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Punjab planning coal-based power projects for industries

The Punjab government has chalked out a plan to develop coal-based power projects through public-private partnership for uninterrupted power supply to all the industrial estates in Punjab.

In the first phase of marching towards complete energy sufficiency in Punjab, these coal-based power generation units will be supplying uninterrupted power to eight industrial estates being managed by two independent companies in addition to 21 small industrial estates operational under the government-controlled Punjab Small Industrial Corporation (PSIC).

As per the expected load required by the eight major industrial estates, being governed by two independent companies — Punjab Industrial Estate Development and Management Company and Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company, will be around 285MW to run the industries at least equal to their capacity of production. The power projects are required to be installed within the industrial estates.

The Sundar Industrial Estate (95 percent completed) will require 60MW, Quaid-i-Azam Industrial Estate (100 percent colonised) formerly known as Kotlakhpat Industrial Estate will require 50MW, Multan Industrial Estate-I (100 percent completed) will need 50MW, Multan Industrial Estate-II (80 percent completed) will require 50MW, M3 Industrial Estate Faisalabad (25 percent developed) will require 50MW and VAC Industrial Estate (40 percent colonised) will need 25MW while the load capacity of the remaining two industrial estates — Rahimyar Khan Industrial Estate and Bhalwal Industrial Estate — has not been worked out mainly because the construction of the two industrial estates is in the process.

The Punjab government has yet to work out the estimated load required by the 21 small industrial estates being run by the PSIC. For giving the project a legal cover, the initial draft of Electric Power Regulatory Law for Punjab has been prepared and would be processed for legislation shortly to fulfil a prerequisite for provincial regulation of power projects.

Elaborating the proposed model, working paper available with The News explains that keeping in view the required load of an industrial estate is 50MW, a power project of the same capacity will be installed within the industrial estate while as a contingency plan a backup bulk supply of 25MW may be drawn from the electric supply company of the area concerned during maintenance and outage incidents.

To meet the demand for fuel, two options of local and imported coal are being considered. In case of local coal, a contract will be required between the developers of the power project and the Punjab Mining Company throughout the term of the project.

With regard to power purchase arrangements, it has been proposed that the management of the industrial estate would enter into a power purchase agreement with the power producer while the project sponsor would acquire relevant licence for generation and distribution/supply of electricity from the Punjab government.

Regarding the tariff, it has been proposed that it would be agreed between project developer and power purchaser and would be approved by the Punjab Electric Power Regulatory Authority.

To ensure the implementation, it has been proposed that an agreement would be signed between the Punjab government and the project sponsor with a backup facilitation agreement between the Punjab government and Pakistan government regarding the activities falling in their respective jurisdiction.

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