The privatisation of the 1,600-MW Kot Addu thermal power plant near Multan in the Punjab looks set to go ahead despite facing problems earlier in the year. International investors have been invited to bid and will hold discussions with the Privatisation Commission this month, industry sources say.
The privatisation ran into problems when the labour force objected to the terms set by the Privatisation Commission. Private investors were not willing to take part in bidding until experts from the UK and US offices of Stone & Webster Management Consultants had completed a technical evaluation of the plant. Despite an agreement between the employees' union and the Privatisation Commission, Stone & Webster was denied access to parts of the plant by workers. However, Stone & Webster says that the inspection has now been completed.
According to the terms of the privatisation, Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is to sell a 26 per cent stake in the plant and the investor will take over the plant's$756 million debt. The companies expected to take part in bidding include British Gas and National Power, both of the UK, and Southern Electric of the US. CS First Boston of the US is the financial adviser. The Privatisation Commission hopes that bidding will take place before the end of the year (MEED 15:9:95).