Addressing the energy crisis

There is an energy crisis in Pakistan, but the solution is literally underfoot: A local supply of approximately 180 billion tons of lignite—a type of soft coal. For a country looking to become energy self-sufficient, Pakistan’s lignite reserves are practically a gold mine.

But there’s a challenge: Because the region’s lignite contains as much as 50% moisture and has a low ash content, it’s notoriously difficult to burn with any reliability. That’s where GE comes in. We have proven experience burning similarly challenging fuels with long-term efficiency and reliability in Europe and North America.

Collaboration for the lifecycle

Thar Energy Limited coal plant will deliver 330MW of reliable power to the Pakistani grid, enough to power 600,000 homes. The plant is owned by TEL—a consortium of the Hub Power Company Limited (Hubco), Fauji Fertilizer Limited and China Machinery & Engineering Corporation (CMEC). The lignite coal burned at the TEL plant will come from the Thar Block II mine, and under a 30-year power purchase agreement, the energy generated will supply power to the country’s energy grid.

To that end, GE recently announced several agreements that further prove GE’s ability to not just provide equipment and parts, but to serve as a trusted technology provider throughout the lifecycle of a plant.

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GE has been selected to supply the steam turbine and advanced Circulating Fluidized Bed boiler technology —the preferred method for lignite-fired power plants. By allowing Pakistan to tap into its own lignite reserves, GE’s technology will help the country avoid importing more expensive fuel sources and realize its goal of becoming more energy independent.

The second is a 12-year services agreement for the TEL power plant. Under the terms of the agreement, GE will provide critical services to support maintenance outages, including the supply of spare parts.

Together, these equipment and services deals are worth more than US$ 60 million.

Third, GE and Hub Power Services Limited—a Hubco subsidiary - signed an Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Collaboration Agreement, under which both companies intend to work together to find opportunities to provide O&M services to coal-fired power plants in Pakistan, as well as throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Khalid Mansoor, CEO HUBCO said, “We are committed to supporting Pakistan in achieving power self-sufficiency and our focus on using our country’s own resources is testament to this. In driving the TEL project, we are using proven world-class technology by GE, which has demonstrated its long-term efficiency and reliability using similar fuels internationally. The inclusion of a multi-year services agreement furthers GE and Hubco’s cooperation, and not only marks a new milestone in our long-lasting relationship but also in Pakistan’s ambitions for a secure energy future.”

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