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KARACHI: A delegation of senior industrialists and members of Karachi Industrial Forum visited K-Electric's (KE) 900MW Bin Qasim Power Station 3 (BQPS-III) on Monday and were apprised of the progress on the mega project, being set up at an estimate cost of USD 650 million.

The delegation included 25 members of Karachi Industrial Forum (KIF) which is a joint platform of 7 prominent industrial associations of Karachi including Landhi Association of Trade and Industry (LATI), Bin Qasim Association of Trade and Industry (BQATI), North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry (NKATI), Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Federal B Area Association of Trade and Industry (FBATI) and SITE Association of Trade and Industry (SATI), SITE Super Highway Association of Industry (SSHATI).

On this occasion, top management of KE including Moonis Alvi - Chief Executive Officer, Sadia Dada - Chief Marketing and Communication Officer, Abbas Husain - Chief Generation & Transmission Officer, Muhammad Aamir Ghaziani- Chief Financial Officer, and Amer Zia - Chief Distribution Officer welcomed the delegation.

During the visit, KE's management briefed the delegation about the city's rising power demand as the utility's total consumers increased by over 226,000 and observed a growth rate of around 26 percent in the industrial sector, last year. They were also told that as per estimates, the power utility expects addition of around 700MW new connections by FY23, with almost half of it coming from industrial consumers.

The delegation was further apprised about BQPS-III possessing efficiency of around 60 percent, will be one of the top 5 highest efficiency plants in the country and will be critical to meet Karachi's rising power demand. Furthermore, delegates were also informed about the measures being taken by the utility to facilitate existing and future industrial consumers.

During the visit, head of power committee and former president KATI, Danish Khan said, "Karachi's share in the country's export is 52 percent therefore, Karachi's development is pivotal for Pakistan's growth. It is encouraging to see enormous efforts K-Electric has been making towards development of Karachi, the way it has reduced line losses and providing uninterrupted power supply to the city is praiseworthy.

In line with their efforts, this upcoming power plant is an excellent project which will help drive industrial growth."

Lauding the efforts of K-Electric, Member KATI and advisor KIF on energy matters, Rehan Jawed said, "BQPS-III is a state-of-the-art power plant which is getting completed in a record time of just 1.8 years. The tremendous progress made by K-Electric to bring this project online in such a short span of time is highly commendable.

With 60 percent efficiency and equipped with latest technology, such kinds of plants are predominantly installed in developed countries only. It will not only help meet the future power demand of the city but will also reduce our reliance on expensive fuels since it is an RLNG-based power plant."

While thanking the industry delegates for their visit, Moonis Alvi - CEO, K-Electric said, "We are pleased to host our fellow industry peers at our plant and showcase them our efforts towards supporting Karachi's progress at large. Going forward, the power utility is committed to further invest around PKR 150 billion in Karachi's power infrastructure in the next two years and for provision of safe, reliable and smooth supply of power to its consumers and for this we have already submitted revised investment plan to NEPRA which is currently under review by the honourable Authority. We are thankful to all our industrial consumers for their encouragement and consistent support. KIF and KE share the same vision of Karachi's continuous growth and to help realise its full potential. We will continue to collaborate to develop synergies and explore new avenues aimed at positively contributing to Karachi's industrial landscape."

Based on RLNG which is an environmentally friendly fuel, BQPS-III is among the fastest projects of its kind to be commissioned, with work progressing swiftly since December 2019. Over 4 million man-hours have been employed in bringing the project online as quickly as possible to meet Karachi's growing power demand. The first unit of 450MW is under commissioning and expected to be energised within few weeks and the second unit in time for summer of 2022.

KE has been working actively to bolster its infrastructure with an investment of over PKR 410 billion since privatisation. This has enabled the company to almost double its transmission and distribution network and also reduced its T&D losses by 16.7 percent points, and the power utility is committed to further these improvements through its robust investment plan. In addition to driving sustained reduction in transmission & distribution losses through investments, K-Electric is also bolstering the efforts to evacuate the power from BQPS-III by establishing associated grids at Key locations such as Qayumabad and Landhi which are residential and industrial hub as well.

In addition to 900MW plant, the company is working closely with the Federal Government and associated ministries under the guidance of NEPRA to build interconnections to draw additional power from the National Grid which will further support Karachi and resultantly Pakistan's industrial and economic development.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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