Rental Power Plants in Pakistan: Myth vs Reality

Rental power plants in Pakistan: myth vs reality

In Pakistan, you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t. Not always, but more often than not. There is massive power load shedding across the country, factories and plants are closing down, manufacturing businesses and exports are down, unemployment and poverty is increasing, there are riots on the streets, trains and public property are being set on fire. Government’s response? Implement the short-term energy generation project initiated in 2007 through rental power plants to eliminate load shedding by December 2009 and work concurrently on other medium and long term thermal and hydel projects. Sensible indeed but not so to our perpetual doubters.
What is rental power?
Rental power plants are set up to meet short-term and emergency requirements of a country and are typically commissioned within 4-6 months based on available technology. Rental periods are normally 5-7 years depending on the country’s need. Rental power plants have been set up in the US, UK, India, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Palestine. The concept was introduced in Pakistan in 2007 when two projects were awarded to GE and PPR, both from the US, for 150MW and 136MW each.
Pakistan needs rental power:
There is a deficit of about 5,000MW in the system and this deficiency is primarily a generation deficiency not capable of being met by better augmentation of existing plants or saving of line losses. Better augmentation and line losses can help but not solve the problem. The government has a choice of either providing power or allowing 18-hour shutdowns.
Is rental power more expensive?

Capacity, return on capital, interest on loans and loan repayments, O&M and other variable cost components comprising the rental tariff are lower than the normal IPPs as can be seen from the table below:
Rental plants are simple cycle plants and consume marginally more fuel than combined cycle power plants which...