Global energy giant General Electric (GE) will build Pakistan’s first lignite-fuelled ultra-supercritical power plant of Lucky Electric in Bin Qasim with a production capacity of 660 megawatts, the company has announced.
GE said this will it will also be the first such power plant across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region, supporting the generation of efficient, reliable power at competitive costs for 1.3mn Pakistani homes and industries.
The plant is planned to commence operations in 2021.
A Chinese construction and engineering company SEPCOIII will construct the plant.
“SEPCOIII has worked with GE for many years now on power projects around the world,” a statement quoted Qin Xubao, project director at SEPCOIII as saying.
“We are confident that our collaboration, which brings together GE’s industry-leading technologies with SEPCOIII’s outstanding management skills and execution resources, will lead to the successful completion of this important project.”
The Lucky Electric power project stands out as the first power plant located outside Thar district that will use lignite mined from the Sind Engro Coal Mining Company mine at Thar Block II, in addition to imported lignite as back-up fuel.
Sarim Sheikh, president and chief executive officer of GE Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan said coal will remain a vital part of the energy mix in Pakistan.
“The ultra-supercritical technology by GE is not only reliable, affordable, and an efficient solution, but also helps to lower emissions,” Sheikh added. “The turbines will generate up to 660MW to help the country bridge the gap between electricity demand and available supply.” 
The boilers will use beater wheel mills and proven coal preparation technology, which are essential to handling high-moisture lignite.
GE’s advanced boilers will help generate low cost power efficiently and reliably from Thar lignite, which was long considered difficult to achieve because of the low calorific value and high moisture content of the fuel.