To overcome ongoing power crisis, Government of Punjab under the aegis of its Energy Department established a special purpose vehicle company by the name of Quaid e Azam Thermal Power (Pvt) Limited (QATPL) in March 2015 under section 32 of the Companies Ordinance 1984 in Independent Power Producer (IPP) mode with the mandate to build, own and operate a 1180 MW RLNG based power plant at Bhikki, Shiekhupura on fast track. The objective of setting up of QATPL was to provide cheap, reliable and environment friendly electricity to the energy starved people of Pakistan and alleviate the quantum of load-shedding in the country. Accordingly, the Bhikki power plant was constructed in Bhikki, Sheikhupura under the umbrella of QATPL by deploying a state-of-the-art technology of latest H series gas turbines of General Electric, USA with unprecedentedly high thermal efficiency of over 61% in combined cycle mode. With this exceptional efficiency landmark coupled with the lowest capital cost of the project, Bhikki power plant successfully started its commercial operations in May 2018 and has to date supplied over 32 billion electricity units to the national grid at a generation cost which is significantly lower than those of many other likewise power plants in the country.
QATPL operates under a cost-plus tariff regime allowed by NEPRA. The Company is self-sufficient with no dependence on the Govt budget except for the initial equity of Rs 21.25 billon on which the Government of Punjab is earning a 12% return per annum. The project has been established at a financing structure of 75:25 debt to equity ratio. The debt has been obtained from local commercial banks against hypothecation / mortgage of Company’s fixed assets. The Company has invoiced over Rs 600 billion to the power purchaser and has also made a handsome cumulative earning of approximately Rs 30 billion up till the end of June 2022.
The Operation & Maintenance of Bhikki power plant has been outsourced to M/s Harbin Electric International, a giant power conglomerate of China under a 12 year O&M Contract while the gas turbines are maintained by General Electric under a 12 year Maintenance Agreement. RLNG is supplied to the power plant under a Gas Supply Agreement using the pipeline network of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL). The Company has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with the power purchaser i.e. CPPA-G for 30 years. The obligations of the power purchaser are guaranteed by the Government of Pakistan through an Implementation Agreement signed in August 2016.
The Board of Directors of QATPL works independently and is comprised of nine members from the private sector, three ex-officio members from the Energy, Finance and P&D departments of the Government of Punjab and one Chief Executive Officer.
Despite the unfettered surge in the RLNG price over the years due to substantial increase in the brent crude oil price in the international market and a colossal devaluation of Pak Rupee against US Dollar, the Bhikki power plant, due to its unparalleled plant efficiency, occupies 21st position out of 73 thermal plants enlisted in the economic despatch merit order list of the NTDC – a great matter of pride.
QATPL has achieved ISO certification in the first year of its operations with no major loss or incidents since COD. The credit rating of the project is AA and the project employs over 300 personnel including security and O&M staff.
As a public-sector entity established by the Government of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power (Pvt.) Limited is firmly dedicated to reduce the menace of load-shedding in the country by employing latest technology to produce clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity.
With an unwavering commitment to excellence, QATPL aims to contribute significantly to the nation’s energy sector and meet the growing demands for reliable and environmentally friendly power. In addition, the Company is also cognizant of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and has undertaken multiple initiatives in this regard including setting up of a dispensary, Energy Centre of Excellence, Sports center, extensive plantation, organizing sports events to promote sports culture, and providing scholarships to students on need and merit basis.
Through its steadfast dedication to quality, efficiency, and environmental responsibility, Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power (Pvt.) Limited is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the energy landscape in Punjab and beyond.