KARACHI - Karachi Electric Supply Company has embarked on the first of its kind project in Pakistan, with the aim to convert its 1,260 MW (210 MW x 6 units) Bin Qasim Power Plant into a coal-fired generation plant. This project will have a step-wise execution, the phase-one of which will see the conversion of 2 units, with a generating capacity of 420 MW. Replacing residual fuel oil (RFO) based boilers with coal fired technology would help KESC in attaining fuel security by diversifying its existing fuel mix, better utilisation of existing fleet and most importantly aid in reducing cost of power generation; ultimately providing the consumers relief by lowering of the end user tariff.

KESC is gearing itself to take the pioneering role for coal conversion in the country and is currently in the process of finalising its feasibility study through a reputed US-based consultant, ‘Knight Piesold’, having extensive world-wide experience in coal-based projects. The first phase of the feasibility study has been completed, demonstrating technical and economic viability of the project. The second phase of the feasibility study, which involves detailing of the engineering design work flow is now underway. In the near future, KESC will also be approaching NEPRA for relevant approvals related to this project.

KESC has signed a $200 million, Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with ‘Bright Eagle Enterprises’ (BEE), a Hong Kong-based investment company sponsored by Chinese and Korean investors. For the purpose of this project, Bright Eagle Enterprises has teamed up with leading energy companies from China, namely China Resources Power (a multi-billion dollar state owned power plant, owner and operator) and China National Technical Import and Export Corporation.

Commenting at the signing ceremony, Ping Chen, Chairman of Bright Eagle Enterprises, also the Chairman of Sun TV Hong Kong, and Tide-time said “we are delighted to work with KESC on its oil to coal conversion project and remain committed to its successful completion. We applaud KESC management’s innovative approach to reduce the cost and increase the availability of electricity to Karachi. Bright Eagle is proud to be associated with this project which will help the people of Karachi”

Marking the event, the CEO - KESC, Tabish Gauhar stated; “This ground breaking initiative will set the course for the country’s power sector that is heavily dependent on RFO. Conversion to coal is the only sustainable option and KESC’s lead in this area will set an example for others to emulate”.