If Someone Tries to Sell you Clifton Bridge

If someone tries to sell you Clifton Bridge for a cheap price, you should be in doubt. But what if you insist that Karachi's seawater and wastewater can be recycled in large quantities at low levels to practically end the water shortages throughout the city. Your answer depends on whether the person providing the panacea for all water issues is a telemarketer trapped in a dingy call center or a top conservative CEO of Pakistan, who runs the largest power production company in the private sector.

Hub Power Company

A publicly traded corporation that supplies about 10% of electricity to the national grid, promised its shareholders to transform into the country's first independent 'water' and power producer by 2025. A company with an asset base of Rs132 billion will shift its focus to Karachi's water supply. Hubco CEO Khalid Mansoor recently told us that he is working on several projects to end Karachi's serious water crisis. Furniture requirements. His plan to bring inexpensive tap water to the tap can be divided into small and medium-sized components.

First, let's look at a medium-sized project that turns sewage into industrial grade water. All drop problems, in baseball field terms, Karachi's home and industry require a total of 1,100 m gallons of water (MGD). This includes industrial demand of about 200MGD. In addition to groundwater, the city receives a bulk supply from two raw water sources, the herb dam in Balochistan and Keenjhar Lake in Thatta. But the total supply is only 550MGD.

At present, municipal sewage (470MGD) and industrial waste (90MGD) are mainly thrown into the sea without treatment. Hubco initially plans to establish a recycling plant that makes 50MGD of household wastewater suitable for industrial consumption. However, the plan will only work if the negotiations are over, as the Sind government ensures that the wastewater treatment facility operated by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Commission (KWSB) will continue to operate.

The price of reclaimed water is expected to be 35-40 Paisa per gallon, but the commercial proportion of a single tanker is Rs2 per gallon. Processing Plant 1 (TP1) is located in the SITE industrial area, TP2 is in Mehmoodabad, TP3 is in Mauripur, and TP4 is installed in Korangi. Until recently, none of KWSB's three water treatment plants, each with an installed capacity of 50MGD, was operated. The Sind government began acting in 2016 when the Supreme Court formed a judicial commission on water and sanitation.

The rehabilitation project for TP1

The rehabilitation project for TP1 (SITE) is expected to end in the first half of 2020, with the government increasing capacity to 150MGD. TP2 (Mehmoodabad) was permanently closed due to land-related disputes, so the government is instead building a 180MGD plant in Korangi (TP4). TP3 (Mauripur) became functional last year. The Sind government has first increased its capacity to 73 mgd and is now taking 180 mgd. These three plants perform primary and secondary treatment of wastewater, which KWSB discharges into the sea according to the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS).

We studied the whole process and wondered why we throw the sweet water into the sea. Would you recycle it because it's much harder to clean than seawater? ”Mansoor said. The government is investing heavily in K-IV, a 10-year-old Rs75bn water project funded by the federal and provincial governments to raise an additional 260 MGD to stop Karachi's water shortage. However, Hubco executives believe it is much more economical to recycle 480MGD of wastewater as part of the K-IV cost.

Hubco set up a recycling plant at TP1 (SITE) by submitting an unsolicited proposal (USP) to the Sindh Public-Private Partnership Department (PPPU). There is no point in throwing sweet water into the sea. We can install a 50MGD plant for tertiary cleaning on site devices to make all sewage suitable for industrial use. After installing our own pipe network, we will supply water to the plant on site.

USP is committed to converting 47.5MGD

The government can convert the sweet water currently in use in the industry into the home, ”said Babar Mahmood Siddiqui, Hubco's project director. USP is committed to converting 47.5MGD for industrial reuse. This is the quantity equivalent to almost 10pc of the bulk supply we receive every day in the current city. As KWSB expands the primary and secondary processing capacity of TP1, it can be increased to 150MGD. However, submitting a USP does not mean that Hubco has a contract. Individual investors may request assistance from local governments to build infrastructure projects through the USP, which lists the technical, financial and commercial details of the proposed project.

If the PPPU is determined to be viable, the proposal is brought to the policy committee for approval. It then develops a Request for Proposal (RFP) or bid and publishes it to request bids from potential investors. The first party to propose a USP participates in the bidding process with other potential investors. The former reserves the right to match bids and enter into agreements if other bidders offer better prices. According to Hubco CEO, the selling price of this water is expected to be 35-40 Paisa per gallon.

In contrast, the commercial rate of 3,000 gallons of sweet water tankers is Rs6,000 or Rs2 per gallon. Khalid Mehmood Shaikh, PPPU Secretary-General, told us that the policy committee approved the proposal and that the bidding phase will begin in three months. This contract will be awarded to Hubco or another company in about six to seven months. He added that PPPU is considering a project to convert wastewater into drinking water.

We expect some progress in six to nine months

He added, adding that a drinking water plant will be set up at TP3 (Mauripur). “I don't think there's any other solution. From TP3 should produce 70-80MGD clean water. This will present the West District at least face water shortages. Hubco's Siddiqui is looking for a possibility for the company to set up a sewage-drinking plant, but declined to give an estimated cost. City planner Arif Hasan, speaking with us, said Karachi's sewage would be a problem because many wastewater goes directly into the natural drains leading to the ocean.

First you have to let the sewage go to the treatment plant. He also made a reservation to increase the role of public-private partnerships in Sindh. It's called an unequal partnership. The public is mostly missing from this equation. Everything is good for the private sector.

Water for DHA

Hubco is ahead of the steps to develop small-scale water solutions for residents of the VII and VIII stages of DHA Karachi, Sooso said. The company received a two-acre plot from the DHA for a ten-year lease near the sea, initially constructing a 5MGD seawater reverse osmosis (RO) plant. This technology is more expensive than wastewater recycling technology. The cost is almost double. However, Hubco is betting on the fact that consumer prices will still be lower than what DHA residents currently pay for tanker water.

The plant takes sea water and goes through a cleaning process to pump it into the pipe network of the existing DHA. This means that for Tier 2 residents of DHA, drinking water is readily available at low prices. But DHA faces the same problems that KWSB faces in other parts of the city. Leaks, theft and poor recovery in the absence of water meters. One option in the table is for Hubco to replace water distribution and bill collection.

If this option is realized, the company will install water meters in all residential and commercial facilities in the area. The Hubco Board of Directors has not yet made a final decision in this regard.

Water throughout Karachi

The country's largest independent power plant has four fully functional furnace oil power plants with a total capacity of 1,200 MW in Balochistan Hub. Federal electrical purchasing authorities move the power mix away from expensive furnaces, and these plants are now idle. There is little difference from Hubco's financial performance as we continue to receive 'capacity payments' from the government, regardless of how the plant operates. Mansoor officially asked the power ministry to convert two of these four power plants to coal. All the company needs to invest in is new boiler and coal handling equipment.

Thanks to Hubco's new coal pier, which was inaugurated last month and built specifically for coal-based power plants near 1,320 MW, the company has access to coal supply. The seawater RO process is energy intensive. The cost of drawing water from the sea constitutes 20-25pc of the final price. Pumping water through the membrane requires a lot of electricity. Mansoor uses cheap electricity from two coal-based power plants to suck water from the sea, pass it through the membrane, pump it to a hub dam, and feed it to Karachi.

The furnace oil-based plant will use as much as 925MGD to cool the machine as part of its power generation, so the entire infrastructure of water intake and discharge already exists on site. The progress for the installation of seawater RO plant is $ 5m per MGD. Even if the existing infrastructure saves a fifth of the cost, the cost of installing a 100MGD plant is still around $ 400 million.

Hubco's Siddiqui said, "It's expensive." But if the government considers installing a seawater RO plant in Karachi to eliminate water shortage cities, he said, it would provide a “competitive alternative.
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