(Lahore, Pakistan; May 21, 2018: Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power (Private) Limited (QATPL), Harbin Electric International Company Limited (HEI) and GE Power (NYSE: GE) announced the completion of combined cycle commissioning activities and the start of full-fledged commercial operations on May 20, 2018, 00:00 hours at the Bhikki Power Plant. The facility is now adding up to 1,180 megawatts (MW) of power to the national grid - the equivalent power needed to supply up to 2.4 million Pakistani homes.
The plant is owned by QATPL, HEI is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project, responsible for setting up the power plant and all commissioning activities and GE has supplied two advanced HA heavy-duty gas turbines, associated equipment and technical advisory services for the facility.
“We realize that the country’s energy needs are immediate and growing and have left no stone unturned in meeting these needs,” said Mr. Akhtar Hussain, Chief Operating Officer of QATPL. “Bhikki Power Plant is expected to run for up to 30 years and will help to power homes, villages, towns and cities across Pakistan. The selection of GE’s HA gas turbines, which have helped to deliver world record levels of combined cycle efficiency, will help ensure that the power generated at Bhikki is reliable, affordable and leaves a smaller environmental footprint than average, to the benefit of millions of Pakistanis.”
GE’s HA technology has now helped to deliver two world records - one for powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant, based on achieving 63.08 percent gross efficiency at Chubu Electric Nishi-Nagoya Power Plant Block-1 in Japan and another for helping EDF’s Bouchain Power Plant achieve 62.22 percent net combined cycle efficiency in France. Furthermore, the HA can ramp up or down quickly, while still meeting emissions requirements to help maintain grid stability. It thus offers an excellent flexible complement to renewable sources as Pakistan increases the proportion of solar and wind power in the energy mix, which is intermittent in nature and can fluctuate by time of day and season.
Mr. Li Chao, Chief Operation Officer of HEI and General Director of 1st Power Division of HEI added, “The Bhikki Power Plant is a testament to our commitment to power Pakistan and fuel progress. Each stakeholder involved in this project went the extra mile to cooperate, promote and benefit from one another’s expertise to bring power online at an accelerated timeframe.”
Mr. Mohamad Ali, President & CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems – Projects in the Middle East, Pakistan and India, added:“Uninterrupted, affordable power is a cornerstone of modern societies. The successful completion of the Bhikki Power Plant will benefit communities, businesses and industries across Pakistan and lead the way in helping to secure the country’s energy future. We are honoured to support the government, our customer and the people of Pakistan in establishing this state-of-the-art facility.”
GE’s HA technology has completed off-grid, full-speed, full-load validation testing at extreme conditions well beyond those encountered while in service at the world’s largest, most thorough gas turbine test stand located at GE’s manufacturing facility in Greenville, South Carolina. The technology is the fastest growing fleet of heavy-duty gas turbines today, with more than 75 units ordered to date by over 25 customers across more than 15 countries, including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Pakistan, Japan, Bahrain, China, France and others. More than 20 units are already operational, clocking in over 100,000 operating hours.
“We are proud to bring GE’s industry-leading HA technology to Pakistan, which will help the country save billions of rupees over the life-cycle of the Bhikki Power Plant through better fuel utilization and greater economies of scale,” said Mr. Sarim Sheikh, President & CEO of GE Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. “I congratulate the Government of Punjab and all other stakeholders involved in bringing this critical project online.”
GE’s HA technology also equips the Haveli Bahadur Shah (HBS) and Balloki power plants. Together, HBS, Bhikki and Balloki power plants are a significant component of the government’s strategy to enhance access to electricity to over 90 percent of the population and are expected to add a total of up to 3,600 MW to Pakistan’s grid.
GE has supported the development of energy, transportation and healthcare infrastructure in Pakistan for more than 50 years. Today, GE-built technologies can generate the equivalent power needed to supply up to a quarter of the country’s electricity.