The power division has decided to abandon the 300MW imported coal-based power plant at Gwadar and replace it with a solar plant.
The project was conceived under the CPEC and approved in 2016, but its formal construction had not started. Now the government wants China to install a solar plant of the same capacity after the government decided not to install any power plant based on imported fuel in the future.
“We have decided to abandon the project, but we will have to take up the issue at various CPEC with Chinese counterparts. CPEC has sensitivity and importance which is why the Power’s division has decided. To replace imported coal-based project at Gwadar with a solar plant is being kept at a low profile,” an official said.
Federal Minister Power Division Khurram Dastgir also hinted the government wanted the Chinese Power Plant at Gwadar to be replaced with a Solar Plant of 300MW. To the News, he also added that the government had decided to ban new power plants based on imported fuel and would add new capacity to electricity generation based on local such as, thar coal, wind, solar and hydel. “However the government will continue the policy to install more nuclear plants,” he added.
More importantly, the minister said the government has also decided to convert the existing imported coal-based power plant of 3960MW. Including Port Qasim Plant, Sahiwal Power Plant, and China Hub plant. Each has the capacity to generate 1320 MW of electricity to local coal. The fuel import bill had eaten up almost 20 billion in the first 11 months of the last fiscal year 2021-2022. The initiative is being taken to scale down the fuel import bill and reduce reliance on imported fuel for power generation.