HVDC technology illuminates Pak-China friendship
“As HVDC operators, we must fully understand the characteristics of HVDC, such as large transmission capacity, long transmission distance, advanced technology, and complex equipment, so as to better improve our professional skills...” At the Lahore Converter station of Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company (PMLTC), Ahmad Usman is conducting theoretical and hands-on training for 5 Pakistani trainee engineers.
The passion of the trainees is as hot as the scorching sunshine of the day. Ahmad, a training manager, is patiently answering every trainee’s questions, giving thoughtful guidance to those who need special attention. This scene reminds him of how tough it was for him to communicate and learn the new HVDC technology when he first joined PMLTC in March 2020. Amid his anxiety and frustration, Ahmad’s Chinese colleague Chen Kangqing offered him a helping hand, which completely changed his work trajectory.
Chen is both a teacher and a brother of Ahmad’s. Ahmad said, “Mr. Chen Kanging is one of the most diligent professional engineers that I have ever seen. I was deeply impressed by his exquisite technical knowledge, operational skills, and humble and courteous personality. He worked day and night to make me a better and professional engineer. In this period, we started to know each other’s culture and language and grow together.”
Ahmad Usman receives gift from station master for his good work
After all this effort, Chinese management appreciated Ahmad’s competence and promoted him to training manager. The scene in which Chen was more happy than him is unforgettable to him even today. At that time, he was determined to pass on Chen’s help and friendship to others. Brothers of one mind can cut through gold. When faced with difficulties at work, as long as PMLTC colleagues stick together, the problems can always be solved in a very emphatic manner.
For ordinary people in China and Pakistan, “a friend in need is a friend indeed” is not just a compliment, but a reflection of daily life. It is routine in PMLTC to help Pakistani employees improve their DC operation and maintenance skills through mentoring training. There are many Chinese and Pakistani brothers like Ahmad and Chen who are teachers, brothers, and living together like a family. Far away from their hometown and families, Chinese employees inevitably feel homesick, but this lonely mood is soon watered down by the enthusiasm of Pakistani people and intense and orderly work. Similarly, Pakistanis’ mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness about joining the CPEC projects have gradually turned into peace of mind and trust.
China’s HVDC technology lighted up Pakistan and also the people's hope for life. In this process, China-Pakistan friendship has been constantly illuminated. The Matiari-Lahore HVDC transmission project has provided electricity to about 9.3 million households in Pakistan and secured the operation of local businesses. The construction of the project has also created about 7,000 jobs for the locals.
Pakistani and Chinese staff of PMLTC celebrate breakthroughs at work
By rolling out one of the largest HVDC networks, China is emerging as a technology leader. As part of those who built the first HVDC system in Pakistan, Ahmad feels immensely proud to learn about this advanced technology. “China invests heavily in developing IPPs in Pakistan. And with HVDC technology rooted in Pakistan, the backbone grid of Pakistan’s power system has been upgraded and entered into a new era. I believe that with the steady control of COVID-19, our company will send us to China for training. By then, I will personally feel the prosperity of my best Chinese brother’s hometown.” Ahmad said hopefully.