Serving the Belt and Road and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor –– ±660kV HVDC Project from Matiari to Lahore in Pakistan Officially Started Power Transmission
On June 25, 2021, the ceremony to start power transmission was held for ±660kV HVDC Project from Matiari to Lahore in Pakistan, marking the official start of power transmission of this DC project.

Present at the starting ceremony was state and enterprise leaders including Zhang Jianhua, general director of the National Energy Administration, Nong Rong, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Xin Baoan, Chairman of State Grid Corporation of China, Zhang Zhigang, General Manager of State Grid Corporation of China, Hamad Azar, Minister of Energy of Pakistan, Asim Salim Bajwa, chairman of the CPEC Authority, and Mohammad Ayub, executive director of Pakistan National Power Transmission Company.

±660kV HVDC Project from Matiari to Lahore in Pakistan is a major project under the framework of BRI and CPEC  jointly build by China and Pakistan. And also it is a major power transmission channel with the highest voltage level, largest transmission capacity and longest transmission distance in Pakistan. The sending end converter station of the DC transmission line is located at Matiari of Sindh Province, and the receiving end converter station located at Lahore of Punjab Province. It was constructed by China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co., Ltd. of State Grid in the BOOT patterm, with commercial operation period of 25 years.

The Lahore ±660 Converter Station at the receiving end of the project was taken lead designed byEast China Electric Power Design Institude Co., Ltd (ECEPDI), which is the first overseas DC project among the grid projects of ECEPDI. Due to the special nature of the project, the project team confronted with many challenges in all aspects ,such as site survey, preliminary design, OE review, construction bid invitation, construction drawing design, and work of site representative of the project.

The first challenge is high technical difficulties. The local climate temperature is high, hence need high requirements on the design of various technical processes; at the same time, the local AC power grid is relatively weak, made the DC long-distance power transmission in large scale a world-level difficult issue, especially, the parallel operation of AC and DC lines has very high requirements on the reliability of the project and the coordiation of DC line and the grid.

The second challenge is large differences in standards. The project differs greatly from domestic projects in design standards and practices, especially in civil structures, which were all designed according to American standards. And the owner had complicated and changeable requirements,the design team of ECEPDI did a lot of work in communication and explanation, to ensure the smooth implementation of the project.

The third challenge is short design period and high requirements in economic performance. The EPC contractor adopted the BOOT pattern for construction of the project for the first time. The EPC contractor not only has high requirements on design quality, but more stringent requirements on the economic performance of the project. To meet the demand of work site and the owner, the design team of ECEPDI overcame many difficulties with centralized design and multiple optimization of schemes, and perfectly fulfilled the design work finally.

The fourth challenge is high safety risks and great difficulties in epidemic prevention. The local environment in Pakistan is complex, with great differences in cultural and folk customs and high safety risks. The design team of ECEPDI overcame all kinds of inconveniences and accepted the arrangement of site representative without hesitation, and still stayed at the construction site during the Spring Festival; especially, in the critical period of the construction, there was the global outbreak of COVID-19, the team members of ECEPDI still maintained their determination, stuck to their posts, actively implemented the epidemic prevention policies of the Company and the superior authorities, complied with the site management regulations of the EPC contractor, and strengthened personal protection measures, so as to ensure both work and epidemic prevention, fully reflecting the spirit of our design team in taking the overall situation into consideration and a sense of responsibility in serving the project construction.

This project is of great significance to the development of ECEPDI, not only as an important milestone in practicing the Belt and Road Initiative of the state, but also a key step in the internationalization and globalization of HVDC power transmission projects of China. After the operation of the project, the south-north power transmission corridor in Pakistan will be got through, with important guarantee for the power transmission from a number of power projects built by Chinese enterprises in the south of Pakistan.

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