Chinese official likely to launch 1,320mw coal power plant

  • PM drops plan to attend ceremony in Sahiwal due to busy schedule

Chain’s Vice Minister Nur Bekri who is also vice chairman of the National Development & Reforms Commission of China, is likely to inaugurate today (Monday) the Sahiwal Coal Power Plant, a 1,320 megawatts project that too has been completed ahead of its schedule.

The construction of the coal-fired power plant lasted for 22 months and eight days, which is 22 days ahead of the internal control milestone plan, and 200 days ahead of the contract period. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – who had to attend the inauguration ceremony – changed his mind only a day before the event.

Pakistan and Chinese governments had already decided that each unit of the project would be inaugurated by leaders from the two countries one by one. “Since the prime minister had inaugurated the first unit of the project, it was turn for Chinese leadership to inaugurate the full launch of the project. The prime minister had to attend today’s launch but he changed his mind due to busy schedule,” a senior diplomat told Pakistan Today.

Nur Bekri, who is one of the Muslim ministers in China, also holds the office of the director of the National Energy Administration (NEA) of China, the institution responsible for energy development in the People’s Republic. Federal Minister for Planning & Development Ahsan Iqbal, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, China Huaneng Group President Cao Peixi, Shandong Ruyi Group Chairman Qiu Yafu and other officials are likely to attend the ceremony.

As a priority area under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), this project is the first overseas large-scale high-efficiency environment-friendly coal-fired power project built by the Huaneng and Ruyi for Pakistan under the Belt Road Initiative launched by President Xi Jinping.

The project has fulfilled the solemn commitment to the government and people of Pakistan by China and created ‘Sahiwal Speed’ in the energy construction. The Sahiwal plant consists of 2×660 megawatts supercritical coal-fired generating units, jointly invested and constructed by China Huaneng Shandong Power Generation Co Ltd and the Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Co Ltd with a total investment of about 1.8 billion dollars.

The project construction was started on July 31, 2015. Until June 8 this year, both of the two units completed 168 hours full-load test run. As the first environmental-friendly coal-fired power plant completed under CPEC, with the largest capacity, the most advanced technology and the optimal environmental index, this plant can produce over nine billion KhW electricity annually, which can satisfy the electricity demand of 10 million people, and is expected to fill 1/4 of the power deficit in Pakistan.

“By overcoming hardships like high temperature in summer and heavy foggy weather in winter, the cultural gap between the two countries, the long distance transportation of equipment and materials, a lack of construction materials in local markets, and other various unfavourable conditions, the company had been working all out to advance the construction in an orderly manner with a coordinated development of safety, quality and speed, through meticulous organisation, scientific construction and strict quality management,” said Chen Wei, an official at the Sahiwal Power Plant.

He said that this project has realised production with high-quality and high-standard, with achievements of 9 ‘full success’ of both the units in the boiler hydraulic tests, back energisation and DCS system energisation. “The assembling of turbine upper cylinder, acid washing of boilers, ignition and steam blowing of boilers, steam turbine running, synchronization, 168-hour full-load test run, which has obtained high recognition and praise from governments at all levels and all circles of society in Pakistan, and won honour for China and Huaneng,” he concluded.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions.



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