China, Qatar to build $2.09b coal-fired power plant at Karachi

Power Construction Corporation of China and Qatari investment firm Al Mirqab Capital will jointly invest in and build a coal-fired power plant in Pakistan, which will have a total investment of $2.09 billion, Power Construction Corp, a Shanghai-listed firm, announced.
According to the detail, reportedly the power plant will be located in Port Qasim, Pakistan’s second largest port, in Karachi, the country’s biggest city. The power plant will have two 660 megawatt units and rely on coal imported on ships. The construction period will be 32 months.
Dr. Qaiser Bangali, renowned economist and former Finance Advisor Sindh Government, said it would be better for economy to utilise the Thar coal at coal-fired power plants.
While exchanging views with The Nation, he said the power plants based on imported coal would not facilitate the economy and burdening the foreign exchange and increased the traded deficit. Over the query about immediate use of Thar coal which is not ready to use, he said the cost on the construction of jetty for coal at Port-Qasim and installation of Briqet plant not have such difference, so it would be better to build a plant at Thar to utilise the local coal. It is further reported that “The Pakistan Port Qasim power project is a large energy project of great political and economic importance between the two countries, as a high-priority project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. This project fits the company’s development strategy and investment direction,” state-owned Power Construction Corp said.
The 3,000km China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, advocated by Premier Li Keqiang and supported by President Xi Jinping and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is a plan to link the south coast of Pakistan with Xinjiang in northwest China via roads, railways and oil and gas pipelines.
The $2.09 billion total investment in the project includes $521 million of project capital, of which 51 per cent will be invested by Power Construction Corp and 49 per cent by Al Mirqab Capital. The remaining $1.56 billion will be financed by loans. The power plant will be built and operated according to a build-own-operate (BOO) model.
Power Construction Corp said the Pakistani government had undertaken to make comprehensive provisions of the security of all projects on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.