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Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Friday said the Sahiwal power plant has been connected to the national grid after its completion, reported Radio Pakistan.

He added that the power plant will generate 1,320 megawatts from June after its testing has been completed.

The first trial freight train also departed from Karachi and reached the coal terminal built at the Sahiwal power plant, which generates electricity using coal.

The spokesman for the Pakistan Railways said another train with coal will reach the power plant on Tuesday.

The $1.8 billion Sahiwal power plant has two units of 660MW each and would be first power plant to be run on imported coal.

The government, thereafter, imposed a ban on plants run on imported coal and stressed upon the need to use indigenous coal from Thar.

Comments (33) Closed

Azam Jan 27, 2017 08:41pm

Why are we building Coal fired power plants when pollution and Climate Change are such a big problems? Even China has hugely cut back on plans for coal plants, and are replacing them with renewable energy plants.

We are getting tired, old technology that will only worsen our environment and cause illness and death in Pakistan and beyond.

Fast Jan 27, 2017 09:12pm

Good news coming one by one. Hope Pakistan will be out of loadshedding in 2018.

ahsan7979 Jan 27, 2017 09:14pm

Good but why ship coal from South Africa when Thar has huge coal deposits. These coal while inferior in quality, will suffice the need of the nation for next half a century at least.

wellwisher Jan 27, 2017 09:30pm

very soon Pakistan would be exporting electricity to India,China ,Afghanistan and Iran

DOST MOHAMMED Jan 27, 2017 09:53pm

When most countries, even those who do not have import coal, are cutting back on coal power plants, this is an absurd policy. Adding in the transportation costs, and health hazards, not an intelligent or economical choice for energy.

The end is near Jan 27, 2017 10:01pm

Nothing will happen.

sameer John Jan 27, 2017 10:30pm

Hello people im Sam from Okara City very close to Sahiwal...And i wanted to ask tht on this Platform this Project is goin very Beneficial for our city People of Okara Rural Areas and Sahiwal are working there and getting good money from there...I will finish here now CPEC Rocks ??????

mUSHI Jan 27, 2017 10:37pm

Does Thar's coal a good quality coal?

Can we use a mix of Thar's and Imported coal on daily basis?


We may want to use the Thar's and Imported coal on 'alternate days' to generate the electricity, while keeping the pollution level at acceptable level?

AATIR Jan 27, 2017 10:43pm

Excellent coal plants are the comparitive advantage of Pakistan. They are key to Pakistan's growth.

Houlbelat Jan 27, 2017 10:54pm

With imported coal and imported locomotives, the price of power generation would triple to what is possible from using indigenous coal. Only we need real and thorough research on methods for transporting and using our coal. One proposal was to convert coal into slurry with water and transport through pipelines, pass through refinery to extract various components and employ high combustion chamber that uses slurry for cracking and super high heat production.

naveed Jan 27, 2017 10:57pm

Good news for crisis fallen nation .

Concerned Jan 27, 2017 11:06pm

The use of coal itself is questionable given the environmental destruction it can cause. But using imported coal - to add to our already massive import bill - is extremely short-sighted. The government must make its mark on renewable energy infrastructure as the long-term strategy backed up by indigenous coal as a short-term strategy.

Khwarazmi Jan 28, 2017 12:58am

Europe, America, China and India have been burning coal for their development and in the process ruining our planet. Such a crime against our planet, it's animals and future human generations.

Tariq Mehmood Jan 28, 2017 01:20am

Coal will imported from country? Will Sahiwal Division has a preference to consume electricity of this plant?

hasan ali Jan 28, 2017 01:26am

The plant will require 4.5 million tonnes of coal. While the first shipment bought in 50k tonnes. Is the railway equipped to run 90 trains per year to the plant? thats 1 every four days.

Pashtunyar Jan 28, 2017 01:57am

Not a pmln supporter but this govt is serious in tackling some of the problems facing the country! Nawaz is not flawless ofcourse but still better than anything pakistan has to offer!

taha Jan 28, 2017 01:54am

imported coal BTU? versus Thar coal. does anyone know?

Dr. SalariA, Aamir Ahmad Jan 28, 2017 02:02am

Hopefully, it will not be a repeat case of Nandipur power plant.

syed & syed Jan 28, 2017 03:17am

From the train coming from Karachi proves that the coal was imported.Pakistan is not using Thar coal because of no kick backs

A shah Jan 28, 2017 04:47am

Coal? Welcome to the 1970's.

Ravi Jan 28, 2017 06:20am

Any developing country cannot suddenly move away from coal, which is lower in capital cost compared to other forms of power generation. Problem is more of particulate emission. Ensure that the precipitates always function at 99.9 percent efficiency and ash handling systems are always on order. If necessary should install flue gas cleaning system. Chinese are not good at flue gas desulpherisation and NOx and S0x control.

M. Emad Jan 28, 2017 06:35am

The Rampal coal-fired power plant in Bangladesh -- a joint India-Bangladesh $1.5bn partnership -- will generate 1320 MW.

Omar Jan 28, 2017 07:01am

This is awesome. More power to the national grid. Loadshedding should be a thing of the past for Pakistan soon and our economy is already showing signs of growth as a result of the increasing power which is revitalizing our industries.

Sukhera Jan 28, 2017 07:01am

Coal power plants are bad news for the environment and carry serious health hazards for the people living in the 50 miles radius.When every country including China/India are shutting down coal burning plants, Pakistan has started to build the plants. In Beijing (China), people living in the city are advised not go outside during the day due to smog/ air pollution.Almost everybody wears a mask to avoid the pollution and continuous smog does not seem to go away.In a few years mercury from the plants will contaminate our water ways and people will start seeing the effects of coal burning / respiratory diseases. I wish our leaders had looked at the devastation of acid rain on environment in other countries before venturing into these these expensive projects.

Brar Jan 28, 2017 07:33am

This plant will require one train of coal daily good luck atlest power problem will be solved,

Ahmad Jan 28, 2017 08:07am

@wellwisher Yeah, but that will take only 100 more years.

DOOK Jan 28, 2017 08:49am

@wellwisher price it cheap and india will take it. But i doubt anyone can produce cheap


arsHAD, Canada Jan 28, 2017 08:56am

@The end is near, Something did happen, the Power plant is ready and in testing stages.

arsHAD, Canada Jan 28, 2017 08:53am

@A shah, Canada, The USA, China, and India, for example, producing close to 50% of their power need with coal. So still not 70s it going on Now.

D.K. PAMNANI Jan 28, 2017 11:44am

Still on Coal based thermal power plant. This is era of Gas based now.

Pra aksha Jan 28, 2017 03:42pm

@Sukhera : No problem! Make aware the locals of Sahiwal living in the vicinity of the plant to take proper care of their health!

Logicaldude Jan 28, 2017 05:29pm

It doesn't make sense to my lay mind to import coal from thousands of miles, then ship it by train to more than 1/2 way across the country, creating pollution and drain on the foreign exchange reserves. When countries right next door to us are willing to sell us electricity to us (Iran and Kazakhstan). When we can buy gas from Iran, use it ourselves and let the rest be exported to India.

Sukhera Jan 30, 2017 07:56am

@Logicaldude . India will never buy gas from Pakistan. They would rather buy from Middle East or Iran even if it cost more.