Pakistan, China sign deal to set up largest power transmission system

* World’s largest utility company will set up three 600kV transmission lines in Pakistan on BOT basis * ‘Single largest investment in transmission lines sector’ in Pak

ISLAMABAD: China has agreed to set up three heavy electricity transmission lines in Pakistan, in the first-of-its-kind project that will help Pakistan check the spiraling energy crisis by efficiently transporting power from generation sites to end users through a reliable and effective transmission system.
Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in Islamabad between National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDCL) and the China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co Ltd (CET), the latter will develop three 600 KV power transmission lines from south to north.
“One 600kV will be set up from Gadani to Faisalabad, one 600kV transmission line from Gadani to Lahore and one 600kV transmission line will be developed from Matiari to Lahore on the basis of Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOT),” according to the agreement, a copy of which is available with Daily Times.
The NTDCL is Pakistan’s national grid company responsible for the transmission of the electric power services between the generators and the distributors through the national grid.
The CET is the international arm of the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the largest utility company of the world and the seventh largest company in the world with assets exceeding $ 340 billion and international investments in grids in Brazil, Phillipines and Portugal.
“This is the single largest investment on BOT basis in the transmission lines sector history of Pakistan,” Shahid Malik, CET’s representative in Pakistan, told Daily Times. “The project once completed will give Pakistan a new robust transmission system.”
The NTDCL will facilitate the CET in identifying the routing of the project and the locations of the substation(s) if any, the agreement reads, adding that the Chinese company will conduct its own study, with support and assistance of the NTDCL, to determine the technical feasibility and economic viability of the project.
“The NTDCL, on behalf of the government of Pakistan, will coordinate with federal and provincial entities concerned during the conduct of feasibility study and in subsequent project activities,” it said, and added that the project is subject to approval by the PPIB, NEPRA and all other relevant authorities.
The NTDCL will provide CET the land for the substation and right of way for the transmission line.
“The project will not be treated less favourably than other transmission IPP projects in accordance with the applicable laws and policy,” the MoU, which is to be governed by the laws of Pakistan, reads.
The project will be processed on fast-track basis and the timelines of development will be expedited as much as possible subject to mandatory requirements under relevant policies and regulations, the agreement, which is effective for a period of 12 months or till the execution of LOI, whichever is earlier, says.
The NTDCL, after the commercial operations date, will pay a service fee comprising of O&M and recovery of investment made by the CET during the term of the project.
The demand for electric power in Pakistan is sharply increasing due to increasing population and the growing industrialization. However, Country’s obsolete transmission and distribution system is unable to sustain the load, causing frequent tripping of grid stations and the electricity load shedding. 
Another major factor is that most of the hydropower electricity is generated in the North and most of the thermal power is produced in the South, contrary to the maximum load areas that are in the central part of the country. A reliable and effective transmission system is vital in this scenario especially so that the generated power could reach the end user with minimum losses.

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