Pakistan seek support from ADB for two major coal fired power plants
Pakistan has asked the Manila-based Asian Development Bank to help finance two coal-fired power units at the Jamshoro thermal power station in Sindh, a senior official of Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority revealed this week.
Zafar Umar Farooqi, chief engineer at the authority, said Pakistan had initially sought a $433 million ADB loan for one 600-megawatt unit but the bank has now been asked to consider a loan for two units.
He said the size of ADB loan will be decided after consultations with the bank, but he indicated the total cost of Jamshoro project would be around $1.5 billion.
The government-owned WAPDA operates an 850-MW oil-gas fired thermal power plant at Jamshoro at less than 40 percent of its capacity because of a shortage of fuel oil and gas.
The ADB loan will be used to convert the existing plant to coal and set up an additional coal-fired plant at the site, securing fuel supply and increasing installed capacity at Jamshoro to 2,050 MW.
The government has already invited expressions of interest from consultants to oversee construction at Jamshoro, which is about 150 kilometers northeast of Karachi and uses water from the Indus River for cooling.
Pakistan has long examined setting up coal-fired power plants to use its own lignite coal, but efforts have been unsuccessful because of the high ash content in the coal.
Ismail Khan, senior external relations officer for the ADB for Pakistan, said the new units at Jamshoro would be designed to use mixed local and imported coal, most probably from Indonesia.
Farooqi said separate tenders will be invited for conversion of existing Jamshoro plant from oil-gas to coal.
Pakistan has an acute power shortage and the new government of Pakistan Muslim League (N) has given top priority to increasing power generation.