Pakistan

‘Hub coal-fired power plant in Balochistan to provide cheaper electricity, mitigate power cuts’

ISLAMABAD: The new Hub coal-fired power plant in Balochistan would benefit both the people and the government, after its completion in 2019, in mitigating the power outages and help move the wheel of the economy.

This was stated by Wang Binghua, chairman of a Chinese power enterprise that is participating in the project’s construction, during a groundbreaking ceremony for the plant recently, reported Xinhua news agency.

The coal-fired power plant project, which is one of the “priority projects” under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is being constructed and invested in by the China Power International Holding Ltd, a subsidiary of China’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), and Pakistan’s Hub Power Company Ltd, with a total cost of some $2 billion.

Wang said that after the fulfillment of the project, local people will enjoy cheaper electricity and about four million Pakistani families will benefit from the power plant, adding that the coal-fired power plant also adds variety to Pakistan’s energy consumption system so as to help the country ensure its energy security.

“Any country cannot only rely on one sort of energy. Coal-fired power plants, gas fired power plants, solar farms, wind energy, bio-energy or other new energies should all be utilized in order to guarantee its energy security. Therefore, it is necessary for Pakistan to build the coal fired power plant,” Wang said.

“As to the Hub project, our company attached great importance to five issues, namely the plant’s safety, operation, reliability, environment friendly standard, economy and adjustability. And I’m confident to say that we are providing an excellent and responsible service to Pakistan since all of the equipment to be used in the project is top class globally,” the Chinese entrepreneur said.

The SPIC chairman emphasized that although the Hub project is a coal fire power plant, top international technologies on environmental protection or emission curbing will be used in the complex so as to meet local or even stricter legislation on coal fire power plants.

“We are adopting a super clean emission technology which could make the emissions at the plant the same as a gas fired power plant. And with the Hub project, we also plan to build a cement factory nearby so as to utilize all wasted dust produced by the power plant,” he added.

He went on to explain that sensing devices would be installed on the top of chimneys of the Hub power plant and all data regarding chemicals such as sulfur dioxide or nitric oxide in waste gas detected by the devices will be sent to local environment department.

“I asked to open this plant to the Pakistani public after its completion so that the local people could experience for themselves the eco-friendliness of our coal fire plant. We are confident in our environmental protection technologies.”

According to Wang, the Hub coal fired power plant is expected to be fully operational in August 2019 and it will generate about 9 billion kWh of electricity to the Pakistani national grid annually. It will also create about 10,000 jobs for local people during its construction.

“We come to Pakistan not for the installation of our equipment and to gain profits. We pay more importance to improving the development of local high-end manufacturing industries so as to make the development sustainable. We also try to group more and more local communities into our project to dispel their worries.

“We plan to enroll a number of Pakistani graduates and to provide training to them to make them skilled. These local employees will be an important human resource for the country. If they leave the Hub plant, they will likely get another opportunity in other plants. It will make this industry in Pakistan more sustainable,” Wang said.

Wang also said his enterprise did a lot of work before entering the Pakistani market on how to follow the country’s supervision and industry requirements.

“We signed a power purchase agreement with the Pakistani government. This document satisfies both sides and sets a code for our market behavior.”

Talking about the security about the project in Balochistan, Wang expressed his confidence and trust toward the Pakistani government, saying that the Pakistani side is very considerate regarding security issues and can provide the necessary security for power plants.

During his opening speech in Tuesday’s ceremony, the entrepreneur vowed to expedite the project construction with high standards, high quality and high efficiency, and to build the project safely as a benchmark of “China-Pakistan friendship project,” “morale project” and “model project” under the CPEC.

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