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Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power Plant under CPEC has always given highest priority to environmental protection

Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power Plant has produced more than 21.2 billion Kilowatt-hours of cheap and clean energy, which has filled a quarter of power shortfall in #Pakistan that meets the electricity demand of more than 4 million typical households.

Mr Li Xin, the Chief Executive Officer of Sahiwal Power Plant told DiploMag that NTDCL has declared Sahiwal Power Plant as the most reliable Power Plant in Pakistan.

“It has significantly alleviated the power crisis in Pakistan, while promoting the poverty relief of locals and boosting economic development of Pakistan.

“The Company has come to Pakistan to support Pakistan mitigate its power crisis as China and Pakistan are iron-brothers. We welcome people from all walks of life to visit Sahiwal Power Plant any time to personally experience”.

Asked to comment on questions being raised about the environment issues allegedly developing due to the coal plant, CEO of the company Li Xin said that the company has developed a garden-like environment and anyone may visit and check the state-of-the-art equipment and clean production of energy here.

“Somebody once posted in twitter to question a splendid picture, ‘it’s very beautiful, but I don’t think it’s in Sahiwal’. Yes, the beautiful view is really in Sahiwal Power Plant,” he says.

Li Xin says questions on pollution due to the Sahiwal Plant were groundless, inaccurate, misleading and unfair.

“We are using super critical technology and advanced equipment that help develop clean power generation with almost zero emissions,” he said.

Zohaib Hassan Khokhar, the environment engineer at Sahiwal Power Plant told this scribe that the company always abides by the strictest standards in the whole process of construction and operation and ensures all work is conducted in compliance with laws and regulations of all levels.

“As far as the environmental concerns being raised by a section of press, the reality is that there are no environmental issues and the Company has placed highest priority on environmental protection since its foundation in Pakistan,” he said.

Zohaib said that the world’s most advanced environmental protection equipment such as FGD, ESP, Low NOx Burners, etc. have been put into operation simultaneously with the generation units, and they are all run by local employees.

“The emissions of Sahiwal Power Plant are maintained well below the design value and far superior than the PEQS, NEQS and World Bank standard. For example, regarding the emission standards of SOx, the NEQS Pakistan, World Bank Standard, EU Standard, Japanese Standard are 1700 mg/Nm³, 850 mg/Nm³, 200 mg/Nm³, 172 mg/Nm³ respectively, while the SOx emission of Sahiwal Power Plant is as low as 90 mg/Nm³, much lower than the strictest standard. The total emission of this power plant is much less than a brick kiln,” he added.

Zohaib Khokhar said that in order to ensure the accuracy and fairness of the emission data, EPA-certified third party environmental monitoring agencies were engaged to monitoring the quality of air, water and soil to ensure full compliance to standards.

“Moreover, a number of monitoring stations has been set up in the vicinity to monitor the air quality to ensure that it has no adverse effect on the crops or orchards of the surrounding villages. And the allegation that the floodlights from lamp destroyed the crops, are totally conflicts with the biological and physical theories,” he added.

“With the installation of state-of-the-art environmental protection equipment, high-standard management, and plantation of more than 60,000 trees and 140,000 square meters’ turfs, Sahiwal Power Plant is a true example of environmental friendly project and wins the Annual Environment Excellence Award of National Forum for Environment and Health of Pakistan in 2019,” he said.

“Sahiwal power plant is at this center with three major power consuming cities in its vicinity i.e. Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan, which used to cry out for electricity to overcome power crisis. The water used for power production is primarily sourced from Lower Bari Doab Canal and the Plant pay that to local Irrigation Department on monthly basis”.

He said only a small quantity of groundwater is pumped, which is mainly for potable and domestic use. “And the fluctuation of groundwater level is usually caused by the variation of precipitation and water level of the canal nearby but not by the power plant. It is proved if we compare this level with that of areas without any power plant,” he asserted.

He said Zero Emission of wastewater has been realized in Sahiwal Power Plant through comprehensive treatment by the Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Facilities.

“As the groundwater samples are tested by the EPA-certified third party, there is no pollution of ground water caused by Sahiwal Power Plant. As per the data of water survey in feasibility studies of Sahiwal Project in 2014, the amounts of arsenic and other salts in groundwater remain the same before and after the operation of this power plant,” he maintained.

To find out the true condition of the local residents mentioned in the article, Pakistan Today visited the village near Sahiwal Power Plant and asked if there were any health hazards, the villagers unanimously rejected such accusations.

Doctor Mr. Allah Ditta, the only doctor in the village, said there were no health effects in the village. “Nobody got ill or sick due to Sahiwal Power Plant,” he said. He said there were some patients with chronic breathing problems developed before the power plant was built.

“The tap water in the village has already some problems before the erection of the power plant and it’s not due to the power plant,” Nadeem, another villager says. “The health issues of the villagers before and after the construction of the power plant are the same, and they have nothing to do with the power plant,” the doctor added.

Another villager, Israr Ahmed, said that he and his mother got no problem due to Sahiwal Power Plant.

“In fact, I am very grateful that electricity could be available 24/7 nowadays because of this power plant and many people of his village got jobs at Sahiwal Power Plant,” he added. Some villagers reiterated that they had no such issues due to Sahiwal Power Plant and they would love to visit this power plant in future

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