RLNG-based power plant will go a long way in meeting Karachi’s power demands

KARACHI: K-Electric’s flagship 900-MW power plant, BQPS-III is progressing on fast track and the gas turbine, generator and heat recovery boiler for the first unit of 450-MW has arrived at the power utility’s Bin Qasim Power Complex, said KE’s CEO Moonis Alvi here at a press briefing.

Steam Turbine and Transformers for the first unit are on the way to the site. All relevant civil works are progressing swiftly for the installation with the target of ensuring that the first unit is ready to be commissioned by the summer of 2021, and the second unit of 450-MW by the end of the year, Alvi said.

The RLNG-based power plant will go a long way in meeting Karachi’s power demand and ensuring the city and its industries stay energized to play their due role in the national economy.

The addition of the 900-MW RLNG power plant will increase the power utility’s generation capacity, efficiency, and reliability. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has also recently approved the modification in the generation licence of K-Electric, with the addition of the 900-MW RLNG powered BQPS-III to the power utility’s generation capacity. The power plant is being built as per the power utility’s business plan, approved under the Multi Year Tariff for the control period 2017-2023.

K-Electric CEO said the project is a major private sector investment in the country’s power sector.

“In addition to bridging the demand for electricity, this plant will also enable us to gradually phase out some units of the aging and less efficient BQPS I plant, which has been in service for more than 30 years. The BQPS-III would result in lower import costs for the government, affordable power for consumers and a much smaller carbon footprint as compared to furnace oil power plants, and K-Electric is committed to commissioning the project as per planned timelines. I am confident that we will continue to have the support of the government and other stakeholders since there is no doubt that the upcoming 900MW RLNG power plant is very crucial for Karachi.”

While the approval of the 900-MW plant is a vital element towards meeting Karachi’s growing power demands, other commitments also need to be fulfilled in a timely manner for this reality to be realized.

Agreement with Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) for supply of 150 mmcfd of gas for BQPS-III has already been signed. Subsequently negotiations on the Gas Sale Agreement (GSA) have reached the advance stage and any potential hurdles need to be resolved as per past commitments by the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE).

The power utility appreciates the decision of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to approve K-Electric’s application for a licence to construct and operate a gas pipeline that will supply Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) for the upcoming RLNG-based 900-MW BQPS-III power plant and supplementing fuel requirement of the power plants located at its Bin Qasim Power Complex. This is a very positive development for KE as the grant of the licence by OGRA is a key step in ensuring the upcoming BQPS III power plant receives the right amount of gas, at the right pressure. This milestone will go a long way in helping bridge the supply-demand gap in Karachi in the years to come.

The 900-MW RLNG based plant and its timely completion is just one step towards keeping Karachi energized. Further, keeping in view surplus of power in national grid, KE would off-take additional supply of 1,400-MW from National Grid to mitigate demand-supply gap in future.

In this regard, subsequent to CCOE decision in June 2020 for Approval of Supply of Additional Power to KE from National Grid, KE is engaged in negotiations with the CPPA for procurement of this additional 1,400-MW from the National Grid under a long-term Power Purchase Agency Agreement (PPAA).

This will be in addition to the existing supply of 650-MW from the National Grid. Additional Supply of 1,400-MW will be procured in phases and the first phase will include 450-MW starting from April 2021 after the completion of rehabilitation works on Jamshoro-KDA transmission lines and NKI cross tripping tests.

Subsequently in the next phases (2022-2023), completion of Dhabeji and KKI Grid along with transmission lines (interconnection facilities) would also be required for complete evacuation of 1,400-MW from the National Grid. NTDC’s support for timely completion of interconnection facilities will be of immense importance.

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