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First CPEC project in power evacuation and transmission sector starts commercial operation

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Sep 3, 2021

LAHORE, September 3 (Gwadar Pro) - The first China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in the power evacuation and transmission sector has started commercial operation as per agreed timeline.

The project ±660 kV HVDC (high voltage direct current) Matiari - Lahore Transmission Line has achieved its commercial operation date successfully on September 1, 2021 as per agreed timeline between National Transmission and Despatch Company Ltd (NTDC) and Pak-Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line Company (PMLTC), according to an official news release on Thursday.

The project has secured reliable power supply to 9.3 million households in Pakistan.  Prior to its commercial operation, as many as 8 power tests on different voltage levels were performed successfully.

Managing Director NTDC Engineer Azaz Ahmad appreciated Chinese company for completion of the project in time. He said that the first ±660 kV HVDC Matiari Lahore Transmission Line will bring stability in NTDC transmission network after having being crossed many bridges successfully.

The 878-kilometer 4000 MW project has been completed by Pak-Matiari Lahore Transmission Company (Pvt) Limited, on Built-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis for a term of 25 years.

The project will evacuate power from the new generating units located in the south including Thar coal-based projects.

HVDC technology is a maiden addition in the national grid of the country, though it's been widely used for a long time around the world, to satisfy the need of long-distance high-power transmission from generating stations in the far-flung areas towards densely located load centers.

The project is a milestone for NTDC when it comes to diversifying the national grid and it will serve a great deal towards NTDC mission of a reliable, efficient and stable national grid.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Asif Iftikhar Ahmed said on Thursday afternoon that CPEC had played an important role in addressing energy shortage in Pakistan.

“The energy projects set up under CPEC provide one third of Pakistan's energy supply. In addition to energy supply, CPEC’s energy projects have created 26,795 jobs over the last seven years,” he said at his weekly news briefing.

“A 300 MW power project is already under construction in Gwadar, as an interim measure the current electricity supply is imported from Iran,” he added. Power Division is also working on other proposals for meeting additional electricity demand in the short term.

Ahmed said during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Gwadar on 5th July 2021, the implementation agreement for 1.2 million gallons per day ‘Desalination Plant’ and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on grant for solar generators from China for South Balochistan were signed. Once operational, the power and water desalination plants will transform the lives of the people in Gwadar.

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