Port Qasim Datang power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Port Qasim Datang power station was a proposed 700-megawatt (MW) coal plant in Port Mohammed Bin Qasim near Karachi, Pakistan.


The map below shows the location of Port Qasim, the approximate location of the proposed project

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In August 2016, K-Electric, Pakistan’s largest power utility, applied with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) of Pakistan to develop a 2 x 350 MW coal-fired power project in Port Qasim, Karachi. The project was developed by K-Electric (51%) in partnership with Chinese groups China Datang (25%) and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC, 24%). The plant would burn imported coal. K-Electric aimed to commission the project by December 2020. Total investment was estimated at US$967 million.[1][2]

According to the project’s 2016 generation license application document, the proposal planned to run on imported thermal coal directly off-loaded from ships at a jetty next to the power station “as there is no firm commitment for the availability of the indigenous fossil fuels including natural gas and local coal.” The environmental impact statement (EIS) stated the plant would run on coal imported from Indonesia, South Africa, or Australia. It also stated that China Datang Overseas Investment Company Limited would supply the coal.[3]

The project was granted a generation license on May 23, 2017.[4]

In October 2017, a tender notice for the project was issued as follows: "Datang Pakistan Karachi Power Generation (Pvt) Ltd (DPKPG) is building a new 700 MW coal-fired power plant at Port Qasim, Karachi. This facility will comprise 2 x 350 MW power plant units built on reclaimed land with a dedicated coal unloading jetty for handling 50,000 DWT bulk carriers including all the coal handling equipment and facilities." China Datang appeared to be handling the financing for the EPC tender process.[5]

In April 2019, Datang signed a contract with CMEC, under which CMEC would serve as construction contractor for the project. A start date for construction was not given.[6] However, the project was not listed in the Pakistan Ministry of Energy's list of upcoming independent power projects (IPPs) of April 2019.[7]

According to project sponsor K-Electric's website, land was acquired for the project and Commercial Operations Date (COD) was expected in the 4th quarter of FY 2022.[8]

In February 2020, Karachi Electric said it sought clarity on the tariff for the plant from the Pakistan Ministry of Power, which "is necessary for successful implementation of the project in addition to securing its financing needs."[9]

In June 2020, the Cabinet Committee on Energy said it had approved the abandoning of the proposed 700 MW Datang coal plant. K-Electric said the delay in tariff notification was impacting the project’s commercial operation date and consequently the power demand-supply gap within the company’s service area.[10]


In October 2016, Abraaj Group agreed to sell its stake in K-Electric for US$1.77 billion to Shanghai Electric Power (SEP) of China. SEP would acquire a 66.4 per cent stake in K-Electric.[11][12]


According to the project’s 2016 generation license application document, China Development Bank had issued a term sheet of “around US$750m” to the sponsors in 2016. Sinosure (China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation) has also issued a preliminary letter of intent but the proponents were concerned that their timelines could be too tight to wait for Sinosure’s final approval. In parallel a consortium of local Pakistani banks were also being approached.[3]


In October 2016, "environmentalists, engineers, lawmakers and concerned citizens" expressed opposition to the project at a public hearing in Karachi.[13]

Project Details

  • Owner: Datang Pakistan Karachi Power Generation Limited
  • Parent company: China Datang (51%), China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC, 25%), K-Electric (majority-owned by Shanghai Electric Group) (24%)
  • Location: Port Qasim, Karachi, Sindh province, Pakistan
  • Coordinates: 24.766667, 67.333333 (approximate)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Gross Capacity: 700 MW (2 x 350 MW)
  • Type: Supercritical[13]
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Imported (Indonesia, South Africa or Australia)
  • Source of financing: China Development Bank

Articles and resources


  1. "Pakistan's power utility K-Electric plans 700 MW coal-fired project," Enerdata, August 25, 2016
  2. "Approval of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority in the matter of Application of Datang Pakistan Karachi Power Generation (Pvt.) Limited (DPKPG) for Unconditional Acceptance of Upfront Coal Tariff for 2 x 350 MW Coal Power Plant at Port Qasim, Sindh," NEPRA, August 11, 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Carmichael Briefing Note: Are Australian Taxpayers About to Subsidise a Chinese State Owned Enterprise?" IEEFA, November 2, 2017
  4. "Grant of Generation Licence No. IGSPL/79/2017," National Electric Power Regulatory Authority Islamic Republic of Pakistan, May 23, 2017
  5. "Tender notice for Epc Contractors," Global Tenders, October 2, 2017
  6. Signing of the Contract in Respect of the 700-MW "Coal-Based Power Plant Project in Bin Qasim, Pakistan," CMEC press release, April 29, 2019.
  7. "Upcoming IPPs," Private Power & Infrastructure Board, Pakistan Ministry of Energy, April 17, 2019
  8. "Generation," K-Electric, accessed December 2019
  9. "700MW imported coal-fired plant: KE seeks notification of tariff determination," BRecorder, February 16, 2020
  10. "PTI govt abandons K-Electric’s coal project," The Express Tribune, June 25, 2020
  11. "Shanghai Electric to pay US$1.77b for Pakistan’s K-Electric," Asia Times, October 31, 2016
  12. [http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-30/abraaj-to-sell-stake-in-pakistani-utility-for-1-77-billion "Shanghai Electric to Pay $1.8 Billion for Stake in K-Electric," Bloomberg, October 30, 2016
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Proposed coal power plants at Port Qasim would add to pollution levels," The News, October 22, 2016

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External resources