GE Power will provide advanced boiler and steam turbine technology to power Pakistan's first ultra-supercritical (USC) and lignite-fueled power plant in Karachi, GE Power announced Wednesday.
Located in Deh Ghangiaro, Bin Qasim, the Lucky Electric Power project will add up to 660 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the national grid - the equivalent power needed to supply up to 1.3 million Pakistani homes and industries, the company said in a press release.
China's SEPCOIII will construct the power plant, with a commercial operations date set for 2021.
"The project stands out as the first power plant located outside Thar district that will use lignite mined from the Sind Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) Mine at Thar Block II, in addition to imported lignite as back-up fuel," the statement said.
"It is expected to set an example of how Thar coal can be transported over a distance and used reliably to produce power close to load centers," it added.
The boilers will use beater wheel mills and proven coal preparation technology, which are essential to handling high-moisture lignite, according to the statement.
"GE’s advanced boilers will help generate low cost power efficiently and reliably from Thar lignite, which was long considered difficult to achieve because of the low calorific value and high moisture content of the fuel," it said.
Dr. Sacha Parneix, commercial general manager for GE's Steam Power business in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said, on top of being designed for local Pakistani Thar coal, the project's location at Bin Qasim also ensured easy connectivity to the national grid and "very low" transmission and distribution losses in supplying "affordable" power to the major load center of the city of Karachi, in particular.
Qin Xubao, project director at SEPCOIII, said the project would help set "new industry benchmarks" in Pakistan "as the first lignite-fueled ultra-supercritical power plant across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region".
Sarim Sheikh, president and CEO of GE Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, said coal would remain "a vital part of the energy mix" in Pakistan, adding the USC technology by GE was "not only reliable, affordable, and an efficient solution," but also helped lower emissions.
"The turbines will generate up to 660 MW to help the country bridge the gap between electricity demand and available supply," Sheikh said.
According to the statement, GE has been supporting the development of energy, transportation and healthcare infrastructure in Pakistan for more than 50 years, with GE-built technologies able to generate the equivalent power needed to supply up to 25 percent of the country's electricity.
SEPCOIII is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Construction Corporation of China and a professional engineering enterprise in the electric power sector. Since its foundation in 1985, SEPCOIII has aggregated installed capacity of 86,000 MW and ranked 58th of Top 250 International Contractor of ENGR (Engineering News Record) in 2014, according to the press release.
By Hale Turkes