KARACHI - The public hearing to discuss environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on K-Electric’s upcoming 900MW Bin Qasim Power Station (BQPS)–III project was held here at a local hotel on Friday.

People from different walks of life, including environmentalists, engineers, academicians, general public, members of civil society, media men and KE officials attended the hearing. The session was organised by Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

The 900 MW RLNG (Re-gasified Liquid Natural Gas)-based Power Station III will be built at KE’s Bin Qasim site at an estimated cost of $1 billion and will include simultaneous upgrades to associated transmission infrastructure. The plant will consist of two power units of 450 MW; the first unit is targeted to start production by summer 2018 whereas the second unit is expected to be commissioned by end of 2019.

Once completed, BQPS-III will be one of the largest private sector investments of its kind in the country’s power sector and will comply with all the regulatory guidelines. KE representative apprised the audience about the significance of BQPS-III project in terms of its capacity to meet Karachi’s immediate and growing energy demands.

He said the project was also in line with the utility’s commitment to diversifying the fuel mix and subsequently passing on the positive impact to end-consumers. “Adding new generation capabilities and strengthening its transmission and distribution network are currently K-Electric’s highest priorities.

The power utility is also taking major steps towards enhancing transformation capacity and improving the reliability of power supply to its customers. The development work of TP-1000 (Transmission Enhancement Plan), a $440 million project, is progressing on a fast track,” he said.

Talking about KE’s Social Investment Programme, the KE representative said, “Two water purification plants, established by the power utility, are currently benefiting the residents of Bin Qasim Town. KE also organises free health camps regularly as part of its community development initiatives.

 

KE has also pledged to plant 50,000 mangroves in addition to the development of green zones in partnership with Port Qasim Authority. Moreover, we will be employing unskilled labour from nearby communities which will generate employment opportunities for the local residents.”

The audience was also briefed about the power utility’s CSR initiatives which benefits around 3.9 million lives annually with initiatives like provision of free or subsidised electricity to key healthcare and welfare organisations.

Moreover, KE under its climate change initiative has planted more than 67,000 trees in partnership with WWF and other supportive institutions and aims to take this to a total of 100,000 trees by year end.

At the end, the attendants were thanked for their active participation and valuable suggestions.