In order to bring electricity generated from the coal reserves of Thar to urban centers in Punjab, the work on setting up 600 KV Matiari Lahore transmission line is set to commence soon as the Ministry of Water and Power has sought time from the prime minister to inaugurate the project.
An official source said the China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company will develop $1.5 billion project on urgent basis which is also part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor on the basis of build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT).
At present two projects are under implementation for generating electricity from the coal reserves in Thar. The projects are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2018. The government wants to complete the transmission line before the start of 2018.
The existing network of NTDC is already overloaded and needs expansion. With the induction of new power sources, new transmission lines are required for carrying the additional power to the major electricity distribution centers.
The total length of the line is about 865.55 km, of which 314.9 km falls in Sindh and remaining 550.65 km are located in Punjab. The proposed transmission line is a 660 KV high voltage direct current (HVDC) circuit starting from the Matiari district near Hyderabad at a converter station located in Matiari, Sindh and ending at the Punjab’s district of Nankana Sahab near Lahore
The government is working on energy projects of the accumulative capacity of about 4,000 MW to be developed in Thar and Karachi regions in the next few years and new transmission lines need to be developed for transmitting this power to major load centers of Pakistan which are located in upcountry.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDCL) and the China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company to develop 600 KV power transmission line from south to north.
A converter station at Matiari is proposed, to despatch power from Matiari to the load distribution centers of NTDC grid. The Hubco Coal Power Plant and Port Qasim Coal Power Plant will be connected to converter station by two 500 KV lines respectively; Engro Thar Coal Power Plant and SSRL Thar Coal Block I Mine Mouth Power Plant will be connected to converter station by one 500 KV line respectively, and these two power plants will be connected by one 500 KVAC line.