First mega desalination project of Pakistan dysfunctional

September 6, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: Revival of the DHA Cogen desalination plant is a must for Karachi and Karachiites, but the government and other stakeholders are not taking required efforts to make functional the first mega desalination project of Pakistan.

According to DHA NEWS – a Publication of Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority Karachi, Spring – 2006 Edition, HA Cogen Power & Desalination Project was meant for achieving Self Sufficiency in Water & Power. The DHA NEWS says the plant is for refining seawater so that human beings can take it is a milestone in the history of Pakistan. It will be the first desalination project of significant size in the country.

The principle of desalination is not new. Some of the earliest historical reports show that simple distilling equipment was used on sailing ships crossing the Atlantic in the sixteenth century to desalinate seawater.

The same principle have been refined and enlarged to develop desalination technology whose latest fruit is the state-of-the-art water desalination plant which is located in DHA. The novel feature of the plant is that apart from desalinating three million imperial gallons of water, it will also generate 94 MW of power every day.

The pre-commissioning activities of DHA Cogen Ltd. (DCL) will start by the end of 2006. The plant’s c power train by M/s. Siemens, Germany includes a V 64.3A gas turbine and a steam turbine on a single shaft configuration together with a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG).

The steam turbine is designed to exhaust steam directly to the two MED (multi effect distillation) plants to provide energy input to the MED desalination process. The MED units are being supplied by the leading international suppliers M/s. Alfa Laval, Denmark.

The facility also includes the necessary support infrastructure in terms of fuel gas supply, seawater intake, 132KV Sub Station, water treatment, underground storage, workshop, stores, control room and administration offices for supply of water and electricity to the local distribution systems operated by CBC/DHA and KESC respectively.

However, presently DHA is tight-lipped on the fate of this ‘milestone in the history of Pakistan’.

DHA spokesperson Major (retd) Orangzaib, when contacted, showed disassociation of DHA with the project. He categorically said that it was not the project of DHA but it was a separate private project. DHA has only provided land as a welfare act for the project, he stressed.

The project has been built on a 10-acre land in DHA Phase-VIII near Do Darya area right on the edge of the sea. It possessed the capacity of producing 94 megawatts of electricity and had the capacity to produce about 14 million litres of drinkable desalinated water every day.

Once this seemed that with such a great project the worries of residents of DHA would be ceased regarding water and power crisis. However, the project could not become reality. The project was supposed to provide the water and electricity to around 800,000 residents.

When this scribe went to different DHA offices, including information cell, nobody entertained regarding giving information about the plant. The spokesperson of DHA even refrained from providing contact number of the officers on the plant. Then, when the reporter reached the Cogen plant site where he was informed by the administrator of the plant Wajahat that no concerned officer was present there who could answer the queries and advised the scribe to visit any other time.

According to the website of DHA Cogen Limited ( Siemens Power Generation (PG) is to build a combined cycle power plant with seawater desalination facility in Pakistan. Purchaser is the Karachi-based independent power provider DHA Cogen Ltd.

The new power plant in the Pakistani harbour city will have an installed capacity of 94 megawatts and produce approximately 14 million liters of drinking water daily. The plant is a key component of a USD600-million infrastructure project being implemented by the Defense Housing Authority. When completed, this project will provide a housing area for approximately 800,000 people.

According to the website: The new power plant is scheduled to come on line in early 2007. By linking the power plant with a thermal desalination facility almost 85 percent of the energy contained in the natural gas will be utilized. A second unit of this type is planned.

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