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LAHORE: More reliance on local resources is the only solution to prolonged and unannounced power outages across the country and one of the solutions lies in the use of local coal instead of imported costly coal at the coal-fired plants,” said Syed Saifullah Kazmi, Head of Investment Banking at Intermarket Securities Limited.

Given the electricity shortfall in Pakistan which has reached approximately 6,500 MW, he said, the country is going through an unprecedented power crisis that is translating into 10-15 hours-long power outages on a daily basis. Many parts of the country are facing the consequences of the power supply and demand gap that is widening day by day due to shortage of fuel to run the power plants.

In this regard, he added, one example clearly shows how the blending of local coal from Thar proved quite effective at the power plant of Port Qasim Electric Power Company (Pvt) Limited (PQEPCL).

It is to be noted that the government of Sindh through SECMC engaged Consultant Fichtner GmbH KG & Co for conducting the feasibility study in this regard. Resultantly, the feasibility study by Fichtner found that the PQEPCL’s plant can operate at approximately 50 percent capacity on Thar coal alone without any major modifications and with 20 percent blending ratio the power plant can operate at 85 percent of capacity. “This is a very positive development. The government can achieve its target of fully exploiting local resources,” said Saif.

He added that this blending of Thar coal should be materialized at all coal-fired power plants in Pakistan to make the most of local resources. “It will not only result in the low-cost power generation but also reduce the government’s dependency on imported expensive fuel,” he reasoned.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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