Sahiwal Coal Power Plant Role in Sustainable Development

Sahiwal Coal Power Plant is a town located 20 km away from city of Sahiwal in Punjab province of Pakistan that is home to a900 MW supercritical coal-fired power station. Maseer Jamshoro Power Plant has 1320MW capacity which is one of the largest of coal power plants in Pakistan. The Shandong Ruyi (Pakistan) Energy Limited, a subsidiary of China’s Huaneng, developed the $1.9 billion 660MW project which was commissioned in 2017.

Project Overview

The Sahiwal Plant is among the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) “Early Harvest” energy projects and was targeted at fulfilling the profound requirement of electricity in the country. It has two supercritical coal-fired units: the first unit has 660MW capacity and the other one the second unit has 660MW capacity as well. An annum, the plant processes 4.5 million tons of coal and produces 9 billion kWh by using it. The share of solar energy in total production capacity of the country, which is over 4% of electricity production, says about the need for a fast transition to a low carbon electricity system. The plant is rated 300MW and its power is being sold to the national grid under a long term Power Purchasing Agreement.

Location and Construction

The Sahiwal power plant which is situated in Sahiwal and 172km faraway from Lahore in Punjab province is the chosen place for installation. It avails of its proximity to the track of Lahore – Karachi railway system which offers logistic support for coal supply. This greenhouse complex covers an area of more than 90 ha. A total covered area of 29 ha is allocated for cultivation. This multibillion dollar project provides jobs for more than 800 Chinese and Pakistani companies in its construction and operations. The plant is made up of two chimneys standing 330 meter each, porting area for coal, ash disposal area, switchyard and residential colony. The construction (sic of it) was performed by the Dongfang Electric Corporation of China from May 2015 to June 2017.

sahiwal coal power plant

Ownership and Tariff

Shandong Ruyi Power (Pakistan) LTD is the name of the company that owns and runs the Huaneng Shandong Ruyi Power Plant Co. It is a 51%-49% joint-venture between the Hong Kong-based Huaneng Group, and Pakistan’s Ruyi Group. On the basis of the calculations in the 2015 Power Policy, the agreed levelized tariff for the company was 8.3601 US cents/kWh. This tariff actually amount to PKR 9/kWh that is about 16.5 US cents.

Efficiency and Environmental Impact

The coal-fired Sahiwal power plant relies upon low-emission, high-efficiency subcritical technologies known for operating as an environmentally-friendly, highly-efficient solution compared to traditional coal plants. Commonly, its net efficiency has been measured at 39% which is 4-7% more than the other coal power stations in Pakistan. The plant’s technology is based on Afghan low-sulphur coal and flue gas desulfurization technology, which controls SO2 emissions. The Corona discharge is also one of the filtration techniques that aids in the reduction of particulate matter emissions. Nevertheless CO2 emissions from the plant are numbered at 7.1 million tons yearly. It has been pointed out by critics that while the price of tariff does not fully reflect the social and environmental costs associated with the coal power, they still remain.

To round off, the Sahiwal coal power plant along with other sources in the grid to support Pakistani power generation gap. However, as for coal power sustainability, there are still some things to be done such as the installation of emissions control equipment and with the assistance of transparent pricing mechanisms. Finding the correct optimal ratio between energy safety and environmental protection will be the crucial.

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