K-Electric unveils $1b plan to overcome Karachi’s energy crisis

K-Electric, Pakistan’s only integrated utility company on Tuesday unveiled a biggest private sector investment plan of $1 billion to set up 900 megawatts dual-fired power plant in order to overcome energy crisis in the country’s financial capital Karachi, its port city.

K-Electric Chairman and Managing Partner of Abraaj Group, Waqar Siddique said the project marks the beginning of a multi-billion dollar investment plan which was set to accelerate Karachi’s economic potential,

“The 900MW Bin Qasim Power Station-III will be built at K-Electric’s Bin Qasim site at an estimated cost of $1 billion and includes simultaneous upgrades to associated transmission infrastructure,” the company’s chief executive officer Tayyab Tareen said in a statement.

“We aim to commission the project in the fastest possible time and are confident that with the right facilitation from all quarters, power from the plant may be added to our supply as soon as summer of 2018.”

The plant would be completed within the shortest possible time and might start generation in summer 2018, the statement said.

The company said the new power plant is expected to use re-gasified liquid natural gas as primary fuel and will represent one of the largest private sector investments of its kind in the country’s power sector.

People in the country’s economic and financial hub are accustomed with a certain period of power outage in a day as the demand is estimated to hover around 2,900MW, while supply is somewhere around 2,300MW. The additional power from the project will turn Karachi into a surplus power city.

K-Electric (KE) is currently on the crossroads of a change in management to China’s Shanghai Electric Power.

The Dubai-based Abraaj Group had earlier locked a deal to sell its majority stake (66.4%) in KE to Shanghai Electric at a price of $1.77 billion late last year. Execution of the business deal, however, hit a roadblock after the Chinese acquirer was apparently put off by a significant cut in consumer tariff (MYT or multi-year tariff) by the power regulator (Nepra).

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