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Coal based Power plants

CPHGC successfully completed First year of operations are produced more than 7 billion units electricity. CEO, Mr. Zhao Yonggang congratulated the staff who continued to work diligently even through the height of the pandemic.



Thar coal price was fast becoming competitive and in near future, clean-coal technologies would be employed for coal to liquids (diesel) and surface gasification leading to urea production plants that would be setup under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Block-VI of Thar coal fields.
Engro Thar Block II Power Plant, Pakistan

Engro Thar Block II power plant is a new coal-fired power station located in the Tharparkar district, Sindh,
Project Type.... Coal-fired power plant
Capacity........... 660MW (2x330MW)
Developer........ Engro Powergen Thar and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC)
Location........... Thar Block II, Sindh province, Pakistan

The Engro Thar Block II power plant was commissioned in mid-2019. Credit: China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

The Engro Thar Block II power plant was commissioned in mid-2019. Credit: China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

Singh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) supplies 3.8Mtpa of coal for the power plant. Credit: China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) supplies 3.8Mtpa of coal for the power plant. Credit: China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

The coal-fired project was developed as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) collaboration. Credit: China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

The Engro Thar Block II power plant is a coal-fired power station in the Tharparkar district, Sindh, Pakistan. It is Pakistan’s first power plant to use indigenous coal reserves of Thar.

The 660MW power plant is part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which forms part of the Belt and Road Initiative to link China with Europe. It was developed by Engro Powergen Thar (EPTL), a joint venture of Engro Powergen (EPL), China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), Habib Bank, and Liberty Mills.

Construction on the Engro Thar Block II power plant commenced in April 2016. Trial operations at the plant began in July 2018 while commercial operations began in July 2019.

Thar Block II power plant make-up

The coal-fired subcritical power plant is located 5km away from Thar Block II near Thar coalfields in the Sindh province. It consists of two 330MW subcritical units, which integrate circulating fluidised bed (CFB) boilers, tandem compound steam turbine units, and generators.

CFB is an ideal option for the low calorific value Thar lignite coal. It helps to regulate the plant’s environmental footprint by reducing nitrogen oxide emissions and capturing sulphur oxides.

The 20kV, 50Hz, three-phase intercooled generators feature a hydrogen-cooled rotor and stator core, as well as water-cooled rotor windings.

The power plant is also equipped with associated equipment and systems such as cyclones, air pre-heaters, and water walls.

Coal supply to Engro Thar Block II power plant

Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) supplies approximately 3.8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of coal for the coal-fired power plant from a new opencast mine.
Coal plant are not necessary translate to heavy pollutant plant. It a matter of how you handle the emission.

Stringent regulation
In essentially all countries except the US, SO2 emission limits are set in terms of SO2 concentrations in flue gas. The project developer will have to design a control device that removes enough of the SO2 from the flue gas to get below the limits.

Some of the toughest limits for SO2 emissions are found in China, where flue gases from coal-fired power plants are not allowed to contain more than 35 milligrams of SO2 for every cubic meter of dry flue gas.

The untreated flue gas from the example plants above will contain about 1200mg/m3 of SO2. Therefore, the plants will have to install SO2 control devices that remove about 97.5 per cent of the SO2 contained in untreated flue gas.

Coal and gas plants
It is worth noting that Australia, the main peddler of “High Efficiency Low Emissions” (HELE) coal plants along with Japan, hasn’t even required flue gas desulphurisation equipment on its own coal plants, making them some of the dirtiest in the world.

Below is a simple graph illustrating the effect of emissions regulation versus type of steam cycle on SO2 emissions:

POWERCHINA Port Qasim Power Station has generated 3.44 billion kWh in 2021.

1320 Megawatt (MW) Thar Coal Power PLANT Block 1 Under Construction.
1st & 2nd Pictures taken in March 2021 and 3rd picture taken in June 2021.



Gas is being used in lot of other products, specially for fertilizer ....
Import coal from thousands of miles away through sea. Than transport that coal some 1200 km to sahiwal so that an MBA / MPA seat can be ensured while profiting their own by using their lands....
Well khata hey tu lagata be hey
Indonesia Offers Coal For CPEC Power Projects

Pakistan Adam M Tugio, the Indonesian coal sector is well-developed, and the country can supply coal to Pakistan for power projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The ambassador added during a meeting with businessmen in Lahore that his country could also supply coal to the domestic large-scale manufacturing industry.

The meeting was aimed at fostering bilateral cooperation and increasing Pakistan’s imports of Indonesian coal. He also stated that the Pakistani government was devoting special attention to the development of infrastructure and energy schemes as part of the CPEC, with coal being a major component of the energy projects.
The government has decided to convert 3,960 MW of electricity generated from imported coal onto local coal of Thar to stop consuming the costly foreign exchange reserves for the import of coal, which is no longer available at low prices. The coal price has shot up to $400 per metric ton, a senior official at the Energy Ministry told The News.

“The average per-unit cost of coal-based electricity used to be at Rs4-5 per unit, which has swelled to over Rs18 per unit, mainly because of an increase in imported coal price up to $400 per metric ton.”

The government has zeroed the subsidy on POL products and may increase the price of Mogas and diesel by imposing a petroleum levy on July 1, 2022, which is also a condition of the Fund. For the restoration $6 billion IMF program, the government would also increase the local gas prices by 45 percent from July 1..

Making good use of Thar coal​

Billions of dollars can be saved if power plants shift from imported to local coal

August 01, 2022

ISLAMABAD: International fuel prices have gone up several times, be it coal or LNG or even petrol and diesel. Imported coal prices have increased three times – from $80 per ton to $240 per ton or even more. We have three coal power plants which run on imported coal – Sahiwal, Hub and Port Qasim – having 1,320MW capacity each with combined coal import bill of more than $3 billion. If we convert these to Thar coal, we can save several billion dollars in cost and foreign exchange.

If the high imported coal prices continue as these are, it will not be possible to run these power plants for long. It is strange as to how it has been possible to continue to run these power plants up to now. Their production has been going down. Thar coal variable/ fuel cost is only Rs3.9 per kWh while imported coal power plants (Sahiwal and China Power Hub) are costing around Rs30 per kWh. Add Rs10 per kWh as fixed cost, you can imagine, where does it take us to – Rs40 per kWh? Although in Pakistan Thar coal price is $50-60 per ton at this stage (twice the typical price of $25-30) due to low utilisation, we will not touch the controversy at this time.

Despite all the pricing and costing issues, the imported fuel cost is more than seven times higher than the Thar coal fuel cost per kWh. In normal circumstances and prices, Thar coal-based electricity and imported coal-based electricity cost the same, which probably led the decision-makers to go for three imported coal power plants. There are two impacts; one of fuel cost and the other of foreign exchange. We are suffering from the highest current account deficit, leading to abnormal currency depreciation and causing destabilisation of the economy. Everyone in the country asks why we can’t use Thar coal. Easier said than done but it can be done.

There are three issues with Thar coal. Thar coal is technically called lignite and its energy content (calorific value – CV) is half that of imported (sub-bituminous) coal. Second, its water content is almost 40-50%, while one requires almost dry coal to be burnt in power plants. Third, its sulphur content is higher than imported coals. The issue is how to convert the imported coal power plants to Thar lignite. How to deal with lignite moisture, low CV and high sulphur? It was easier to design the power plants on Thar coal in the first place instead of converting the plants, which have been designed on a different type of coal.

There are a number of proposals. One, start with a 10-20% mix of Thar coal and imported coal, which may not require a lot of changes. This may be achieved in less than six months, although there would be logistics issues. Two, the other possibility is almost total conversion from imported coal to Thar coal, which may require significant technical changes, costing time and money. Classically, CFB boilers have been used in case of Thar lignite (as Engro Thar has installed). In case of normal sub-bituminous (imported) coal, coal is pulverised to a talcum powder like state and the coal powder is fired from sideways.

Such boilers are called pulverised coal-PC boilers. In them, coal burns like oil stream. It does not require pre-drying as the type of coal used in it is dry. All the three imported coal power plants are based on PC boilers. Lately, there have been technological developments, which let the lignite coal pulverised and dried in one package. If sub-bituminous coal is to be substituted by lignite coal, adjustments are required in coal handling, storage and pulverisation. Pre-drying can be done through solar energy as Thar is full of sunshine.

It can be dried both at the mine and power plant site. Additionally, exhaust steam is used in a reverse cycle and used for extra drying. This has been done in Germany earlier. Reportedly, Lucky Power is using almost the same approach in burning imported lignite and plans to use the local lignite eventually. A natural question arises why not convert Lucky first, which we will deal with later. There are logistics issues. The standard transport means for coal is railways. Unfortunately, there is no rail link connecting the Thar coal site to the railways network. A rail link project has been prepared, which could not be implemented due to a variety of financial reasons. But even if it is approved, it may take two to three years for construction.

However, truck transport is available. It may not have been attractive due to the smaller difference between the local and imported coal cost. It is certainly feasible now. There is great demand for cheap Thar coal by industries, especially cement, ceramics, glass and steel. Reportedly, some Thar coal is being sold to third parties belonging to industries, although in a legal vacuum. Engro-Thar and Sino-SSRL both are under cost-plus whose fixed cost is paid for and absorbed in electricity tariff. Mine owners have to be paid variable cost and an incentive. Thus, a third-party sales pricing formula should have been developed by now; better now than never.

Also, Thar coal is to be converted in a ready energy product by drying and grinding and possibly briquetting, if we want to promote industry-wide usage and save foreign exchange in other sectors as well. Technical changes of the power plant has many risks; 1. There may be loss in efficiency and increase in costs – both variable and capex; 2. There may be mistakes and accidents, especially with Thar coal as it is akin to spontaneous combustion; 3. Shutdown of power plant would certainly be required, which would be a loss of revenue for the operator/ owner companies. All of these costs money, which is not provided in the agreement and have to be absorbed by the government of Pakistan. These plants consume 5 million tons of coal each per year.

If Thar coal substitution saves $175 per ton, the annual cost saving per plant would be $875 million. If one assumes the project’s additional capex for conversion to the tune of $250 million, the payback period would be 3.42 months. Total saving for the three imported coal power plants would be $2,625 million per year. There would be equivalent savings of the same amount of foreign exchange also.

These savings can also absorb the funding requirement of railways’ track with a capex of $200 million. There is unutilised mine capacity, for which capacity cost is being paid that would be extra savings. It appears that the financial issues are tougher than the technical ones. The name of the game is timing. At least, 10-20% substitution may be done without losing much time, while planning and implementation of full conversion is initiated.

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