ISLAMABAD: The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on Wednesday approved 1,250-megawatt RLNG-based power project near Jhang and decided to advertise 132MW hydropower project in Azad Kashmir for bidding.
The meeting of the board chaired by Power Minister Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari also allowed extension in the deadline for signing of Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) and Implementation Agreement (IA) to settle outstanding issues with a Chinese firm over execution of Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line.
Informed sources said the government and the Chinese firm had failed to deliver on signing of IA and TSA at least three months ahead of financial close that had created legal issues.
The deadline was Sept 30 but was missed. Therefore, the board allowed a few more weeks for the signing of the two agreements without delaying the deadline for financial close by end of December.
An official statement said the extension was allowed to facilitate the Chinese sponsors in the implementation of Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company (Pvt) Ltd which was developing first-ever private transmission line project of the country.
This will also be the first-ever high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line in Pakistan of about 660kV with a designed capacity of transmitting 4,000MW electricity from south parts of Karachi and Thar to Lahore and Faisalabad.
The project is being sponsored by China Electric Power Equipment & Tech. Co Ltd (CET) a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework.
Mr Leghari said the government had taken a number of decisions and executed projects for eliminating the electricity shortage and the country was now about to enter into an era of abundance of electricity even though there were still complex issues to be settled with diligence.
He said the Power Division was now having a fresh look at the demand and supply scenarios on the basis of the actual ground situation and would soon come up with a future course of action to address all issues in entirety.
The board was informed that the Cabinet Committee on Energy had approved 1,250MW RLNG-based power project near Trimmu Barrage in Jhang district, Punjab, to have some backup for unforeseen outages. The board formally approved the project having an estimated cost of $802 million for further processing with a target to start simple cycle generation by December 2018.
The meeting also decided to advertise 132MW Rajdhani Hydropower Project on Poonch River in AJ&K under the provisions of Power Policy 2015 to improve energy-mix and reduce dependence on imported fuels.
The board was informed that currently four hydropower projects of approximately 1,850MW were are under construction while another 1,124MW Kohala Hydropower Project will achieve financial close early next year.
The meeting was told that the PPIB was currently handling portfolio of 32 IPPs of more than 20,500MW based on hydro, coal and RLNG besides the Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line Project. Of them 12 projects of around 11,000MW and Transmission Line Project were being implemented by the PPIB under the CPEC framework. Majority of these projects were at advance stages of implementation including a few in testing and commissioning phase and others under construction or in the process of financial close.