KESC all set to generate electricity from coal


Overlooking the environment hazards that the process will entail, Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) is going to convert two dual fuel powered generation units at Bin Qasim Power Station into coal generated, and the company called an extraordinary general body meeting in this connection in the last week of August.
KESC had inked an agreement with a Chinese firm namely Bajil of Hong Kong to convert its two power generation units, each capable of generating 200 megawatts of power, into coal. The power company had written a letter to National Electric Power regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and sought approval of tariff and the project.
Although, the conversion of dual fuel powered generation units into coal would benefit the utility to generate cheap electricity, but on the other hand, two residential areas Gulshan-e-Hadeed and Steel Town would get affected badly due to air pollution. Before awarding the contract for the project, the power company had not sought the approval from the environment department before award the contracting.
Per reports, the power giant had mortgaged its two dual fuel power generation units to a Chinese firm Bajil of Hong Kong which would provide $ 400 million to complete the conversion process.
The company would provide financial assistance to ensure the timely completion of the project, while another Hong Kong based company, named Bright Eagle Enterprise Limited, had been awarded the project.
On the other hand, KESC would provide $ 100 million and the total cost of this project stood at $ 500 million. The power company had completed all the necessary arrangements and called a general body meeting. Around 1, 500 shareholders were invited so that all could be brought on the same page regarding the important decision.
Per calculation of KESC, the efficiency rating of those power units which would be converted to coal would remain the same up to 20 years, and the cost of conversion would be recovered in 10 years. The cost of electricity unit which would be generated through coal power units would stand at Rs 6 per unit. The power company would import coal to run the converted power plants.
“Conversion of dual-fuel power units into coal would be an experience infertile,” KESC Shareholders Association General Secretary Chaudhry Mazhar Ali said. “Per standard operating procedure, there should be one month stock at the power plants but there is no space at Bin Qasim Power Station for storage of coal,” he added.
“To create space at the power station, the power company has to demolish some buildings that were established inside the station,” Mazhar said, adding that, “If the power company did not create space for coal storage, than it would not be possible for it to continue power generation.”
“Besides, the two residential areas of the city, namely Gulshan-e-Hadeed and Steel Town would be badly affected due to the smoke emitting from burning coal,” he accused.
“It has been scientifically proven that the smoke emitted from coal burning is much more dangerous than smoke emitted by gas and oil,” Mazhar said, adding that, “The smoke emitted from coal burning is thicker than gas and oil and has been declared dangerous for human health.”
Meanwhile, KESC officials were contacted for two consecutive days to provide an official version about the issue, but no one responded despite repeated calls made by this scribe.


  1. Most developed countries such as Germany, and the United States use coal in the majority of their power generation as it is much cheaper than oil. With regards to pollution, coal power plants in developed nations are fitted with scrubbers and other environmental control systems in order to drastically reduce hazardous pollutants. Thus coal power plants in the west have minimal impact on air quality. Amazing how most people here jump to conclusion without ascertaining facts. We need coal and hydropower to ensure that we get cheap energy for our economy, otherwise we will forever be faced with massive load shedding and a forever increasing government debt level in order to finance the circular debt.

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