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June 13, 2018

Balloki power plant’s commercial launch hits a snag


June 13, 2018

LAHORE: The commercial operation of combined cycle 1223 megawatt Balloki Power Plant, which was earlier expected to come online on June 10, has delayed till third week of current month, officials said on Tuesday.

Till yesterday, the plant was closed for washing, which is required after completing different set of trails, while some minor repair work was also needed in plant machinery.

An official on the condition of anonymity told The News that a valve had leaked during the trial run, which was being fixed.

“Such repair work involves cumbersome efforts as different sorts of pressures have to be maintained during testing of repaired parts,” he explained.

The official said delays during testing and commissioning phase are not an unusual thing. “We have completed the installation of this plant in record time and despite delays, its commercial operation will also be completed in record time,” he insisted.

The functionary continued that reliability run of the combined cycle plant had already been completed both on natural gas and liquid fuel. “Now, its final performance test is being initiated first on liquid fuel and then on natural gas and this process will take another about 8-10 days,” an official said.

Despite going through testing phase and facing teething problems, the official claimed that Balloki plant was supplying around 1150 megawatt to national grid during daily peak demand of summer months.

“It includes power generation during crucial period of holy month of Ramazan,” he said.

On the other hand National Power Parks Management Company (NPPMC) said the mega power projects of Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah had set new standards of quality, speed, and cost.

“These high efficiency power plants, having efficiency of 60.44 percent or more, when operated as base load power plant, produce cheaper per unit electricity for the consumer while simultaneously reducing the power outages.

Such contribution will benefit consumers considerably,” the NPPMC said.

Haveli Bahadur Shah Combined Cycle plant, which already started commercial operation, and Balloki, which is at advance stage of commissioning, successfully supplied 695 million units of electricity to the national grid during peak demand of first half of the month of Ramazan.

The revenue generated by the company in this period has been Rs 6.5 billion rupees with a generation cost of Rs9.3/unit.

Sources said there had been successive delays in the launching of combined cycle Balloki power plant owing to technical issues associated with General Electric’s turbines. The company however denied such notions.

Initially, it was envisioned that Balloki would start commercial operation of combined cycled plant by March 2018. However, this goal could not be materialised. Later, several other deadlines were missed. The last announced aim was to launch project with commencement of Ramazan. However, it is still in the testing phase.

On February 10 this year, the Steam Turbine at Balloki Power Plant was successfully synchronised with the national grid, commencing the testing and commissioning phase for 1223 megawatt combined cycle.

On June 04, 2018, Balloki power plant successfully achieved a milestone by completing crucial Combined Cycle Reliability Run Test (RRT).

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