Rahim Yar Khan power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Rahim Yar Khan power station was a proposed 1,320-megawatt (MW) coal plant in Punjab province, Pakistan.

The project is different from the Nishat Rahim Yar Khan power station.


The map below shows the location of Rahim Yar Khan district, the approximate location of the proposed project, in Punjab province.

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In 2014, a report by the government of Punjab province identified five locations for possible coal projects: Qadirabad in Sahiwal, Haveli Bahadur Shah in Jhang, Rahim Yar Khan, Mouza Saddan Wali in Muzaffargarh, and Balloki in Kasur. The report stated that the projects would be based on imported coal since development of Thar coal would take some time. According to the report, Punjab province's "Initiative for Development of Coal Fired Power Projects 2014" provided a framework for establishing the plants. The target would be for the province to add 6,000 MW in the medium term (3-5 years) through private or public investment. The document identified sites based on availability of land, infrastructure, ash disposal, and water, among other parameters.[1]

In April 2014, it was reported that a delegation from China Machinery Engineering Corporation had visited Punjab province and expressed interest in setting up coal plants in Rahim Yar Khan and Muzaffargarh.[2]

According to a February 2015 report in the Daily Times, unnamed sources in the power sector reported that work on the Rahim Yar Khan project as well as projects at Sheikhupura, Muzaffargarh, Jhang, and Qasoor districts of Punjab province had been stopped due to reservations raised by the international investors in the projects.[3] In May, it was reported that the Chinese ambassador had aired concern over reports that Pakistan had decided to abandon a number of coal projects, including the 6,000 MW Gadani Power Park and the Muzaffargarh and Rahim Yar Khan power stations. Unnamed officials responded that the Muzaffargarh and Rahim Yar Khan projects were delayed because of the need to establish railways infrastructure.[4]

The Rahim Yar Khan power station was included among the projects included in the January 2016 list of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.[5]

In February 2016, Huaneng Shandong Power, a subsidiary of China Huaneng Group, signed an agreement with the Punjab provincial government to build the Rahim Yar Khan plant. The project's cost was given as $2 billion; no date was given for completion.[6] In a visit in April 2016, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif established the Rahim Yar Khan industrial estate, where the new plant would be located, and stated that "if the CPEC projects are stopped due to the anarchy and chaos, the protestors will not be able to escape the wrath of [the] masses."[7]

On April 28, 2017, the Cabinet Committee on Energy headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the Ministry of Water and Power to immediately initiate a process for inclusion of Rahim Yar Khan coal plant on the CPEC priority list with imported fuel. Insiders claim that former Secretary for Water and Power, Younas Dagha, opposed having the Rahimyar project in the CPEC, saying the country would have surplus power after 2018, hence there was no need to include the project in the priority list. After his stated opposition, Mr. Dagha was replaced with Yousaf Naeem Khokhar, who promptly included the project in the CPEC, although as an "actively promoted" rather than a priority project.[8] In July 2017, Pakistan Today reported the plant would likely be built despite a surplus of power in the region, and would use imported coal.[9]

In September 2018, Federal Minister for Planning Mr. Makhdum said the government had decided future energy projects would not be based on imported coal, which would result in the discontinuation of some projects being planned using imported coal, including the Rahim Yar Khan coal power project, which the PTI-led regime proceeded to exclude from the list of CPEC oriented projects.[10]

In January 2019, it was reported that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government had determined it had "sufficient generation capacity already lined up for the next few years", and asked its Chinese partners "to formally delete the [Rahim Yar Khan] project from the CPEC list".[11]

In December 2020, Malik Amin Aslam, minister and adviser to the prime minister on climate change, confirmed that the imported coal project at Rahim Yar Khan was scrapped.[12]


The project was met with fierce opposition. For example, on July 16, 2014, hundreds of villagers near the Rahim Yar Khan power plant, including women and children, blocked the Shari Road. They suspended traffic for three hours and villagers also shaved the heads of their children in protest. The Rahim Yar Khan power plant was meant to be built on 1,625 acres of fertile, agriculture land in Ameerpur near Chattha Bhatta, which the villagers opposed. They argued that the plant should be built on the barren, less populated land that was abundant in the district.[13]


Project Details

  • Sponsor: Huaneng Shandong Power
  • Parent company: China Huaneng Group
  • Location: Rahim Yar Khan district, Punjab province, Pakistan
  • Coordinates: 28.507314, 70.390408 (approximate)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Capacity: 1,320 MW (Units 1 & 2: 660 MW)
  • Type:
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Imported[9]
  • Source of financing:

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