PM to inaugurate first CPEC hydropower project 

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ISLAMABAD, : The 720 megawatts Karot hydropower project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has successfully passed the 168-hour long reliability test run and will start commercial operations from June 29, a testing engineer at Karot Power Company told Gwadar Pro on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif will inaugurate the landmark CPEC project the same day, another official of Karot Power said.

Karot Power is a special-purpose vehicle incorporated in Pakistan for executing the project by China Three Gorges (CTG) South Asia Investment Ltd., a subsidiary of CTG.

The test run was launched at 9:30 am on June 21 and concluded in the morning of June 28, the testing engineer said. During the period, all other necessary tests were also carried out, including the initial capacity test (ICT) meant to test all four units of the plant at a full capacity of 720MWs, he added. 

All the tests were successful and the first hydropower plant under CPEC will achieve commercial operations date (COD) on June 29, he said.

Karot HPP has been completed at a cost of US$1.72 billion. The project will play a vital role in Pakistan’s energy security by providing clean and affordable electricity. The run-of-river facility has already contributed Rs4 billion worth of electricity to the national grid free of cost.

The government has determined a tariff of 10 US cents per unit of electricity for Karot Power. “We will start charging electricity charges from June 29,” the official said.

The reliability test was witnessed by independent international engineers and officials of relevant government departments, the official said.

The testing phase started in April in which each plant was tested one by one and together with other units, the engineer said. Before the reliability run test, the plant successfully went through the load rejection test at a full capacity of 720MWs. In this test, load from a running unit is suddenly removed to check that it safely shuts down in case of tripping of the system, he said.