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Construction on Pakistan’s Matiari–Lahore line 86 per cent complete [free access]

March 18, 2020

Pakistan’s state-owned, high voltage network developer, National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDC) has competed 86 per cent construction works on the ±660 kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) Matiari–Lahore Transmission Line Project. The HVDC project is being developed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement facilitated by Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Power Division of the Ministry of Energy, NTDC and other stakeholders.


Major milestones, such as the completion of tower foundations by 95 per cent and erection of towers by 40 per cent have been achieved, along with conductor stringing.


The scope of work involves the construction of the 878-km-long line connecting the district of Matiari in Sindh province to the district of Nankana Sahib in Punjab province near Lahore. The project is being designed to have bi-pole HVDC technology, where two converter stations, one each at Matiari and Lahore, will be set up, along with three repeater stations and two grounding electrode stations. The line will have the capacity to transmit more than 4,000 MW of coal-based electricity from projects in the province of Sindh, to central Pakistan.


A special purpose vehicle (SPV)—Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company Limited (PMLTCPL), owned by Chinese firms—was given a 25-year licence for the construction of the ±660 kV line, by the Pakistan power regulator in February 2018.


Two Hong Kong-based companies, namely Zhong Cheng Xin International Limited and Zhong Zhuo Ye International Limited, own the SPV. The two companies are wholly-owned by State Grid International Engineering Limited (SGID), which is a subsidiary of China Electric Power Equipment and Technical Company (CET), which is further owned by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC).


The USD1.6 billion project is scheduled to be completed by March 2021.