The first project under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – the Sahiwal coal-fired power plant – is up and running. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had laid the foundation of 1320 MW Sahiwal coal-fired power plant back in May, 2014.
Dealing with the electricity shortage in the country has been a top priority of the present government, and this mega project was initiated even before the official announcement of CPEC. After the historic agreement signed on April 20, 2015, the Sahiwal coal-fired power plant was listed under CPEC’s Energy Priority Projects. The civil works on the site began in May 2015 and the project is set to be operational within two years as originally expected. China Huaneng Group is the project developer and it has been successful in constructing the plant on time, while the transmission line to connect the power plant to the national grid was completed in November 2016. As per official updates, 95 percent of civil work has been completed and the power plant has been connected to the national grid by the National Transmission and Despatch Company Ltd (NTDC). The power plant consists of two units of 660 MW capacity, out of which the first one will start generating electricity by May 2017. The power plant is expected to become fully operational in June 2017.