In Sindh, the 330-megawatt Thar Energy Limited Power Project Block-II is being completed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC.
According to an official, the power plant would supply electricity to the national grid under a 30-year power purchase agreement.
According to APP news agency, the power plant is a 330MW mine-mouth lignite-fired power project being built by Thar Energy, which is owned by the Hub Power Company or Hubco, China Machinery Engineering Corporation or CMEC and Fauji Fertilizer Company or FFC.
Similarly, two more coal-fired power plants, Engro Thar Block II power plant and Thal Nova, are also being developed in Thar Block II.
Engro’s Thar Block II power plant is a coal-fired power station in Sindh’s Tharparkar district. It was Pakistan’s first power plant to use the indigenous coal reserves of Thar.
The 660MW power plant, which was part of CPEC, was developed by Engro Powergen Thar or EPTL, a joint venture of Engro Powergen or EPL, CMEC, Habib Bank, and Liberty Mills. Construction on the Engro Thar Block II power plant commenced in April 2016. Trial operations at the plant began in July 2018 while commercial operations began in July 2019.
The coal-fired power plant is located five kilometres away from Thar Block II near Thar coalfields. It consists of two 330MW units, which integrated circulating fluidised bed or CFB boilers, tandem compound steam turbine units, and generators. CFB is an ideal option for the low-calorific-value Thar lignite coal.
It helped to regulate the plant’s environmental footprint by reducing nitrogen oxide emissions and capturing sulphur oxides. The 20kV, 50Hz, three-phase intercooled generators featured a hydrogen-cooled rotor and stator core, as well as water-cooled rotor windings.
The power plant is also equipped with associated equipment and systems such as cyclones, air pre-heaters, and water walls. Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company or SECMC supplied nearly 3.8 million tons per annum of coal for the coal-fired power plant from a new opencast mine.
The SECMC is a joint venture by the government of Sindh and Engro Powergen. The joint venture was formed for extracting coal available at the seventh biggest coal mine site in the Thar Desert.
The new coal-fired power plant fed electricity to a 500kV double-circuit transmission line of the grid network between Thar and the Hesco grid station in Jamshoro. The estimated cost of the Engro Thar power plant was $995.4 million – funded by a syndicate led by China Development Bank with the support from China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation.