Debunking myths, Sahiwal Power Plant unleashes quality life
by Yasir Habib Khan
Sahiwal Power Plant [Photo/Huaneng]
Bibi Rozina is ablaze with blissful happiness. Jubilation is justified as she has recently bought a small house once was a just a dream in past; her husband’s medical treatment is now possible, and the preparation for the marriage of her daughter is on the way. Sitting in the beautiful house with new home appliances and furniture, she is contemplating various plans to materialize in the coming years.
Behind all these miraculous changes is the full-package job of his son Muhammad Ali who works as laborer in Sahiwal Coal-fired power plant. Since Muhammad Ali joined Sahiwal coal-fired power plant, his family destiny seems to have changed dramatically.
Before Coal-Fired Power plant, employment opportunities and living conditions were in tatter. Among others, poverty-stricken Bibi Rozina had hopeless eyes overloaded with dense wrinkles feeling very loom about the future of his son and family financial downturn. She had shanty home on rent. Her husband had been fighting with prolong ailment, and her son, Muhammad Ali was unemployed.
Fortunes knocked door when miraculous Sahiwal Coal-fired power plant came to prominence. Besides contributing its role in minimizing scale of energy crisis and meeting at least 10 percent of total national power need of country, it has become a sound source of employment for youth from its construction to operation. Apart from Muhammad Ali family, there are a plenty of families that benefited from the plant.
“Sahiwal coal-fired power plant is not just a power plant instead a lifeline of my future and career building,” Muhammad Ali said. So far the Plant has employed around 3000 manpower from local community. Volume of local employees is around 90 percent in comparison to Chinese staff.
A Hope For Youth’s Career
With every perspective, it is a masterpiece of success with stable supply of power, playing a vital role to safeguard the energy security of Pakistan. Approximately, power plant has supplied over 19.2 billion kilowatt-hours’ clean energy to national grid till July 31 for the power consumers of Pakistan, filling a quarter of the country’s power shortage and meeting the electricity demand of more than 4 million houses. At the same time it has effectively promoted the development of local industries and injected strong impetus into socio-economic development of local regions.
Zohiab Hassan Khokhar, working as Environmental Engineer in Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power Plant, is one of the finest examples of those who joined the plant and set their professional life ablaze.
“I belong to middle class family at Thokar Niaz Biaig Lahore. I was looking for a good start for career. Given the situation in which system does not value qualification and competence, there was meager hope for handsome job. But, my perception had to change when Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power Plant hired me purely on merit, allowing me to think that if China is shining, the reason is nothing else but merit-based system that is prevailing in the country,” he explained.
After becoming part of Huaneng Shandong Ruyi (Pakistan) Energy (Limited), Mr. Zohaib said that he got miraculous opportunity to hone his technical skills under the mentor of world-class brainy engineers. In the course of getting equipped with latest technological knowledge with hands-on experience during training sessions and afterwards utilizing them practically in the production and operation of the plant, “I feel myself fit for global competitive market in the field of environmental engineering and coal-fired plant,” he opined.
“I have the assumption that Pakistanis are loving Chinese People even more. I observed during my training period in China that as much as we love them, they love us too with innate passion and intensity, unleashing overwhelming congeniality, respect and care,” he pointed out.
Shedding a light on working environment in the Huaneng Shandong Ruyi (Pakistan) Energy (Limited), Ali Yasob, material engineer (Planning) said that the company had set high standards of level-playing field in each and every sector promising all to grow together.
“Despite cultural and religious diversity, Chinese and Pakistani staff lived as families with complete harmony. In their special occasions, we joined Chinese staff celebrations and they do the same with high spirit and enthusiasm,” he said.
A Promise to Protect Eco-friendly Community
Sahiwal project is a key prioritized project under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. It is the first super-critical power plant in Pakistan and the first power plant completed under CPEC.
Chinese and Pakistani engineers and constructors work hard together to resolve the long-existed power crisis in Pakistan. The construction was completed within 22 months and 8 days, 200 days ahead of schedule, making it Sahiwal Speed. China Huaneng Group has fulfilled its solemn promise to Pakistan Government and people. This project is a miracle in the history of power construction in Pakistan and highly praised by both Chinese and Pakistani governments and counterparts home and abroad.
Huaneng Shandong Ruyi Energy Limited Sahiwal project is a joint venture of Huaneng Shandong Power Generation Company and Shandong Ruyi Group, with an investment of about $1.8 billion.
The largest, fastest and the first environmentally friendly coal-fired power plant completed under CPEC, with the most optimal technological and environmental indicators.
It seems to be a living wonder in the history of coal-fired power plants. Ensuring higher standards in maintaining best ecosystem, values of hazardous gases of SO2 NOx, CO and mercury are remaining lower than the values set by World Bank, Japan, EU as well as Pakistan from the start till date at Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power plant.
It has also set up continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) for monitoring of the Particulate Matter (PM). In order to strength the Environmental Monitoring Protocols, Project Company has hired EPA Certified Third party Environmental Monitoring Company to follow Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMP) and to monthly submit the Environmental Reports. The Company has also installed Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station to keenly monitor the air quality and to make sure quality air in accordance to NEQS.
In designing the coal yard, the company has special attention Environmental Protection. Coal yard is equipped with water spraying guns to avoid coal dust. Catch fence is provided around the coal yard 2m higher than height of coal pile. Regarding misunderstanding that untreated water is released into outside agriculture land damaging land fertility and crops, the plant has installed one of the best water treatment mechanisms, in which coal waste water is treated and reused. Thus, it never goes into field.
Ash yard is designed according to Chinese standards polyethylene geo-membrane (two cloth one membrane) of the design to (artificial barrier layer) has the equivalent permeability coefficient of 1.0x10-7cm/s and 1.5M thick clay layer to control seepage.
This project has won the highest honor in the power industry of China and China National Quality Engineering Gold Award, the highest award in the construction field of China, and many awards of federal and provincial level in Pakistan
The Company does not only build world-leading modern power plant, but also unreservedly imparts the knowledge in construction, operation and management to local employees so that they can run this power plant by themselves within about 5 years.
171 Pakistani employees had been sent to modern power plants in China for technical training, making this training program the largest of this kind. It is planned to train around 300 local students every year with various technical courses and it will become a China-Pakistan cultural and technological exchange hub.
At present, the technical training school is completed and has enrolled first batch of students for internship program. Over years of training by the company, more and more Pakistani staff have grown into highly skilled engineers, the backbone of the future of Pakistan.
With the introduction of CPEC energy projects, Pakistan has added 3240 MWs to the national grid, amounting to more than 11 per cent of the total installed capacity of 29,000 MWs in Pakistan.
These projects also have helped Pakistan reduce its heavy dependence on gas and LNG power plants, which account for 50 per cent of total installed capacity. Moreover, Pakistan’s foreign exchange has been saved in this regard.
Yasir Habib Khan, senior journalist, special commentator of China Economic Net.