ISLAMABAD: Despite odds, all coal-fired power plants built and operated by Chinese companies in Pakistan have been consistently using high-quality coal imported from other countries, official sources told Pakistan Today on Saturday.
In a recent media report, an official from the Power Division of Pakistan, seeking anonymity, raised questions about the quality of coal being used by the Chinese power plants. The author of the news item also failed to understand the basic facts and also did not bother to check the minutes of the meeting of the authority concerned and also did not bother to check the basic facts independently.
Brushing aside rumours about the coal quality, the official sources said the basic knowledge about the power industry based on facts can clearly show and prove that the Chinese power plants cannot run on low-quality coal like a fighter jet cannot start and run on regular fuel.
A senior official of a power plant company told this scribe that the basic knowledge about the power industry based on facts can clearly show and prove that the Chinese power plants cannot run on low-quality coal like a fighter jet cannot start and run on regular fuel.
“There is no classification of coal as ‘superior’ or ‘inferior’ based on the difference in thermal energy. If less than 6000CV is the definition of ‘inferior coal’ according to an ignorant bureaucrat, then the coal mines in Thar of Pakistan have only 2000CV coal. So, under their parameter, should it be defined as extremely inferior coal,” another senior official of a company argued.
At the hearing site, the Chinese company had carried out detailed science popularisation and explanation and introduced the correct and scientific concepts in the industry to the NEPRA officials who raised this issue.
The Chinese engineers and experts have briefed the Pakistani side about a clear scientific definition of the coal thermal zone set by the agency itself. According to the scientific design of the boiler, different power plants need to adapt to different calorific value zones of coal.
“For example, according to the regulations of the Pakistani side, the Port Qasim coal-fired power station needs to use coal produced in Indonesia in the range of 4500-5500CV, and according to this calorific value range, the corresponding boiler has been designed,” the official said.
He said that the relevant media report was written without proper knowledge has forcefully mixed the two together, neither seeking confirmation on the issue nor from the relevant departments of NEPRA, relying only on one-sided information and misguided and confused common people.
“There is no positive correlation with coal prices. There is no high or low calorific value affecting the price of coal, and the pricing power is not in the hands of Chinese companies, but in the hands of international coal exchanges,” concluded the official.