The electricity generated by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) energy projects accounted for about one-third of Pakistan's electricity supply, according to the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan.
As of Sept 2019, under CPEC 12 power generation projects have either entered the construction phase or have begun their commercial operations. The total installed capacity of these projects was 7,240MW with an investment of about $12.4 billion.
The CPEC energy projects including coal-powered Sahiwal have made load shedding a thing from the past in Pakistan. Sahiwal power plant has been trying hard to ensure a continuous supply of electricity to the grid, people and industry of Pakistan.
Chairman of Pak-China Business and Investment Promotion Council Amanullah Khan told Xinhua that after the pandemic gripped Pakistan, the CPEC energy projects appeared as a major support for Pakistan's economic and social activities.
When the COVID-19 lockdown was eased in Pakistan, almost all sectors of business, trade and industries started working quickly, and the reason behind this is that the CPEC energy projects have been actively and efficiently producing a big chunk of Pakistan's total energy supply, Khan said.
"Now, even though the pandemic is still there, CPEC energy projects are playing a vital role in helping Pakistan's industries to run at full," Khan added.
Sahiwal Coal Power Project
The Sahiwal Coal Power
Project is a coal power plant project located in the province of Punjab in
Pakistan by the name of Huaneng Shandong Ruyi Energy. It has an installed
capacity of 1320 MW. It commenced full operations in July 2017.
To meet Pakistan's urgent need for energy, the Sahiwal power plant was built in just 22 months, with the capacity to supply 4 million households with electricity. The 1,320-megawatt coal-fired power plant located in the Sahiwal district of Pakistan's east Punjab province is playing a significant role for the electricity-starved country, and has changed local people's negative impressions about thermal power plants.
Sahiwal project was given priority due to the presence of a transmission line, railway track and irrigation system nearby. The 1,320 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant costs 1.8 billion US dollars. Today, the project stands tall with two 660 MW plants and is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. The government buys electricity from the power plant at 8.3601 US cents/kilowatt hour and touts the project as a major success, according to Dawn
Coal-fired power plants contribute up to 38 percent of global electricity, according to the World Coal Association. However, after increasing awareness about the environmental impacts of coal, investments in new coal-fired power plants have reduced by 75 percent globally, ushering in a new era in the energy paradigm.
According to a March 2019 'Energy Innovation' report, in the United States, solar and wind energy can replace 74 percent of its coal fleet. By 2025, renewable energy would replace 86 percent of the country's coal energy. Renewables can provide the same amount of electricity more cheaply, says the report.
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