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ISLAMABAD: Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB) has urged the Power Division to direct NTDC to include 1263 MW gas-fired power plant near Trimmu Barrage Jhang in its priority list.

Punjab Thermal Power Pvt. Ltd. (PTPL) is developing a 1263 MW combined cycle power plant near Trimmu Barrage Jhang, with 87% construction completed and commissioning in progress. The Project was expected to achieve open cycle operation in March 2022 and COD in combined cycle mode by end of July 2022.

In a letter to Power Division, Managing Director PPIB, Shah Jahan Mirza said that as communicated by PTPL through its letter of April 15, 2022, the pre-synchronizations tests have been completed and the Gas Turbine is ready for commissioning since March 24, 2022 but it could not proceed forward due to non-availability of RLNG.

Citing importance of the project and that the delay in gas supply may cause huge financial loss with a potential risk of work suspension at site, PTPL has requested for RLNG supply to complete plant commissioning at the earliest.

The project is using advanced technology machines with more than 61% efficiency and can generate cheaper electricity upon commissioning, compared to old power plants which have lower efficiencies. Moreover, the project is expected to enhance system stability, particularly in FESCO area, which makes it more important especially during the summers.

He said, PPIB understands that the instructions to divert gas from the allocated quota for power sector are to be made by NPCC, after which gas will be supplied by SNGPL. In view of existing scenario, he requested that NTDC may be directed to include PTPL Project in its priority list for gas allocation and advise SNGPL for supply of RLNG to PTPL project, so that the commissioning is completed at the earliest and PTPL project starts contributing power to the national grid.

Earlier, Dr Salman Zakariya, CEO PTPL, wrote a letter to MD PPIB saying that the project has reached an advanced stage after strenuous efforts. Currently, there are around 1800 workers and experts are at site whereas equipment worth $ 416 million is installed. The resources are arranged amidst COVID-19 situation with delay in execution of concession agreements and achievement of financial close by more than two years. However, despite being ready from all aspects, the commissioning works could not proceed due to non-supply of gas by SNGPL and NPCC. The contractors have already started demobilizing certain resource from the site.

He maintained that delay in COD due to non-supply of gas will result in financial loss to government of Punjab (GoPb)/ public exchequer to the tune of approximately $ 1.5 to 2 million per week. Further, claims by the EPC Contractor are imminent. There is also potential risk of suspension which will jeopardize the project of over Rs100 billion if the gas is not made available to PTPL. This will also deprive national grid from availing power from a highly efficient facility (61.16%) and to mitigate the system constraints in 220 kV FESCO transmission system.

Zakariya maintained that after continuous requests and follow-ups for provision of gas for the past several months in advance, the concerned entities have now informed that there is sudden shortage of gas in the country due to cancellation of cargos by upstream gas suppliers. SNGPL stance is that in current circumstances, NPCC CPPA-G gives instruction to divert or make available gas from the quota allocated to power sector and accordingly only then the gas can be supplied to PTPL. NPCC informed that if Ministry of Energy, GoP, includes PTPL in its allocation list of gas for the power sector, then SNGPL can be advised accordingly.

“We are of the view that the gas can be managed by the federal government entities for PTPL. In these critical circumstances and considering the potential loss to the public exchequer, PPIB should take up the matter with relevant federal government entities and facilitate PTPL in achieving its COD,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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