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Power corp unit builds Pakistan's key 'energy artery'

By ZHENG XIN | China Daily | Updated: 2020-11-13 09:48
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China-assisted work on Pakistan's first direct current transmission project connecting Murtyari and Lahore has finished. The 878-kilometer-long line is ready to supply bulk power, project executives said. [Photo/POWERCHINA]

China-assisted work on Pakistan's first direct current transmission project connecting Murtyari and Lahore has finished. The 878-kilometer-long line is ready to supply bulk power, project executives said.

As part of the project, some 4,000 megawatts of electricity generated at new coal power plants at Port Qasim, Hub and Thar in Pakistan's southern region will be supplied to the country's densely populated central and northern parts.

This is expected to help ease the long-standing imbalance between generation and demand.

Developed and constructed by China Power Equipment Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China, the transmission link is one of the key projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The project is also expected to improve the voltage profile of the system, reduce transmission losses and enhance the stability of the transmission system, China Power Equipment said.

The line starts from the Mertyari Converter Station in the southern Sindh region of Pakistan and ends at the Lahore Converter Station in northern Punjab, a major economic province.

With a total investment of $1.66 billion, the project started on Dec 1, 2018, with the goal of completing construction in 27 months.

It is the only power transmission project in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. It is also the longest transmission line and boasts the highest voltage level in Pakistan, said State Grid Corp of China, the line's operator and the world's largest power company.

The project will ensure energy security in the most populated areas of the northern parts of the country by delivering electricity generated in the less-populated southern region. It is set to be Pakistan's "main energy artery", said State Grid.

Wei Hanyang, a power market analyst at Bloomberg New Energy, said State Grid has accumulated good experience in China in building ultra-high voltage transmission lines.

"The 660 kilovolt (standard) adopted in Pakistan is not common in China, but would be within the regular range that State Grid can accommodate," he said.

"By exporting mature technology, China will gather practical experience in the international market and hopefully share the benefit of its experience with more countries around the world."

State Grid Corporation of China said it adopted the build, own, operate and transfer-BOOT-mode for the 25-year tenure of the agreement.

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