KARACHI: The Karachi Electric (KE) authorities on Tuesday informed Governor Imran Ismail that the Bin Qasim Power Station-III (BQPS-III) would add 900 megawatts to the power utility’s network in the metropolis.

KE executives at the power station were giving a briefing to the visiting governor about the KE’s power generation capacity and plans to increase.

The governor reviewed progress of work at the project.

The visit followed his meeting with KE’s top executives, who presented an update on the company’s preparedness to meet increased electricity demand in Ramazan and summer season of the current year.

‘450MW-unit to be operational within six weeks’

The governor was told that the BQPS-III was a $650 million project which would be adding 900 megawatts to KE’s existing network.

“This mega-project is progressing with close collaboration between leading engineering firms which are partnering with the KE in achieving a shared goal of empowering Karachi,” the KE executives said.

They added that the work was progressing swiftly, and above 70 per cent of work for the first unit of 450MW completed. “It is expected to come online within the next five-six weeks,” they said.

The governor was informed that the high-efficiency plant would be utilising regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) as its primary fuel source. “This will not only help reduce the carbon footprint, but will also further diversify the company’s fuel mix and ensure savings on the cost of furnace oil import,” they said.

The KE executives were joined by senior representatives of the Siemens, SSGC and PLL who apprised the governor of the progress of the construction of a spur pipeline that would supply 150mmcfd of gas to the BQPS-III, which was keeping pace with the plant’s progress and over 90pc of the work was already completed.

They informed the governor that the underlying gas supply agreement between the SSGC and the PLL was also in an advanced stage and was expected to be finalised as soon as necessary approvals were received from government. The approval was meant to ensure an adequate supply of fuel to energise the plant.

Commenting on his visit, Governor Ismail said that sincerity of the federal government was evident from the support it had extended to the KE. “I am pleased to see that Sehr and Iftar times during this Ramazan are exempt from loadsheding as a result,” he remarked.

The governor said he was monitoring the situation on a daily basis to ensure that best possible facilitation was given to citizens of Karachi. “Seeing the scale and progress of work and the commitment with which KE is working, I feel positive for the future of the city,” he added.

The governor said that the KE management and representatives of the Siemens, SSGC and PLL had assured him that they were working to complete the project on time. “I have asked them to remove any bottlenecks that may affect energisation of the plant, expected to be inaugurated by the prime minister. I have also assured them of fullest support from my office and from the government of Pakistan,” he added.

KE chief exective officer Moonis Alvi said: “The timely execution of this project is critical to meet Karachi’s future electricity requirement”. He appreciated the federal government’s support to the KE which, he said enabled the power utility to meet the city’s requirement. “We look forward for this support in the summer season as well,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2021

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