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January 23, 2015

150MW Lakhra power plant producing only 20MW


January 23, 2015

The Lakhra power plant is only able to provide between 15 and 20 megawatts out of its total capacity of generating 150 megawatts.
This was revealed by the provincial minister for finance and energy, Syed Murad Ali Shah, while responding to queries of lawmakers in the Sindh Assembly on Thursday.
He informed MPAs that the Lakhra power plant had three units, each with a capacity of generating 50 megawatts, but only one of them was functional and that too partially. Hence, the power plant at Lakhra was able to produce only between 15 to 20 megawatts of power out of its total generation capacity of 150 megawatts.
Shah said the Sindh government held 25 percent shares of Lakhra Coal Development Company Limited, which had been set up to establish the supply of coal to the Lakhra power plant installed by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda).
Other stakeholders of the Lakhra Coal Development Company Limited are Pakistan Mine Development Commission, which held 50 percent shares, and Wapda, which owned the remaining 25 percent shares.
The finance and energy minister also informed lawmakers that the lease of land granted to Fateh Textile Mills for establishing a power plant had been cancelled on grounds of violation of rules and the matter was currently being heard in court. The Fateh Textile Mills had been granted a lease of more than 8,626 acres for a period of 30 years with effect from December 14, 2005, for building a power plant with a capacity for generating 200 megawatts with coal extracted from the mines at Lakhra.
He informed the House that coal reserves at Lakhra were estimated to be around 1.32 billion tons.
At present, said Shah, Western countries had desisted from investing in the under-development Thar coal power project due to environmental concerns.
However, he said, China had expressed its interest in developing the project and the government planned to avail the support for completing the project.

Talking about the Thar coal gasification project, Shah said two out of three phases had been completed. He said gasifier had been developed at a cost of Rs490.8 million and synthesis gas purification system had been set up at a cost of Rs494.45 million.
Now, he said, the third phase of the project was being pursued which was generation of power by gas synthesis and Rs1,650 had so far been spent in this regard.
The minister said the Sindh government after delegation of power distribution sector as a provincial subject could look forward to take over two main power distribution companies of the province —Hyderabad Electric Supply Company and Sukkur Electric Power Company — but only after signing a proper agreement with the federal government to decide the distribution of massive financial liabilities and payment of their dues.
He also informed the lawmakers that there were three wind power generation projects in Sindh —
Zorlu Energy Pakistan with a capacity of generating 56.5 megawatts of electricity, FFC Energy with a capacity of generating 50 megawatts and Three Gorges First Wind Farm Pakistan with a capacity of generating 50 megawatts of power. They were situated in the wind corridor of Jhimpir and Thatta, he added.

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