ISLAMABAD -  The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) has extended the deadline for the submission of bids for the launch of 1,200MW power plant based on imported re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) for 15 days.

In a high level meeting of the Ministry of Water And Power and PPIB, it was decided that the earlier deadline of December 5, set by the PPIB for receiving of bids for the 1,200MW power plant will be extended till December 20. The decision was taken for the facilitating of investors, as the government want to face no hurdles or delays during the processing of the projects.

The decision to offer the project for bidding was taken by the government to complete the project as soon as possible and it could start single-cycle generation by March 2018. As per the plan, 1200MW electricity will be added to the national grid by the year 2018, which will help in eliminating load shedding.

The PPIB in October allowed the construction of 1200MW RLNG-based power project at Muzaffargarh, Punjab. The decision for the construction of power plant was earlier approved by the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) on September 15. On the advice of Water and Power Ministry, PPIB has initiated the process of inviting prospective investors for installation of combined cycle power plant of 1200 MW based on RLNG to address the power shortfall challenges. The project is located at Muzaffargarh near the existing Muzaffargarh Thermal Power Station of NPGCL having gas turbines based combined cycle technology and will have minimum annual availability of 92 percent. Open cycle operation is scheduled to start by March, 2018, whereas the full combined cycle operation will start by the end of 2018.

It is pertinent to mention here that in July this year, the government had banned private sector investments in power generation on imported fuels.

However, the decision to invite bids for Muzafargarh power plant, from private investors, was taken to ensure an end to loadshedding prior to next general elections in the country.