LAHORE: The second unit of the total 1,320-MW coal-fired Sahiwal power plant will be opened jointly by Chinese and Pakistani officials today (Monday).

China will be represented by Nuer Baikeli, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), chairman and party secretary of the National Energy Administration, while Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Federal Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal will represent Pakistan.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was scheduled to open the plant but he dropped the plan for unspecified reasons on Sunday. The prime minister had earlier opened its first unit (of 660MW capacity) a couple of months ago. Sahiwal power plant has been completed as a ‘priority project’ under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“It is the first large-scale high-efficiency environmentally friendly coal-fired power project built by Huaneng and Ruyi in response to the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative,” says an official of the company assigned to commission the plant.

The construction of the Sahiwal coal-fired power plant took 22 months and 8 days, 200 days ahead of the contract period creating ‘Sahiwal Speed’ in the energy construction of CPEC and costing $1.8 billion. The construction started on July 31, 2015. Until June 8, 2017, both of the two units completed 168 hours full-load test run.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2017

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