GE and Harbin Electric International have achieved an important, and above all rapid, milestone with the first fire and synchronisation of the second GE 9HA gas turbine installed at the Bhikki power plant. This has been achieved less than 18 months after the large turnkey project was first announced. Distribution of the new turbine’s 385 MW output was expected to start within a few days of first fire.
The Punjab’s prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif commented: “The speed … of setting up the Bhikki power plant is to be commended. This is the fastest construction of a gas power plant of its size in Pakistan’s history … the project is a critical component of our strategy to expand access to electricity to over 90 % of the country’s population and will benefit millions of Pakistanis.”
The first 9HA unit at the plant achieved first fire on 13th February, 2017, less than 17 months after the project’s announcement. Bhikki will be the country’s first power plant to run on imported supplies of LNG and is projected to generate up to 1180 MW when it starts combined cycle operations later this year.