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‘Matiari-Lahore transmission line set to be functional by Sept’

Business

April 30, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s first private sector Matiari-Lahore high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line project is set to be functional by September this year, a top official said on Thursday.

Launched under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the $1.7 billion transmission line project is facilitated by the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) that promotes private investment in power sector.

The work on the line was officially launched in December 2018 across Sindh and Punjab. Once completed, the project will evacuate 4,000MW power. The power generation plants from where the transmission line will evacuate power include 1,320MW Shanghai Electric, 660MW Thar Engro, 2200MW K-II and K-III and 1,320MW Port Qasim plants.

Managing Director PPIB Shah Jahan Mirza told Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar PPIB is processing largest chunk of energy chapter under CPEC out of which four projects of 4,620MW have already been completed while remaining nine projects of more than 7,000MW are at different stages of processing, majority of which are under construction or about to enter construction activities.

PPIB chief said the board is targeting to complete seven projects of more than 5500 MW till the end of next year despite COVID-19 situation worldwide, which can hamper the process.

These include two hydropower IPPs of more than 1,600MW, four Thar coal-based IPPs of 2,640MW and one re-gasified liquified natural gas-based project of 1,263MW. Two large size hydropower IPPs namely 720MW Karot and 884MW Suki Kinari are at advance stages of construction work, which are likely to be completed during December 2021 and December 2022, respectively while the country’s largest private sector hydropower project namely 1,124MW Kohala along with 700MW Azad Pattan are under advance stages of achieving financial closing.

Recently both these IPPs have successfully executed project agreements which are amongst one of the pre-requisites for achieving financial close.

Mirza said PPIB is handling a diversified portfolio of 22 IPPs of more than 12,000 out of which 14 projects of 6,175 MW are hydropower projects while six IPPs of 4,290MW are based on Thar coal.

Since its inception in 1994, PPIB has materialised 40 IPPs of more than 17,550MW worth around $20 billion. These IPPs are based on multiple fuels/technologies.

Three projects of 1,320MW base on Thar coal are under construction, while 660MW Engro power project is supplying electricity to the grid.

Mirza said PPIB is according equal importance to induct more private capital in transmission line sector for which extensive efforts are being made.