It Boils Down to This: Technology That’s Ideal for Pakistan’s Thar Lignite

It Boils Down to This: Technology That’s Ideal for Pakistan’s Thar Lignite

December 13, 2018 at 01:12pm

Pakistan’s economy is caught between two forces: the need for more electricity to drive growth, and the need to minimize spending foreign currency reserves on fuel imports. GE power-generation technology is helping on both accounts. 

As part of its support to Pakistan’s drive for greater energy self-sufficiency, GE Power will supply its advanced Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) boiler and its steam turbine generator technology for the new 330-megawatt (MW) Thar Energy Limited (TEL) Power Plant in Pakistan. That’s enough power to meet the needs of up to 600,000 Pakistani households. 

This is the second thermal power plant in the country to benefit from this GE technology, which is especially suited to handle the domestic Pakistani fuel used for these plants: the Thar lignite coal. 

Thar lignite contains up to 50% moisture and low ash content, making it significantly challenging to handle reliably. GE’s boiler technology has been a preferred technology-of-choice because of its long-proven ability to burn similar challenging fuels in Europe and the United States.

Being able to more effectively use this type of fuel is critical to the twin goals of greater energy supply and minimized spending on fuel imports. That’s because Pakistan has about 180 billion tons of lignite reserves. With this GE boiler technology, Pakistan can better use this enormous domestic fuel supply. 

Set to launch commercial operations in March 2021, TEL is part of the larger 1,320 MW (4×330 MW) Thar Block II integrated-mining and power plant plan, which is part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) program.

GE also will provide maintenance services for the plant over a 12-year period.

The TEL Power Plant is owned by Thar Energy Limited – a consortium of the Hub Power Company Limited (Hubco), Fauji Fertilizer Limited (FFC) and China Machinery & Engineering Corporation (CMEC). The facility will use Pakistani lignite coal from the local Thar Block II mine. 

GE has supported the development of energy, transportation and healthcare infrastructure in Pakistan for more than 50 years. Today, GE-built technologies in Pakistan can generate power equivalent to 30% of the country’s electricity. 

Read more stories here about GE Power’s work to support customers across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan.

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