Sahiwal Coal Power Project heralds arrival of CPEC on ground

Lahore: Dealing with the electricity shortage in the country has been a top priority of the present government, and this mega project was initiated even before the official announcement of CPEC. After the historic agreement signed on April 20, 2015, the Sahiwal coal-fired power plant was listed under CPEC’s Energy Priority Projects. The civil works on the site began in May 2015 and the project is set to be operational within two years as originally expected. China Huaneng Group is the project developer and it has been successful in constructing the plant on time, while the transmission line to connect the power plant to the national grid was completed in November 2016. As per official updates, 95 percent of civil work has been completed and the power plant has been connected to the national grid by the National Transmission and Despatch Company Ltd (NTDC). The power plant consists of two units of 660 MW capacity, out of which the first one will start generating electricity by May 2017. The power plant is expected to become fully operational in June 2017.
The plant is located on main GT road and is 9 kilometers away from Sahiwal city. Sahiwal district is one of Pakistan’s agricultural heartlands but the farmers and natural environment of the area will not be adversely affected as the project meets all the requirements set by the local government and environmental regulatory authority. China’s thermal power equipment and technology are one of the most advanced in the world. The company which has developed this plant has used up to date equipment to make the plant efficient and environment friendly. Being Pakistan’s first supercritical power plant, this will achieve greater thermal efficiency than the traditional ones in the country which results in lower greenhouse gas emissions. The installed equipment at the plant removes ash particles and sulphur during the process, while the imported coal that is being used in the plant has low sulphur content. To safeguard the livelihoods of local farmers, the plant will only consume a restricted amount of water for its operations from the Lower Bari Doab that will ensure availability of sufficient water for agricultural purposes. Furthermore, ash water will be prevented from entering groundwater through the construction of anti-seepage ash year

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