CPEC’s Karot HPP enters commissioning phase; connected to national grid: Officials

ISLAMABAD, Jan 23 (INP): Over 95% civil and electromechanical works of 720 megawatts Karot hydropower plant have been done and the project has entered into commissioning phase, two senior officials of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) told Gwadar Pro.

Karot HPP is among the early-harvest high-priority projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative.

The run-of-river project has iconic importance being a source of sustainable, low-cost, clean and green energy. China Three Gorges Corp. (CTG) is developing the $2 billion project as an independent power producer (IPP).

In the coming months, each of the four 180MWs units of the power plant will undergo 25-30 different reliability-run tests under supervision of independent engineers and the Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guarantee (CPPA-G), the sole public-sector purchaser of the electricity produced by the project.

Presently, the reservoir impounding is in final stages, and each unit is being tested separately due to low water flow. In the months of June and July, when there will be full flow of water, all units of the plant will be put to test simultaneously, the officials said.

The project will commence commercial operations in August, and CPPA-G has extended the commercial operation date (COD) of the project accordingly, they added.

In a related development, the National Transmission and Despatch Co. (NTDC) said last Friday that is has successfully connected the power plant with the national grid.

The project will play key role in overcoming load management issues in Gujranwala, Sialkot and surrounding districts, NTDC said.

Upon completion, the project will contribute around 3.2 billion units of cheaper electricity to the national grid, the PPIB officials said. Also, the costly asset will will be transferred to the Punjab government after 30 years of commercial operations, they said.

The officials said that hydropower projects under CPEC are vital for improving the economic and financial position of the country. We have spent nothing on these projects, but will get billions of dollars in return over decades, they elaborated.

INP/javed