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KARACHI: K-Electric is likely to achieve financial close of its 900-MW, RLNG-based power plant next month, the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Moonis Abdullah Alvi, told the Business Recorder.

Alvi said the $650-million project located at Bin Qasim was an integral part of KE's planned initiatives designed to bridge Karachi's demand-and-supply gap by the financial year 2021-22. Sharing details about the financing arrangements for the project, he said there were two components: Sinosure and German Hermes.

The Hermes financing component had already been approved while one component of Sinosure had also been approved while two others were being awaited.

"We are in the process of finalizing gas supply agreement till 2025 with the Pakistan LNG Limited for 150mmcfd," he said.

To a query he said the government had asked us to use the LNG capacity till 2025. However for the longer run we will have to arrange gas by ourselves. "Initially we are in talks with the existing terminal operators for the supply of gas but eventually we have to get the RLNG gas by establishing our own terminal.

"PLL has to make some contracts with the SSGC to use the latter's line for the supply of gas to our plant. We hope all these approvals will be made within the next one-and-a-half month, and we will be able to test this plant by March or April next year."

He said resolution of Karachi's power issues was a shared responsibility of the KE and the government stakeholders. "Conducive environment is a must for a better service delivery," Alvi said.

The 900-MW project, conceived in 2016, was announced in 2017, but its timeline was affected due to delay in finalization of KE's Multi-Year Tariff (MYT). Alvi said the KE was planning to add a net additional power of around 2100-MW by 2023 which included the 900-MW plant and 1400 megawatt from the NTDC.

Meanwhile, sources in KE informed the Business Recorder that piling and laying of the foundation work at the site of BQPS-III was almost complete and work on the construction of the main power block and the central control building was underway.

They said at the same time the steel structure was being erected to house gas turbine-1 and the heat recovery steam generator-1 (HRSG). The first unit of 450 megawatts was expected to commence commercial operation by the summer of 2021 and project completion was expected by December 2021.

When complete, the BQPS-III will replace the low-efficiency, 30-year-old units 3 and 4 of the BQPS-I having an existing (de-rated) load capacity of 110-MW each. The state-of-the-art BQPS-III power plant comprises two gas turbines with a capacity of 300 megawatts each and two steam turbines of 150 megawatts each.

It has a lifespan of 30 years and will play a pivotal role in addressing Karachi's supply and demand gap. The BQPS-III will also create job opportunities for engineers, technicians and other workers and staff during its construction, commissioning, installation, operation and maintenance phase.

The BQPS-III will also improve overall fleet efficiency, availability and reliability. The plant's gross efficiency is rated at more than 59%. The gas turbines are also equipped with dry low NOx technology which reduces the effect of greenhouse emissions.

The project also includes upgrading and expansion of the grid stations in Korangi, Landhi, Pipri and Qayyumabad. Siemens AG will supply gas turbines, steam turbines, generators and condensers while Harbin Electric is responsible for supplying HRSG, transformers, grid station equipment and other plant equipment.

The consortium of Tractable Engineering GmbH, the National Engineering Services Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd (NESPAK) and the Renewable Resources (Pvt.) Ltd. are the joint consultants for the project while environmental consultancy is being provided by the Global Environmental Management Services.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020