Chinese and Qatari firms to build coal power plant in Pakistan

China’s state-owned Power Construction Corporation and Qatar’s Al Mirqab Capital are to jointly invest in a $209m coal-fired power plant project in Pakistan, the firms have announced.

The plant is to feature two 660 MW supercritical units and will be built in Karachi, at Pakistan’s second-largest port, Port Qasim. The bulk of the fuel is to be shipped in from Indonesia. Power Construction Corporation, which is set to build the project, aims to complete it in 32 months.

Of the $521m project capital, 51 per cent is to be invested by Power Construction Corporation and 49 per cent by Al Mirqab Capital, with the remaining $1.56bn to come from loans. The companies said the plant will be constructed and run on a build-own-operate model.

In a statement, Power Construction Corporation said: “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”.

Pakistan currently suffers from an energy shortfall of around 5 GW. The 3000 km, $45.6bn Economic Corridor project, which aims to connect Pakistan’s southern Gwadar Port with China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, includes plans for a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan, on which construction work has already begun although a formal deal won't be signed until later this month. According to reports, the pipeline could eventually provide Pakistan with enough fuel to generate around 4.5 GW of power.

In February Pakistan shelved a planned 6.6 GW coal-fired power project after Chinese investors backed out, citing lack of adequate infrastructure.  

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