In a shock to Pakistan, Chinese Company Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company (PMLTC), which completed the Matiari-Lahore HVDC Transmission Project with the investment of USD 2.2 billion in two years time, has threatened to take the government owned company National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC) to the International Arbitration Court.

Chinese Company PMLTC, which completed +-660kV Matiari-Lahore HVDC Transmission Project with the investment of USD 2.2 billion in two years time, has threatened to move the international arbitration court against the NTDC for creating hurdles in the commissioning of the project. The Project a major project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is one of the Flagship Corridors of Chinese Belt & Road Initiative.

“In a letter written on February 06, 2021, to the Chairman of NTDC Board Naveed Ismail, Zhang Lei, Chief Executive Officer of Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company, said that PMLTC completed the project in two years time and started the system commissioning on December 1, 2020.

The letter also mentions that since the oscillation event occurred on December 2, 2020, the commissioning was suspended by NTDC for more than two months now and more than 300 engineers and technicians are sitting idle at the site.”

The letter has been sent to Federal Energy Minister, Secretary Power Division and Director General (China), China Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The issue surfaced when the NTDC had refused to validate the Certificate of Readiness (CoR), issued by Independent Engineer (CESI).

The denial came from the NTDC when its grid experienced oscillation during the testing after completion of the project. However, the Chinese company has justified the problem caused during the testing as “normal” and “causes of that problem do not pertain to the pre-commissioning tests”.

The Chinese contractor PMLTC in its letter written on January 27 to the Federal Minister for Energy, argued it is normal to have such problems during testing. The causes of that problem do not pertain to the pre-commissioning tests, said the communication.

NTDC did not respond to questions on the deadlock. The Power Division also remained non-responsive. However, inside sources say that Power Division is siding with NTDC’s action as it wants the HVDC transmission line oscillation free project.