ARKANSAS, Sept 24 (Future Headlines)- In the realm of power generation in Pakistan, coal-fired plants have played a pivotal role in meeting the nation’s energy demands. Among these power plants, those constructed by Chinese companies have garnered significant attention. Notably, these plants have been consistently utilizing high-quality imported coal, dispelling any notions of inferior quality fuel. This information comes from authoritative sources, both official and unofficial, shedding light on the essential aspect of fuel quality that keeps these plants running efficiently.
An official from Pakistan’s power division, wishing to remain anonymous, responded to a news report questioning coal quality. The official dismissed the report, emphasizing that it failed to grasp fundamental facts about the power industry. Comparing the use of low-quality coal in Chinese-built power plants to running a fighter jet on standard fuel, the official highlighted the impracticality of such a scenario.
One key aspect that the news report failed to address is the classification of coal based on thermal energy. A source knowledgeable about the power industry clarified that coal isn’t categorized as “superior” or “inferior” based on differences in thermal energy. Challenging the notion that coal with a thermal energy content of less than 6000CV is “inferior,” the source pointed out that Pakistan’s Thar coal mines produce coal with a 2000CV rating. By the report’s parameters, this would classify as “extremely inferior coal.”
During a hearing, representatives from the Chinese company responsible for the power plants offered a detailed scientific explanation. They introduced precise and scientifically grounded concepts within the industry to Pakistani officials who had raised concerns about coal quality. Chinese engineers and experts enlightened their Pakistani counterparts on the scientific definition of coal thermal zones, a concept set by the agency itself. Different power plants require coal with varying calorific values, necessitating tailored designs for their boilers. For instance, the Port Qasim coal-fired power station adheres to Pakistani regulations, which specify the use of Indonesian coal within the 4500-5500CV range. The corresponding boiler has been meticulously designed to align with this calorific value range. Importantly, this design isn’t tied to coal prices.
Dispelling misconceptions, a source clarified that the calorific value of coal doesn’t significantly impact its price. Instead, coal pricing is determined by international coal exchanges, emphasizing that Chinese companies do not possess the pricing power. The source underscores the necessity of distinguishing between coal quality and pricing, a crucial distinction often overlooked in reports.
It is imperative to acknowledge the need for responsible journalism and the importance of factual reporting in the energy sector. The media report in question was criticized for lacking proper knowledge, relying on one-sided information, and failing to seek confirmation from relevant authorities. It serves as a reminder of the significance of informed and balanced reporting in the realm of energy and power generation. As Pakistan continues to address its energy needs, accurate information and responsible reporting remain paramount in fostering a transparent and informed discourse on power generation in the country.
Writing by Moe Khaled; Editing by Sarah White