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Defence power plant likely to fall under new management

Karachi: A leading international energy sector firm is likely to acquire management control of the long stalled Defence Cogen Power and Desalination Plant from its current private owners and arrange for funds to ensure its early rehabilitation.

A meeting of Defence Housing Authority’s (DHA) Executive Board was informed that technical reports related to the recently completed root cause analysis and third-party evaluation of the Cogen Desalination plant did not indicate any structural discrepancy or fault in its design.

The meeting of the DHA’s Executive Board, held at Headquarters 5 Corps, was chaired by its President, Corps Commander Lt. Gen Muhammad Zahirul Islam to review various policy and functional matters of the DHA. It was informed that under the new arrangements, the authority would actively monitor the functionality of the Cogen plant, after its rehabilitation, to ensure its uninterrupted operation in future. The Cogen plant was likely to become functional by the end of the current year.

Inaugurated in February 2008, the Defence Cogen Plant was supposed to provide 84 Megawatts (MW) net power linked to the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) network and three million gallons a day of potable water for DHA’s needs. But since its commissioning, the plant remained non-functional and inoperative owing to a plethora of technical and engineering problems in the design and machinery. The machinery of the plant was found defective and not first-hand.

Meanwhile, DHA’s Executive Board was informed that the authority was establishing a Creek City Medical Complex in DHA Phase-VIII to provide high quality medical and healthcare facilities to residents. As many as ten specialised hospitals and healthcare units have been planned at the proposed Medical Complex by different hospitals and medical groups. Also, work on the establishment of three specialised medical units would start soon.

The President of the Executive Board directed DHA to observe the present financial year as the “year of DHA City”, during which fast-tracked development of the upcoming DHA’s residential project (near Super Highway) should be initiated. The Executive Board was also informed that the ground breaking ceremony of the DHA City Karachi (DCK) project would be held towards the end February, 2012, and that the mobilisation of contractors had already started.

Under the DCK Immediate Action Plan (2011-2012), contract for construction of the boundary wall and track had already been awarded, while the financial and technical bids for building the watch tower, main entrance gate, central facility building and staff accommodation were being finalised.

Fast track infrastructure development of DHA Phase-VIII was being executed, which envisaged simultaneous development of three sectors at a time. The infrastructure development of Phase-VIII, which constitutes 45 per cent area of entire DHA, is targeted to be completed by 2015. A special zone for business and commercial activities to be called ‘DHA Business Zone (DHABZ)’ is being developed for Phase-VIII.

The Executive Board approved DHABZ Regulations by-laws, which were formulated to create a coherent and properly planned Business Zone as per the master plan and image concept of DHA’s locality. The Executive Board also directed DHA not to allow graffiti on walls and hoisting of political and other flags at public places and roads of the Defence residential enterprise.

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