Investors are in the process of putting together a build-own-operate 450-MW power project near Lahore, which will be run by the Rupali Power Company. However, some practical constraints, such as the accessibility of the fuel supply, still need to be resolved.

The lead sponsors so far, for the estimated $300 million-350 million project, include the local Rupali Polyester Company. Canada’s Babcock & Wilcox has been proposed as the turnkey contractor to build the plant. The US’ Black & Veatch International has been proposed for the engineering work.

Advanced discussions are taking place regarding the composition of the debt package. Canada’s Export Development Corporation (EDC) is expected to play a major role. The Netherlands’ ABN Amro is financial adviser. The IFC is also expected to play a part, both in the financing and as a potential equity partner. The inclusion of a US-based independent power company, identified as MRG, as a potential equity partner, is under discussion. Financing quotes for the scheme are expected to be finalised for submission to the government by the third quarter of 1995. Rupali is due to be operational by mid-1998, and will not qualify for the fast-track power project bonus.

Fuel supply remains a key constraint on the project. Rupali will be a conventional oil-fired power plant. A fuel supply agreement with Pakistan State Oil is planned. Because of the inland location, current plans call for the fuel to be transported by Pakistan Railways. This could pose a logistical problem, as at least 14 units of rolling stock will need to be reserved for the project.