A step towards energy independence for Pakistan

Pakistan needs affordable and reliable electricity to support its population growth and economic development. With a low per-capita electricity consumption with around 450 kilowatts (kW) and shortages of dependable power viewed as one of the challenges of Pakistan’s economic development, the country is turning towards its locally available resources to solve this issue. More precisely, it is looking towards the Thar region where lies 180 billion tons of untapped lignite coal. That is 300,000 MW of affordable and reliable electricity for the next 100 years!

With the first electrons generated from local lignite flowing at the 2x330 MW power plant, Engro Powergen Thar Private Limited has reached a milestone in contributing to Pakistan’s secure energy future. Unlocking one of the most abundant domestic fuel sources, the plant will provide electricity to up to 220 million people in the country!

Ahsan Zafar Syed, the Chief Executive Officer of Engro Energy said: “Our Thar coal project – which encompasses both a mining and a power plant component – is a true game changer for Pakistan. Through this project we are powering the dream of ‘low-cost energy’ for Pakistan through indigenously produced energy molecules. This does not only reduce dependence on foreign fuel mix but in the long run also helps save billions of dollars through import substitution. We have successfully demonstrated the proof of concept that Thar coal is viable for electricity production and would soon be declaring the COD of the projects, once all tests and inspections are complete.”

Powering Pakistan into the future

Engro Powergen Thar Private Limited selected GE to provide the circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boilers thanks to our technology leadership in boiler solutions. Lignite coal, the same resource used in the Thar Block II plant, is a high-moisture type of coal that is difficult to combust. GE has the experience in handling such a challenging fuel. Our CFB boilers operate at low combustion temperatures to help lessen nitrogen oxide emissions whilst keeping the plant at high efficiency levels.

By enabling Pakistan to tap into its own lignite reserves, GE’s technology will help the country realize its goal of becoming more energy independent. Moreover, the project is also paving the way to improving the country’s trade imbalance by reducing Pakistan’s dependence on external fuel imports.

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