Mahmoodkot power station

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{{#badges:CoalSwarm|Navbar-Pakistancoal}}Mahmoodkot power station is a proposed 660-megawatt (MW) coal plant in Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province, Pakistan.

There is also a 1320 MW coal plant proposed in Muzaffargarh district, the Mouza Saddan Wali power station, as well as the existing 365-MW oil-fired AES Lalpir power plant, the 1,340-MW oil- and gas-fired Muzaffargarh power station, the 1,600-MW oil- and gas-fired Kot Addu power station, and the PARCO oil refinery.

Location

The map below shows the location of Mahmoodkot, the approximate location of the proposed project, in Kot Addu tehsil, Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province. The existing AES Lalpir oil-fired power plant is located about 2km southwest of Mahmoodkot.

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Background

According to a December 2014 overview of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan Today, a Memorandum of Facilitation Agreement was made between the Government of Punjab and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for a 1×660 MW Coal fired power plant at Muzaffargarh.[1]

The Punjab government had ordered a survey of four pieces of land for installation of two 660 MW coal-fired power projects. Following the survey, two pieces of land were selected for the purpose and were acquired: one at Mauza Rao Bela Sharki for the Kapco power station and the other at Mauza Gujrat in Kot Addu tehsil for China Machinery Engineering Corporation's Mahmoodkot power station.[2]

Residents of Mauza Budh, Bhakker Noon, Wairer Sipra and Dhengana say they are concerned about the pollution the project would cause in the area. They estimate that the pollution would affect more than 50,000 people living in these villages. Affected farmers also allege that the price paid to them for their land was lower than the market rates: they say the market price of their land was Rs2 million per acre, but they were offered only Rs600,000 per acre.[2]

Affected farmers have hoisted banners on local buses and vans, demanding the Punjab government shift the project to state land. In August 2015, Mahmood Kot police registered a case against 150 farmers, saying they were interfering with engineers and local revenue officials conducting surveys on the project site.[2]

In August 2015, farmers from five villages blocked Mahmood Kot and Qasba Gujrat roads for hours demanding withdrawal of the case of the 150 farmers booked on charges of injuring a survey team. One protester, a retired schoolteacher, said that he had received notice from the government to vacate the 10 acres of land that he and his family depended on. He said that he would die but never leave.[3]

After substantial public protests against the plant for the two plants in Muzaffargarh, the district coordination officer wrote to the federal Energy Department and other government officials, asking that a technical study be initiated to study the impact of land acquisition on local residents.[4] A survey was begun in December 2015.[5]

Ahead of December 2015 local elections in Muzaffargarh district, virtually all candidates for local office in the area around Mahmoodkot came out in opposition to the proposed plant.[6]

In March 2016, police recorded two cases against 100 people under the Anti-Terrorism Act for attacking a coal power plant survey team. The case had been listed against 150 people in July 2015 but was negated following negotiations with locals. Officials met with residents of Verar Sipra, Rao Bela Sharqi, Gujrat, and Budh to calm concerns.[7] It was reported that some local landowners opposed the project due to being offered low prices for their land; others insisted that no compensation package would be acceptable. Residents and civil society activists opposed it on environmental grounds, noting that power plants in the area were already generating pollution.[8]

An October 2016 news article in Dawn suggested the project, along with the Kapco power station, may be cancelled due to local opposition: "DCO Hafiz Shaukat Ali said the district government had so far not been officially informed about the cancellation of the projects. However, celebrations among the people are already under way."[9]

With no developments since December 2015, plans for the project appear to be shelved.

Project Details

  • Sponsor: China Machinery Engineering Corporation
  • Parent company:
  • Location: Mauza Gujrat, Kot Addu tehsil, Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province, Pakistan
  • Coordinates: 30.191, 71.011 (approximate)
  • Status: Shelved
  • Capacity: 660 MW
  • Type:
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

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References

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