, Pakistan must secure its national interests, especially energy security.
Pakistan should eschew inactivity despite the risk of being outbid in the competitive global LNG market. Responsible energy policymaking must be embraced, including the implementation and incentivisation of energy conservation measures, whilst shielding the lower classes from additional energy costs. Needed is a multifaceted energy policy that considers all available resources such as gas, oil, coal, solar, hydro and wind power. Experts must be involved in the formulation of sound strategies to exploit these sources, and Pakistan must learn from its mistakes, such its signing of bad-faith contracts with LNG middlemen, which allowed them to abandon Pakistan's agreements for profits.
However, political turmoil remains the largest contributor to Pakistan's energy insecurity. The government and opposition parties will need to put aside their partisan bickering to prioritize the country’s interests. Sound policies grounded in reality, as opposed to theoretical ones, are called for, and leaders must step up during crises.
Pakistan is in dire need of an infrastructural upgrade and must play all its cards to achieve it. Diplomatically, Pakistan holds significant influence in international forums and has valuable voting power at the United Nations. Economically, Pakistan can promise significant benefits to nations that invest in its natural resources.
Transmission constraints leave Thar plants underutilised - Business - DAWN.COM
Only 1,800MW of the 2,400MW Thar power plants can be evacuated at any given time owing to transmission constraints. Delays in the construction of the second transmission line between Thar and Matiari Converter Station have resulted in the coal-based power plants sitting idle despite ranking highly on the merit order of efficient electricity producers.
Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guarantee Ltd (CPPA-G), which is the government-owned single buyer of electricity from independent power producers, recently wrote a letter to National Transmission and Despatch Company Ltd (NTDC) demanding that CPPA-G be updated about the “progress and tentative commissioning date” of the transmission line.
“It is clear that in the present scheme, all four Thar coal power projects cannot be evacuated completely at once, which raises a serious concern on the power evacuation and the capacity of the transmission line,” said the letter seen by Dawn.
Demand for electricity will increase in the coming summer season, but the “full cheap-power evacuation from indigenous coal is not possible” under the current circumstances, it added.
Power generation began in Thar with two coal-based plants of 330MW each by Engro Powergen in Block-2. Later on, Hub Power along with other shareholders built two more power plants of 330MW each in the same Block-2.
Meanwhile, Shanghai Electric built two power plants of 660MW each in Block-1 of Thar coalfields. Around 2,400MW of the installed capacity of 2,640MW is dispatchable. But only one transmission line, which can carry up to 1,800MW, is currently available for the four Thar projects.
The inadequacy of infrastructure has resulted in “abnormal voltage” and “frequency fluctuations” for Thar power plants on the sole dedicated transmission line, the CCPA-G said.
A source in the power sector told Dawn that the two plants in Block-1 are being despatched continuously because of their low per-unit cost of coal.
As for Block-2, the source said only two of the four plants are despatched at any given time — one each from Engro and Hub Power.
According to an energy sector expert, producing 600MW on imported coal instead of Thar coal is costing around $30 million every month. Producing that much electricity through imported gas should cost $35m in imports, he said.
Speaking to Dawn, a senior official of NTDC said work on the under-construction transmission line should be complete in “two to two and a half months”. The 220-kilometre long transmission line costing about Rs12 billion was supposed to be complete by August 2022. The deadline was extended to January this year, but that was also missed.
“Prices of everything from steel and cement went up three times. Then the floods hit and halted all construction work. Building a transmission line involves right-of-way issues, which make the process complicated and time-consuming,” he said, adding that the process should be over by the end of April.
Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV, Pakistan
Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV is a 500kV overhead line with a length of 247km from Thar, Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan, to Matiari, Sindh, Pakistan.
Construction works on the Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV project was commissioned in 2018.
The Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV, which is an overhead line, is being operated by National Transmission & Despatch. The Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV is a new line. The line carries alternating current (AC) through double circuit cable.
Approximately $107.67m was financed by the authorities to undertake the construction works of the project.
Thar – Matiari Line – New – 500 kV project development status
The project works were completed in 2018.
About National Transmission & Despatch
National Transmission & Despatch Co Ltd (NTDC) operates as an electric utility that generates, transmits, dispatch and distributes electricity. The company operates and maintains a network of grid stations and transmission lines. Its services offerings include planning and design, operations and maintenance, monitoring and testing, pre-commissioning test, technical analysis, technical auditing, thermovision survey and technical training services. NTDC also provides online bill payment, rebates and incentives, electrical safety, energy conservation, outage reporting, load management, energy assistance and meter reading services.
All publicly-announced T&D Line & Substation projects included in this analysis are drawn from GlobalData’s Power IC. The information regarding the projects is sourced through secondary information sources such as country specific utility players, company news and reports, statistical organisations, regulatory body, government planning reports and their publications and is further validated through primary from various stakeholders such as power utility companies, consultants, energy associations of respective countries, government bodies and professionals from leading players in the power sector.
Two 500KV double circuit transmission lines were planned from Thar to Matiari and 2016. One completed in 2019 to evacuate Engro Tahr 660MW. 2nd line couldn't be completed 2018-22 period for further 1980MW Thar Coal Evacuation.
10 years of BRI: lawmakers visit Port Qasim Power Project
The Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) hosted a two-day delegation visit to CPEC projects such as the Port Qasim Power Project and the Thar Coal Mines at Sindh Electric Coal Mining Company, according to Gwadar Pro.
The delegation, led by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, included renowned parliamentarians from various political parties. Guo Guangling, CEO of Port Qasim Electric Power Company, hosted and welcomed the delegation on the first day and briefed them on the project’s unique operation.
The delegation was briefed on the most recent developments in CPEC’s energy sector, CPEC’ contribution to the Pakistani economy and the opportunities for interaction between Chinese investors and delegates.
The Port Qasim Power Project uses Super Critical Technology, which emits white smoke that is environmentally friendly. It is currently operational and connected to the national grid.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed thanked Power China and the people of China for trusting and investing in Pakistan, especially when Pakistan was facing the most deadly wave of terrorism. “By constructing an economic corridor that promotes connection, construction, exploration of investments, and people-to-people contacts for connectivity, CPEC is aiming to better the lives of the people of Pakistan and China,” he added.
According to the data provided by PCI, 12 energy projects have been completed under CPEC in the last 10 years. In total, there are 36 active projects with an estimated cost of $27.5 billion. It is expected that many of these projects will be completed by 2023.
As per the data, the completed energy projects include the 1320MW Sahiwal Coal-fired power plant, 1320 MW Coal-fired power plant at Port Qasim, Karachi, 1320 MW China Hub Coal Power Project, Hub Balochistan, 660 MW Engro Thar Coal Power Project, 720 MW Karot Hydropower Project, AJK/Punjab, 100MW UEP wind farm Jhimpir, Thatta, 50 MW Sachal wind farm, Jhimpir, Thatta, 100 MW Three Gorges second and third Wind power project, 1000 MW Quaid-e-Azam solar park Bahawalpur, 50 MW Hydro China Dawood Wind Farm Gharo, Thatta, Matiari to Lahore 660 KV HVDC transmission line project, 4000 MW evacuation capacity, and 330 MW HUBCO Thar coal power project.
Pakistan has an energy surplus. Here’s why it gets hit by blackouts anyway
For several years, Pakistan’s cities and villages have suffered from power outages lasting several hours a day. In January, a nationwide blackout plunged the country of 230 million people into darkness. But the problem isn’t energy supply.
This January, much of Pakistan’s population of nearly 230 million people plunged into darkness, bringing widespread disruption to people and industries for almost 24 hours.
“If you go to our government hospitals – which didn’t have back-up facilities – or field hospitals, or small nursing homes, they had to stop all their services,” said Dr. Shayan Ansari, a surgeon at a private hospital in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
A similar incident struck last October. Meanwhile, smaller blackouts regularly hit cities and villages for several hours daily.
But the problem is not energy supply.
“We don’t have a problem as far as the supply of energy is concerned in Pakistan,” said Ishrat Husain, who served as an advisor to ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Both outages were caused because there were fluctuations on the transmission lines, which have not been updated for quite some time.”
In 2020, nearly 20 percent of Pakistan’s energy was simply lost during transmission, distribution and delivery.
Pakistan’s energy problems are having a cascading effect on the country’s economy, which is on the verge of collapse. Watch the video above to find out more.
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