KESC Power Station-ii nears completion
Karachi Electric Supply Company will achieve Gross Dependable Generation Capacity of 2052 megawatts with the early completion of the 560-MW Bin Qasim Power Station-ii. However, KESC’S request for supply of the already approved additional 130MMCFD gas quota for the new plant is still pending with the Government. This is the main reason for delay in the launch of the utility’s optimum power production. The project is worth 450 million dollars and will enhance KESC’S power generation capacity by 30 percent.
Arshad Zahidi, Chief Strategy Officer, Generation and Transmission, said that the Combined Cycle Power Project is almost ready to generate 560 megawatts with the execution of the project having entered final phase, but it requires an uninterrupted supply of 130 MMCFD gas, already approved and committed by the Federal Government, for its Base Load Operation. Consistent gas pressure and calorific value are also very critical for operating the plant at optimum level. However, he said, very low or sometimes zero gas pressure is being provided to the plant so far.
Ghufran Atta Khan, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer, supervised a media visit to the plant. Also present on the occasion were other top officials of KESC including Abbas Hussain, Project Manager, Syed Zubair Ahmed, Project Director, Tahir Ali Khan, Director BQPS-II, and a representative of Harbin, China.
A detailed briefing was provided to the media over the need of regular supply of 130 MMCFD of natural gas to the plant which would make Bin Qasim Complex the largest thermal power station in the country. Arshad Zahidi said that KESC had adopted a single direction strategy regarding fuel resource of the project. “We are already executing our coal conversion project at BQPS-I. But the government committed and approved additional quota of 130 MMCFD natural gas for the BQPSII and an immediate supply of this quota was essential to launch the project without delay.”
Zahidi pointed out that in spite of the conditions in Pakistan, world lenders like International Finance Commission and Asian Development Bank, besides a local banks consortium, had trusted the performance and credibility of KESC and had released their long held up loan facilities for the project. Moreover, KESC’S 180 MW Ge-jenbacher Gas Engines Project has been awarded the “Best Fast Track Project (Silver Award)” and “Best Plant in the Region” title by Asian Power Magazine.
The Chief Strategy Officer said that at present all three GE Frame-9 Gas Turbines bought from France with a capacity up to 120 MW each, water treatment facility, NG compressors and fire system of the new plant have been commissioned and are functioning satisfactorily. The 180-MW steam turbine from Harbin, China, has also been commissioned and is under testing which is scheduled to be synchronized this month.
The media team was also informed that the plant has the largest power station water treatment plant in the country that meets the requisite standards and has the qualities of a reverse osmosis plant that minimizes effluents, zero water import requirements and offers minimal temperature disruption to sea water environment. He said the Chinese contractors had added tremendous value to the project.
Three engines with capacity to produce two megawatts each have been dedicated to produce two-hour start-up electricity in case of a blackout. The plant has an Auxiliary Boiler that enables rapid Steam Turbine Start up. Thermal efficiency of the plant is 51 percent which is the highest combined cycle efficiency in Pakistan.
Zahidi also talked about the overall enhancement of power generation and transformation capacity and upgrading of transmission network of the utility ever since Abraaj Capital took over KESC’S management control in September 2008.