PM inaugurates Bhikki power plant, adds 717MW to national grid

APP70-19 SHEIKHUPURA: April 19 - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif unveiling the plaque to inaugurate Bhikki Power Plant. APP photo by Chaudhry Ansar

BHIKKI, April 19 (APP): Prime Minsiter Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday inaugurated the Bhikki power plant, adding 717 MW to the national grid and lessening woes of the people facing long hours of load shedding.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Governor Muhammad Rafique Rajwana, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister of State Abid Sher Ali, and Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong.
The Prime Minister was earlier briefed about the salient features of the project. He was taken around the control room of the plant and was informed about its highly efficient environment-friendly operations.
The plant would save Rs 250 billion in operational cost alone in next 30 years. The highest output gas plant was built at the lowest cost ever leading to the lowest production cost in the world of $466,000 per megawatt (MW).
The Bhikki power plant, a key project of the Punjab government, upon completion would provide a total of 1180 MW. The project runs on General Electric 209HA Combined Cycle Technology, being executed by Harbin Electric International as EPC Contractor.
The project, near Sheikhupura, has been completed jointly by AEPL, General Electric, Harbin Electric International and their construction contractor Tianjin Electric.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif termed the completion of the gas power plant in 18 months a record and said owing to the transparent bidding the government saved a huge amount of Rs 50 billion. He said the plant would provide power at the cheapest rate of Rs 7.37 per unit.
He was informed that the plant would also have record efficiency of 61.59 per cent as compared to other power generation plants in the country.
The Prime Minister, who earlier visited the project in February this year to monitor the progress, said eliminating load shedding from the country was his government’s major challenge.