Thar Block II power plant, a new coal-fired power station, is located in the Tharparkar district of province Sindh, Pakistan.
Coal-fired power plant
660MW (2x330 MW)
China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC)and Engro Powergen Thar
Thar Block II, Sindh province, Pakistan
Engro has always been at the forefront in addressing the issues of Pakistan for sustainable development in Pakistan. Engro Thar Block II power plant is a coal-fired power station located in the Tharparkar district of province Sindh, Pakistan. It is important to note that it is Pakistan's first power plant to use Thar's local coal reserves.
The 660 MW power plant is part of the CPEC China Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of the BRI Belt and Road Initiative, to link China with Europe.
Construction on the Engro Thar Block II power plant commenced in April of 2016. Trial operations began in July 2018, while commercial operations started in July of 2019.
Thar Block II power plant make-up
The coal-fired subcritical power plant is located at a distance of 5km from Thar Block II near Thar coalfields in the province of Sindh. It consists of two 330 MW subcritical units, which integrate circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boilers, tandem compound steam turbine units, and generators.
CFB is a suitable option for the low calorific value Thar lignite coal. It helps control the plant's environmental footprint by reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and trapping sulphur oxides(SOx).
The 20kV, 50Hz, 3-phase intercooled generators feature water-cooled rotor windings with a hydrogen-cooled rotor and stator core.
The power plant is also equipped with appropriate equipment and systems such as cyclones, air pre-heaters, and water walls.
Supply of to Engro Thar Block II
A new opencast mine of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) supplies approximately 3.8 million tonnes of coal per annum for the power plant.
SECMC is a joint venture (JV) between the Government of Sindh (GoS) and Engro Powergen (EPGL). This JV was formed to extract the coal reserves available at the 7th biggest coal mine in the desert of Thar, in province Sindh.
"The final phase is expected to provide 33Mtpa of coal with the potential to produce 3,960MW of electricity."
The excavation work for the power plant was carried out at the Block II of the Thar coalfields.
SECMC develop the mine in 3 phases. The first phase provides 3.8 Mtpa of coal for the EPTL power plant; the second phase will produce 7.6 Mtpa of coal for two additional 330 MW power plants, while the final phase is expected to provide 33 Mtpa of coal with a potential to produce 3,960 MW of electricity.
The new coal-fired power plant feeds electricity to a 500 kV double-circuit transmission line of the grid network between Thar and the HESCO grid station located in Jamshoro.
Key players involved in the project
The Engro Thar power plant's estimated cost is $995.4 m, funded by a syndicate led by China Development Bank (CDB) with support from China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure).
The syndicate includes Habib Bank (HBL), United Bank (UBL), Bank Alfalah, National Bank Pakistan (NBP), Faysal Bank, Construction Bank of China, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
In May of 2016, GE received a contract from CMEC to provide two 330 MW CFB boilers for the power station. The company delivered the equipment in July of 2017.
Other power plants under development in Thar Block II
Two more coal-fired power plants called TEL and ThalNova are being developed in Thar Block II.
The TEL power plant is a 330 MW mine-mouth lignite-fired power project built by Thar Energy, owned by Hub Power Company (Hubco), CMEC, and Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC). The power plant is set to be operational by March of 2021.
Thal Nova is a similar 330 MW power plant being developed in the same block.
With the threat of climate change lingering over us do you think it is a wise option to add new coal-powered power plants? Share your views in the comments.