By Mohamad Ali, President & CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems – Projects, in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and India
This week, the Balloki Power Plant entered combined cycle commercial operations, marking the completion of three highly-advanced power plants in Pakistan. At the center of these plants – Bhikki, Haveli Bahadur Shah and Balloki – lies GE’s HA technology, which has helped make them the most efficient combined cycle projects in the country.
This is significant for fuel importing countries such as Pakistan as each point of efficiency can generate up to $50 million in fuel savings over 10 years for a 1,000 MW power plant. Moreover, the HA is particularly suited for power plants and grids operating in the extreme heat and variable load and frequency conditions found in Pakistan. It can ramp up to full power in less than 10 minutes (the industry average is 15-20 minutes) and has a “turndown rate” below 25 percent of its full capacity while staying within emissions standards (the industry standard is 45 percent), allowing plants to trim off-peak output while being flexible enough to allow rapid restarts.
A global community worked to bring these plants to life, including the Chinese engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Corporation and Harbin Electric International Company Limited (HEI); the end users National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL) and Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power (Private) Limited (QATPL); and GE’s staff around the world.
Additionally, GE’s on-the-ground engineering and managerial experts in China and Pakistan helped to ensure easy communication and collaboration with the EPCs and end users and provided invaluable local insights, while helping maintain international quality standards. This enabled us to achieve some remarkable results and the projects were completed faster than any other power plants of comparable size in Pakistan’s history. For example, critical equipment was transported over a distance of more than 1,100 km from Karachi to the project sites in just 9-18 days, as opposed to the average of 30 days because of a comprehensive road, bridges, and routing evaluations, as well as the full support of local governments and security personnel. In addition, at Balloki, we synchronized an HA unit to the grid just 74 days after it was delivered to the project site, the shortest duration in which GE’s HA technology has achieved this milestone anywhere in the world.
Our team is honored to have supported our partners and customers in delivering these transformative projects for the people of Pakistan. The three new plants can produce up to an incredible 3,600 MW of electricity, the equivalent power needed to supply up to 7.3 million homes across the country. Together they are playing an important role in helping Pakistan to meet its growing energy needs and have already generated more than 11 billion kWh of power.
We are proud of the impact these three plants are already making and prouder still that over their 30+ year life-cycle, they will continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of so many across Pakistan.
Learn more about the projects in Pakistan and the impact of our HA fleet here.