Pakistan Reader# 192, 2 September 2021
The 660kV High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Matiari-Lahore transmission line is Pakistan's first HVDC transmission line and is expected to address the electric supply shortages in the countryAbigail Miriam Fernandez
On 1 September, the 660kV High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Matiari-Lahore transmission line, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in the power evacuation and transmission sector, started commercial operations on its scheduled date. In this regard, a ceremony was held at WAPDA House Lahore, attended by Managing Director NTDC and President and CEO of PMLTC and other representatives from both companies.
The Managing Director of the National Transmission and Despatch Company Ltd (NTDC) said, “It is a matter of great importance that the country finally succeeded in having the first and the biggest HVDC transmission line to evacuate 4,000 megawatts from power plants in the south in direct current (DC) mode, transport and transmit it to Lahore after converting it into alternate current (AC) mode and finally feed it to the distribution systems in the load centres in Punjab,” adding, “With the provision of the HVDC line, there are now meagre chances of blackouts, breakdowns etc due to system constraints since the entire NTDC transmission and dispatch system has attained stability.”
The Project: Matiari-Lahore HVDC Transmission Line
The Matiari-Lahore transmission project is an 878km-long, 660kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line and is the first HVDC line and the first private sector transmission project developed in Pakistan. The USD 1.65 billion transmission project has been developed on a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) through the special purpose company Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line Company (PMLTC). On the completion of 25 years of operations, the ownership of the transmission line will be transferred to the NTDC.
The 878km transmission link stretches from Matiari in the province of Sindh to the Nankana Sahib district near Lahore and is capable of transmitting up to 4GW of electricity. More than 60 per cent of the line route lies in desert areas to avoid settlement issues and conflicts associated with the securing of right-of-way. The Matiari-Lahore transmission link is a bi-pole HVDC line with two converter stations at Matiari and Lahore, additionally, the project also involves three repeater stations and two grounding electrode stations. The Matiari converter station will receive power supply from the Port Qasim power and the Hubco power plant. Additionally, it will also be connected to the Engro Thar coal power plant and the SSRL Thar Block-1 power.
The Economic Coordination Committee in July 2017, approved the Security Package Documents; Implementation Agreement (lA) and Transmission Services Agreement (TSA), which were later executed in May 2018.
Other CPEC energy projects
2x660MW Port Qasim Coal-fired Power Plant
The Sahiwal Coal Power Project is a coal power plant project in Punjab. It has an installed capacity of 1320 MW and commenced full operations in 2017. It has been connected to the National grid.
2×660MW Coal-fired Power Plants at Port Qasim Karachi
The Port Qasim power plant is a 1320 MW supercritical coal-fired plant developed in Karachi. It has been operationalised in 2018.
4x330MW Engro Thar Coal-fired Power Plant and Surface Mine in Block II of Thar Coal Field
The Engro Thar Block II power plant is a coal-fired power station in the Tharparkar district, Sindh, Pakistan and is the country’s first power plant to use indigenous coal reserves of Thar. The plant has a capacity of 660MW, beginning operations in 2019.
50MW Dawood Wind Farm
Dawood wind power project has installed 33 wind turbine generators with the capacity of 1.5MW per unit and a total capacity is 49.5MW on 1,720 acres of land in the coastal area of Gharo wind corridor in Bhanbore, District Thatta, Sindh.
900MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur
The Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park is a photovoltaic power station in Bahawalpur, Punjab spanning 2,630 hectares with installed flat-panel PV. It has a total installed capacity of 1,000 MW.
100MW Jhimpir Wind Farm
Jhimpir UEP 100MW wind farm is located in Jhimpir, Sindh. The total installed capacity is 100MW with the supply of 66 sets of Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs) of 1.5MW per set. It also includes the construction of a 132KV substation and a control centre.
50MW Sachal Wind Farm
The Sachal wind power project is located in Jhimpir, Sindh. The total installed capacity of this project is 49.5MW, and 33 Goldwind brand wind turbine generators (WTGs) with a capacity of 1.5MW are installed.
720MW Karot Hydro-Power Project
The Karot hydropower project is a 720MW run-of-river project being built on the Jhelum River, Rawalpindi. It has an installed capacity of 720 MW and is expected to begin operations in December 2021.
873MW Suki Kinari Hydropower Project
Suki Kinari hydropower project is an 870MW run-of-the-river hydropower project being developed in Kaghan Valley, Mansehra. It is expected to begin operations in December 2022.
50MW Sachal Wind Farm
The Sachal wind power project is located in Jhimpir. The total installed capacity of this project is 49.5MW. It began operations in 2017.
Thar Mine Mouth Oracle Power Plant (1320MW) & surface mine
The Thar Mine Mouth Oracle Power Plant (1320MW) & surface mine is located in Thar Block-VI, Sindh. It has an installed capacity of 1320 MW.
2 x 660MW Hubco Coal Power Plant
The CPHGC coal-fired thermal power plant is a 1320 MW coal-fired thermal power plant in Hub, Balochistan. The coal-fired power plant was commissioned in October 2019.
1100MW Kohala Hydro-Power Station
The Kohala Hydro Project is located in the Jhelum River near Muzaffarabad District. The project will have an installed capacity of 1,100MW and is expected to be completed in 2025.
Khalid Hasnain, “First CPEC power transmission project gets under way,” Dawn, 2 September 2021
“Matiari-Lahore HVDC Transmission Project,” NS Energy
“Matiari-Lahore transmission line becomes operational,” The News International, 2 September 2021
“Pakistan’s first HVDC Matiari-Lahore transmission line becomes operational,” Ary News, 2 September 2021
“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
“Energy,” CPEC Portal, Pakistan-China Institute