Pakistan’s power woes are set to be considerably eased, thanks to China’s efforts in building a large coal-fired plant in the country that is stricken with chronic power shortfalls. More worth noting is that the power complex – the first energy project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an essential component of the grand One Belt and One Road initiative – is based on state-of-the-art super critical technology, the latest example of China’s increased attention on green development both domestically and in overseas markets, Chinese newspaper “Global Times” opined Friday.
It will be a huge wakeup call for those who tend to find fault with China’s overseas projects and harbor suspicions as to whether China actually intends to relocate its polluting sunset industries to countries and regions along the Belt and Road route. Those making such remarks should reassess before rushing to any groundless conclusions. On Tuesday, officials from both countries broke ground on the 1,320 megawatt power plant – a joint venture between China Power International Holding Ltd and Hub Power Company – in Hub in southwest Balochistan province.
According to China Radio International (CRI), the $2 billion project will provide coal-fired electricity to four million local families following its completion in August 2019. The venture will enable affordable and reliable electricity, an extremely welcomed prospect for Pakistan where expensive power generation has the country mired in an energy crisis.
And in order to not beset the local population with pollution emissions often associated with coal-fired power plants, the venture in Hub will be equipped with boiler units running on super critical technology which improves coal efficiency, reduces emissions and lowers fuel costs. In addition, it will be outfitted with “an electrostatic precipitator to meet the highest requirements for emission controls in Pakistan,” said the report.
“Low-nitrogen combustion technology will also be adopted to lower emissions of nitrogen oxides,” the report revealed. Emission controls will account for 10 percent of the project’s total spending. The super critical coal-fired power plant highlights China’s commitment to prosperity through green development that is economically beneficial and environmentally justifiable not just along the economic corridor connecting China and Pakistan but also along the Belt and Road route.
Actions speak louder than words and this energy project will help clear suspicions over the real intentions behind China’s strategic push. Especially India, which tends to believe CPEC would undermine its influence in the Indian Ocean, should stop being nervous and think of how it might be a beneficiary of China’s green technology.—APP