The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $900 million loan for a new super critical coal power generation unit in Pakistan that will deliver reliable, cost-effective electricity to hundreds of thousands of energy-starved households and businesses, according to the official website of the Bank.
The ADB assistance, which includes $870 million from ordinary capital resources and $30 million from its concessional Asian Development Fund, will be complemented by co-financing of $150 million from the Islamic Development Bank and counterpart funds of $450 million from the government. The project is expected to be completed by December 2018. The ADB assistance will also provide 5 years of operation and maintenance support after its completion.
According to the Bank the coal-fired generation unit, the first in the country to use supercritical boiler technology, will be built at an existing power plant in the town of Jamshoro, about 150 kilometres east of Karachi. It will employ state of the art emission control equipment resulting in cleaner emissions than the existing heavy fuel oil-fired generators and sub-critical boiler technology which is more commonly used.
The new unit is part of broader government efforts to decrease electricity tariff. The coal-fired power plants, using cleaner technology, provide an environmentally sound and cost-effective medium-term energy solution at a time when the country’s natural gas reserves are dwindling, the ADB argues.
According to details available on the Bank’s website, the project’s outcome will be a more efficient energy mix through diversification from expensive HFO to less expensive coal. The project will (i) increase the capacity of the Jamshoro TPS by installing a 600-MW (net) supercritical coal-fired unit, using an 80/20 blend of imported sub-bituminous coal and domestic lignite when available; (ii) provide 5 years of operation and maintenance (O&M) support; (iii) improve compliance with international and national environmental standards by installing emission control devices for the existing units and remediating the site; (iv) enhance the capacity of Genco Holding Company Limited (GHCL) and Jamshoro Power Company Limited (JPCL) by providing financial, technical, and operational training; and (v) promote education on coal-fired plant operation by providing on- job training, and integrating such training into technical school curriculum. The infrastructure developed will also support the government plan to have an additional 600MW unit at the same site. The stable base-load power provided by this project will enable the fluctuating power from solar and wind power to be used without disruption to the grid, the ADB maintained.
Author: Tahir Amin
Source: Business Recorder