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Chapter 1

1.1 Power System

An electric power system is a network of electrical components used to supply,

transmit and use electric power. An example of an electric power system is the
network that supplies a region's homes and industry with power - for sizable
regions, this power system is known as the grid and can be broadly divided into
the generators that supply the power, the transmission system that carries the
power from the generating stations to the load centers and the distribution
system that feeds the power to nearby homes and industries. Smaller power
systems are also found in industry, hospitals, commercial buildings and homes.
The majority of these systems rely upon three-phase AC power - the standard for
large-scale power transmission and distribution systems across the modern world.

Fig-1.1 Electrical Power System

1.2 History of Power Sector in Pakistan

On independence in 1947, Pakistan inherited a total 60MW of power generation

capability with a 31.5 million population, yielding 4.5 units per capita consumption
[1] [2]. The Government of Pakistan (GOP) in 1952 took control of the Karachi
Electric Supply Company (KESC, Now K-Electric) [3].

Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) was established in 1958 as a

semi-autonomous body to coordinate and give a unified direction to the
development of schemes in power and water sectors, which were previously done
by the respective electricity and irrigation department of the provinces [4]. By
1964-65, the power generation capability of the whole country rose to 636 MW
[5]. At the time of establishment of WAPDA, the number of electrified villages in
the country was 609 which rose to 1882 villages by the year 1965 [1].
Industrialization started and living standards of people in the country improved.
The task of providing power to meet pace of rapid industrialization, power
development picked up speed and the generating capability rose from 636 MW to
7000 MW in 1990-91 with installation of a number of thermal and hydro power
units [1] [5].

The demand exceeded supply capability by about 15-25% in the early 1990s,
requiring about 1,500 to 2,000 MW of load shedding during peak hours. There was
a weak link between the electricity price and demand, resulting in high demand.
While on the supply side, the capacity shortage was the inability of the public
budget to meet the high investment required by the power sector for development
of projects. The GOP, in line with its strategic plan of 1992 decided restructuring
the entire power sector in the country [6] [7].
In order to eliminate power shortage in minimum time, an Energy Task Force in
1993 was constituted by GOP to devise a comprehensive policy to revive the
energy sector [8]. On the recommendations of the Energy Task Force, the GOP in
March 1994 announced a "Package of Incentives for Private Sector Power
Generation Projects and Policy Framework" to introduce a large scale private
sector investment in power development [8] [9].

On December 16, 1997, issue of the Gazette of Pakistan proclaimed the enactment
of the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power
Act, 1997, which had be-come effective on 13 December 1997, known as NEPRA
act [10]. Thus National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has been
created to regulate the electric power sector of Pakistan, introduce sound
commercial principals and ensure transparency in the power sector.

1.3 Existing Structure of Power Sector in Pakistan

The WAPDA act was amended in December 1998, which allowed the creation of
Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), and unbundling of WAPDAs Power
Wing into: eight distribution companies (formed from existing area boards);
four generating companies (comprising 11 of WAPDAs thermal generating
plants); and National Transmission and Dispatch Company Limited (NTDCL) [2].
More recently out of eight distribution companies Hyderabad electric supply
company (HESCO) is divided to from two companies Sukkur Electric Power
Company (SEPCO) and HESCO, while PESCO is under process of bifurcation to
form Tribal Electric Supply Company (TESCO).

The Government of Pakistan privatized Karachi Electric supply Company (KESC)

in November 2005 [3]. At present, KESC and NTDCL operate their own networks
and are interconnected through 220 KV double circuit transmission lines and can
supply power to each other.

Now Pakistan's power system is divided into three main categories which includes
power generation, WAPDA (Hydro generation), GENCOs (Thermal generation),
and IPPs (Independent Power Producers consisting of thermal and nuclear
generation). Transmission is controlled by NTDCL & KESC, whereas distribution
is controlled by power distribution companies i.e. 10 DISCOs and KESC.
Distribution companies (DISCOs) and KESC are supplied with electricity to meet
their demand by two transmissions companies (NTDCL and KESC).

Fig-1.2 Existing Structure of Power Sector

Fig-1.3 Existing Electric Power Generation Sources in Pakistan

1.4 Scope of Study

The study will focus possibilities of construction of transmission lines over 500
kV in Pakistan by looking at the available experience of construction of power
transmission lines above 500 kV in both HVAC and HVDC technologies
throughout the world. The other focus area of this study is to relate the construction
of these EHV transmission lines above 500 kV to the major power projects in
Pakistan and future grid interconnections desired by the government of Pakistan as
per its international commitments. Since these EHV transmission lines are always
constructed to transfer huge amount of power over considerably large distances.

Already power dispersal feasibilities of mega projects in field of power and energy
are conducted by many international consulting companies specialized in this field
on behalf of government agencies related to this work. So the scope of this study
will also focus on these feasibilities about their merits and demerits if any.
Another aspect to be focused in this study will be economic feasibility of
construction of lines above 500 kV along with considerations for future
expansions, as more and more land congestions will strongly be felt for
constructing new transmission lines in same corridors due to the clearances
required by these EHV lines.

1.5 Definitions of important terms

Power system or Grid: The electrical network of generators, transformers,

loads, transmission and distribution lines. The electricity generation,
transmission and distribution are its main components.
Substation: A junction of incoming and outgoing circuits. The electrical
power is controlled, transformed, transmitted and utilized.
Skin Effect: The phenomena arising due to unequal distribution
of current over the entire cross section of the conductor being used for long
distance power transmission is referred as the skin effect in transmission
lines. [11]
Ferranti Effect: In case of light loading or no load operation of
transmission system, the receiving end voltage often increases beyond the
sending end voltage, leading to phenomena known as Ferranti effect in
power system. [11]
Corona Effect: The phenomena of electrical discharge occurring in
transmission line for high values of voltage, due to ionization of air
surrounding the conductors is known as the corona. [11]
ROW: Right of way is that it is a type of easement granted or reserved
over the land for transportation purposes; this can be for a highway, railway
as well as electrical transmission lines and oil and gas pipelines etc.
Chapter 2

Power System Transmission Networks

2.1 Transmission Network

Electric power transmission is the bulk transfer of electrical energy, from

generating power plants to electrical substations located near load centers. [11]
Electrical power is generated at different generating stations. These generating
stations are not necessarily situated at the load center. During construction of
generating station, numbers of factors are considered from economical point of
view. These all factors may not be easily available at load center; hence generating
stations are not normally situated very nearer to load center. Load center is the
place where maximum power is consumed. Hence there must be some means by
which the generated power must be transmitted to the load center. Electrical
transmission lines are the means of transmitting power from generating station to
different load centers [11]. To serves this power components such as transmission
lines, cables, circuit breakers, switches and transformers are used. Transmission
lines, when interconnected with each other through these components, become
transmission networks.

2.1.1 Over Head Transmission

High-voltage overhead conductors are not covered by insulation. The conductor

material is nearly always an aluminum alloy, made into several strands and
possibly reinforced with steel strands. Copper is sometimes used for overhead
transmission, but aluminum is lighter, yields only marginally reduced performance
and costs much less. Since overhead transmission wires depend on air for
insulation, the design of these lines requires minimum clearances to be observed to
maintain safety. Adverse weather conditions, such as high wind and low
temperatures, can lead to power outages [12].
Fig-2.1 View of Two Parallel 500 kV over Head Transmission Lines

2.1.2 Under Ground Transmission

Electric power can also be transmitted by underground power cables instead of

overhead power lines. Underground cables take up less right-of-way than overhead
lines, have lower visibility, and are less affected by bad weather. However, costs of
insulated cable and excavation are much higher than overhead construction and
have greater operational limitations but are sometimes used in urban areas or
sensitive locations. Faults in buried transmission lines take longer to locate and
repair. Underground lines are strictly limited by their thermal capacity, which
permits fewer overloads or re-rating than overhead lines. Long underground AC
cables have significant capacitance, which may reduce their ability to provide
useful power to loads beyond 50 miles. Long underground DC cables have no such
issue and can run for thousands of miles. Underground power transmission has a
significantly higher cost [12].

2.2 Transmission of Electrical Energy

Engineers design transmission networks to transport the energy as efficiently as

feasible, while at the same time taking into account economic factors, network
safety and redundancy. Transmission efficiency is greatly improved by devices that
increase the voltage, (and thereby proportionately reduce the current) in the line
conductors, thus allowing power to be transmitted with acceptable losses.
Fundamentally there are two systems by which electrical energy can be

(1) High voltage DC electrical transmission system (HVDC).

(2) High voltage AC electrical transmission system (HVAC).

2.2.1 HVDC Transmission

High-voltage direct current (HVDC) is used to transmit large amounts of power

over long distances or for interconnections between asynchronous grids. When
electrical energy is to be transmitted over very long distances, the power lost in AC
transmission becomes appreciable and it is less expensive to use direct
current instead of alternating current. For a very long transmission line, these lower
losses (and reduced construction cost of a DC line) can offset the additional cost of
the required converter stations at each end.

HVDC is also used for submarine cables because over about 50 miles lengths AC
cannot be supplied. In these cases special high-voltage cables for DC are used.
Submarine HVDC systems are often used to connect the electricity grids of islands,
for example, between Great Britain and mainland Europe, between Great Britain
and Ireland, between Tasmania and the Australian mainland, and between the
North and South Islands of New Zealand. Submarine connections up to 600
kilometers (370 mi) in length are presently in use.

There are some advantages in using DC transmission system-

Only two conductors are required for Dc transmission system. It is further

possible to use only one conductor of DC transmission system if earth is
utilized as return path of the system.

The potential stress on the insulator of DC transmission system is about 70%

of same voltage AC transmission system. Hence less insulation cost is
involved in DC transmission system. Inductance, capacitance, phase
displacement and surge problems can be eliminated in DC system.
2.2.2 HVAC Transmission

Generally electrical energy is transmitted by three 3-phase AC transmission

system. The alternating voltages can easily be stepped up & down, which is not
possible in DC transmission system.

Maintenance of AC substation is quite easy and economical compared to DC

system. The transforming in AC electrical substation is much easier than
motor- generator sets in DC system.

But AC transmission systems also have some disadvantages like,

The volume of conductor used in AC system is much higher than that of DC.

The reactance of the line, affects the voltage regulation of electrical

power transmission system. Problems of skin effects and proximity effects
are only found in AC system.

AC transmission system is more likely to be affected by corona effect than

DC system.

Construction of AC electrical power transmission network is more complex

than DC system. Proper synchronizing is required before inter
connecting two or more transmission lines together; synchronizing can
totally be omitted in DC transmission system.
2.3 Transmission Network of Pakistan

National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDCL) Limited is the major

transmission network operator in Pakistan and was incorporated on 6th November,
1998 and commenced commercial operation on 24th December, 1998. It was
organized to take over all the properties, rights and assets obligations and liabilities
of 220 KV and 500KV Grid Stations and Transmission Lines/Network owned by
Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) [13].

NTDC operates and maintains thirteen 500 KV and thirty six 220 KV Grid
Stations, over 5000 km of 500 KV transmission line and 7500 km of 220 KV
transmissions line in Pakistan. Transmission system of Pakistan is one of the few
largest synchronized systems in the world, expanding from Karachi in South to
Peshawar in north.

Highest operating voltage in the country for transmission system is 500 kV.
NTDCL operates and maintains primary transmission system of Pakistan at 500 kV
and 220 kV. While the secondary transmission system operated at 132 kV and 66
kV is owned and maintained by different distribution companies in the country.
Secondary transmission system consists of more than 900 132 kV grid stations and
24000 km of transmission lines.

K electric previously known as KESC is second transmission company in the

country operating only in the largest metropolis of the country i.e. Karachi. K-
Electrics transmission system comprises a total of 1249 km of 220 KV, 132 KV
and 66 KV lines with 62 grid stations [14]. K electric is connected to NTDCL
transmission network via four 220 kV transmission lines.
Fig-2.2 Existing/Committed 500/220 kV System Up to Year 2016-17

Chapter 3

Construction of High Voltage Transmission Lines

High voltage, extra high voltage or ultra high voltage transmission lines are
constructed for power dispersal over very long distances. The source of power may
be generating stations that are located far from load centers or from other utilities
willing to export power. Whatever the case may be if distance is large enough high
voltage to ultra high voltage AC or DC transmission lines are considered as means
for transfer of this power. For choosing the best option suitable and its
implementation for power dispersal there are few stages:
Power Resource potential identification


o Feasibility for most suitable option

o Design details for selected option

Implementation / Construction

Operation and Maintenance

3.1 Power Resource potential identification

In Pakistan power resource identification are provided via different forums, but
most prominent of them are Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA),
Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB) and Alternate Energy Development
Board (AEDB). WAPDA in its report of Hydro Power Potential in Pakistan dated
may 2010 [15] has identified the potential sites for hydro power generation in
Pakistan. PPIB in its report on Pakistan Coal Power Generation Potential issued in
June 2004 [16] had identified various sites in detail for power generation from
coal; similarly AEDB in collaboration with PPIB identifies the renewable energy
resource potential for development of these sites.
3.2 Planning

In Pakistan power planning and power system expansion plans based on least cost
generation plans are studied and prepared by the Power Planning NTDCL once the
power generation sites are identified and their feasibilities are prepared.

3.2.1 Feasibility

NTDCL based on its least cost generation expansion plans prepares studies and
feasibilities for power dispersal of these new generating sites. Most suitable
options are selected during these transmission studies keeping in view, the
geographical location, availability of land for construction of transmission lines,
environmental impacts, power system reliability and compatibility with existing
infrastructure, future expansions, local or international commitments, socio-
economic impacts, impacts on national interest and economy. After passing
through detailed studies the best option is selected for further detailed design work.

3.2.2 Design

Once a power dispersal scheme is selected then design department of NTDCL

starts preparing the detail design of the transmission lines. Transmission Line Components Towers
Transmission towers are the most visible component of the bulk power
transmission system. Their function is to keep the high-voltage conductors
separated from their surroundings and from each other. Higher voltage lines
require greater separation. The unintended transfer of power between a conductor
and its surroundings, known as a fault to ground, will occur if an energized line
comes into direct contact with the surroundings or comes close enough that an arc
can jump the remaining separation. A fault can also occur between conductors.
Such a fault is known as a phase-to-phase fault. The first design consideration for
transmission towers is to separate the conductors from each other, from the tower,
and from other structures in the environment in order to prevent faults. This
requirement and the electrical potential (voltage) define the basic physical
dimensions of a tower, including its height, conductor spacing, and length of
insulator required to mount the conductor. Given these basic dimensions, the next
design requirement is to provide the structural strength necessary to maintain these
distances under loading from the weight of the conductors, wind loads, ice loading,
seismic loads, and possible impacts. Of course, the structure must meet these
requirements in the most economical possible manner. This has lead to the
extensive use of variants on a space frame or truss design, which can provide high
strength with minimal material requirements. The result is the ubiquitous lattice
work towers seen in all regions of the country. The last design requirement is to
provide a foundation adequate to support the needed tower under the design loads.
Some of the environmental implications of a transmission line result directly from
these transmission tower design requirements. First, the physical dimensions of the
towers and the resulting line arrangements and line spacing establish the necessary
minimum dimensions of the ROW, including clearances to natural and man-made
structures. To create and maintain these clearances, it is often necessary to remove
or trim vegetation during construction and operation. In addition, excavation,
concrete pouring, and pile driving are required to establish foundations.
All of these tasks require access roads and service facilities with dimensions and
strength sufficient to handle large, heavy tower components, earthmoving
equipment, and maintenance equipment.

Fig-3.1 Transmission Line Components

Fig-3.2 T/L Insulator Strings Fig-3.3 T/L Dampers

Figure 3.4 shows a lattice-type tower with a single-circuit 765-kV line. A close
look at the figure reveals twelve conductors strung from insulators suspended on
the crossbar, but this is a single-circuit line. Thus, there are three isolated
conductors for a single AC transmission circuit. The lattice tower in Figure 3.4
uses groups of four conductors to carry each of the three phases. Above 220 kV,
bundled conductors are normally used to reduce corona discharge.

There are several other features to note in Figure 3.4. The conductors are supported
in a horizontal configuration. This configuration requires broad towers to achieve
adequate line separation, which is about 45 feet between conductors for 765 kV.
The horizontal configuration requires a correspondingly greater cleared width for
the ROW than a vertical configuration.

FIGURE 3.4 Lattice (left) and Monopole (right) Towers

Figure 3.4 shows a 765-kV deviation tower located less than 50 yards from a new
two-story home. The illustration provides a good indication of the size of these
towers. The footprint for towers along straight segments is smaller because the
balanced conductor load reduces the bending moment that must be supported at the

FIGURE 3.5 Deviation Tower in a Residential Neighborhood Tower Specifications

The minimum set of specifications for towers are the material of construction, type
or geometry, span between towers, weight, number of circuits, and circuit
configuration. At 500 kV, the material of construction is generally steel, though
aluminum and hybrid construction, which uses both steel and aluminum, have also
been used. The type of tower refers to basic tower geometry (Annexure-1,
Showing tower specifications used by NTDCL in Pakistan on 500 KV T/Lines).
The weight of the tower varies substantially with height, duty (straight run or
corner, river crossing, etc.), material, number of circuits, and geometry. The
average weight of 670 towers for 500-kV lines included in the EPRI survey (EPRI
1982) is 28,000 lb. The range of reported tower weights is 8,500 to 235,000 lb
[17]. The type of tower (specific tower geometry) is very site-dependent, and, for
any given conditions, multiple options are likely to exist. The next section provides
some illustrations of specific tower types and describes their relative impacts. The
number of circuits is generally either one or two. The circuit configuration refers to
the relative positioning of conductors for each of the phases. Generally the options
are horizontal, vertical, or triangular. The vertical orientation allows for a more
compact ROW, but it requires a taller tower. Minimum Clearances

The basic function of the tower is to isolate conductors from their surroundings,
including other conductors and the tower structure. Clearances are specified for
phase-to-tower, phase-to-ground, and phase-to-phase. Phase-to-tower clearance for
500 kV ranges from about 10 to 17 feet, with 13 feet being the most common [17]
specification. These distances are maintained by insulator strings and must take
into account possible swaying of the conductors. The typical phase-to-ground
clearance is 30 to 40 feet. This clearance is maintained by setting the tower height,
controlling the line temperature to limit sag, and controlling vegetation and
structures in the ROW. Typical phase-to-phase separation is also 30 to 40 feet
[17] and is controlled by tower geometry and line motion suppression. Conductor Motion Suppression

Wind-induced conductor motion, vibration, can damage the conductors. A variety

of devices have been employed to dampen these oscillatory motions. By far, the
most common damper style on 500 kV lines is called the Stockbridge damper.
These devices look like elongated dumbbells hung close to and below the
conductors, a few feet away from the point of attachment of the conductors to the
tower. The weighted ends are connected by a short section of stiff cable, which is
supported by a clamp to the conductor immediately above. Dampers can prevent
the formation of standing waves by absorbing vibration energy. Typically, a single
damper is located in each span for each conductor. Lightning Protection

Since the towers are tall, well-grounded metallic structures, they are an easy target
for lightning. This puts the conductors, other energized equipment, and even
customer equipment at high risk. To control the effects of lightning, an extra set of
wires is generally strung along the extreme top points of the towers. These wires
are attached directly to the towers (no insulation), providing a path for the
lightning directly to and through the towers to the ground straps at the base of the
towers. The extra wires are called shield wires and are either steel or aluminum-
clad steel with a diameter of approximately inch. Conductors

A variety of conductor compositions and constructions are currently in use to meet

a variety of specific requirements. In the early years of the industry, copper was
used almost exclusively because of its high electrical conductivity, but cable
diameters with copper were determined more by the need for mechanical strength
than by the need for improved conductivity. The low strength-to-weight ratio of
copper limited the acceptable span length (distance between towers). Aluminum,
with its higher strength-to-weight ratio, was introduced as an alternative to copper,
allowing for greater span lengths. Though copper has higher conductivity than
aluminum, the lower density of aluminum gives it a conductivity-to-weight ratio
twice that of copper.

These composite conductors are designated by stranding combinations. For

instance, 84/7 has 84 aluminum strands surrounding a central core of 7 steel
strands. These aluminum conductor steel reinforced (ACSR) composite conductors
have been given bird names, rather than flower names. For example, the 26/7
ACSR conductor is known as the Starling [18].

Fig-3.6 ASCR Conductor View-I Fig-3.7 ASCR Conductor View-II Insulators
Insulator design varies according to tower function. For suspension towers (line of
conductors is straight), the insulator assembly is called a suspension string. For
deviation towers (the conductors change direction), the insulator assembly is called
a strain string. For 500-kV lines, the insulator strings are built up from individual
porcelain disks typically 5.75 inches thick and 10 inches in diameter [18]. The full
string is composed of 18 to 28 disks, providing a long path for stray currents to
negotiate to reach ground. At this voltage, two to four insulator strings are
commonly used at each conductor connection point, often in a V pattern to limit
lateral sway.

Fig-3.8 Porcelain Disc Insultor Fig-3.9 Glass Type Disc Insulator

. Right of Ways (ROWs)

A ROW is a largely passive but critical component of a transmission line. It

provides a safety margin between the high-voltage lines and surrounding structures
and vegetation. The ROW also provides a path for ground-based inspections and
access to transmission towers and other line components, if repairs are needed.
Failure to maintain an adequate ROW can result in dangerous situations, including
ground faults.
A ROW generally consists of native vegetation or plants selected for favorable
growth patterns (slow growth and low mature heights). However, in some cases,
access roads constitute a portion of the ROW and provide more convenient access
for repair and inspection vehicles. Multiple Lines

The use of a common corridor of ROW for multiple transmission lines is likely to
be restricted if it presents a credible risk of a multi circuit outage. Mitigation
measures, principally increasing line spacing beyond that required for fault
protection, may be used to reduce risk. Multiple lines in a single corridor are
subject to the following hazards:

A tower from one line falling on conductors of an adjacent line.

A shield wire (grounded lightning protector connecting the tops of the
towers) being dragged onto adjacent lines by an aircraft.
An aircraft damaging more than one circuit.
Fire or smoke on the ROW.
Lightning strikes.
Deliberate malicious damage

Table 3.1: Minimum ROW Width (Source: FERC 2004)

3.3 Implementation / Construction

After final designs and detailed financial expenses government approval is sought
to arrange financing. When finance is arranged, contract is awarded via bidding to
successful contractor for construction of transmission lines in collaboration with
EHV department of NTDCL. Following few steps are followed during construction
in field:

Staging Area Development

Establish Access-New Access Road Requirements.
Clearing of Sites for Structures
Drilling and laying Foundation of Tower
Tower assembling
Stringing of Conductor

Fig-3.10 Clearing Vegetation for Expansion

Fig-3.11 Drilling Rock for Blasting to Set Tower Foundation Footings

Fig-3.12 Anchor Bolt Cage and Reinforcing for Tower Foundation Construction
Fig-3.13 Crane Being Used to Lower a Tower Section onto a Tower Base

3.4 Operation and Maintenance

After successful commissioning of transmission line, the line is handed over to

GSO department of NTDCL. GSO physically operates and maintains the
transmission lines during normal and emergency conditions. Scheduled
maintenance and visual inspection is carried out by transmission line staff as per
the grid maintenance SOPs after permission from the system operator (NPCC
department of NTDCL, in Pakistan).
Chapter 4

Feasibility of Construction of EHV Transmission Lines

Above 500 kV in Pakistan
4.1 EHV and UHV Transmission Lines

EHV and UHV transmission is not a new idea, and a number of UHVAC circuits
have already been constructed in different parts of the world. For example, 495 km
of 1,150 kV circuits were built in the Former USSR in 1985 (Ekibastuz-
Kokcehtav) and then operating voltage changed to 500 kV after few years, and
427 km of 1,000 kV AC circuits have been developed in Japan (Kita-Iwaki power
line). Experimental lines of various scales are also found many
countries.[19] However, most of these lines are currently operating at lower
voltage due to insufficient power demand or other reasons.[20][21] There are
fewer examples of UHVDC. Although there are plenty of 500 kV (or below)
circuits around the world, the operative circuit above this threshold is
the Itaipu 600 kV project in Brazil. In Russia, construction work on a 2400 km
long bipolar 750 kV DC line, the HVDC EkibastuzCentre started in 1978 but it
was never finished. In USA at the beginning of the 1970s a 1333 kV powerline
was planned from Celilo Converter Station to Hoover Dam. For this purpose a
short experimental power line near Celilo Converter Station was built, but the line
to Hoover Dam was never built.

4.1.1 UHV circuits completed or under construction

As of 2014, the completed UHV circuits are:

JindongnanNanyangJingmen (JNJ): A 654 km, 1000 kV UHVAC circuit.

Construction started in November 2006 and completed in December 2008
with capacity of 2800MW. The capacity was expended to 5000MW in
Yunnan - Guangdong (YG): First UHV transmission line in China Southern
Power Grid Company. A 1373 km from Lufeng, Yunnan to Zengcheng,
Guangdong, 800 kV UHVDC 12-pulse bipole circuit with 5000 MW
capacity. Construction started in December 2006. The lower 400 kV pole
test operation completed in July 2009. Monopole operation is achieved on
December 28, 2009. Bipole operation is achieved in June 18, 2010.[23]

XiangjiabaShanghai (XS): A 1907 km, 800 kV UHVDC 12-pulse bipole

circuit with 6400 MW capacity. Construction started in December 2007.
Operation started in July 8, 2010.[24]

Jinping Sunan (JS): A 2095 km, 800 kV UHVDC 12-pulse bipole circuit
with 7200 MW capacity. Construction started in 2009, completed in
December, 2012.[25]

Huainan Shanghai: 2x649km, 1000 kV double circuit UHVAC,

Construction started in October 2011, completed in September, 2013.[26]

Hami Zhengzhou: 2192 km, 800 kV UHVDC. Construction started in

May, 2012, completed in January, 2014.[27]

Nuozhadu - Guangdong (NG): Second UHV transmission line in China

Southern Power Grid Company. A 1413 km from Puer,
Yunnan to Jiangmen, Guangdong, 800 kV UHVDC with 5000 MW
capacity. The line started operation in September, 2013.[28]

Xiluodu - Zhejiang West (XZ): A 1680 km from Yibin to Jinhua, Zhejiang,

800 kV UHVDC with 8000 MW capacity, the highest so far in China. The
line is operational by at July, 2014.[29]
The under-construction UHV lines are:

Zhejiang North - Fuzhou (ZF): 2x603km, 1000 kV double circuit UHVAC

with 6800MW capacity. The line started construction in April, 2013, and
plan to be operational by March, 2015.[30] [31]

Power Grid Corporation of India is also building India's first UHVDC

transmission line, the 1,728km 800kV North-East Agra UHVDC link,
capable of transmitting 8,000MW of power. The project is being delivered
by ABB and is scheduled for commissioning in 2015. It will be the longest
power transmission line in the country upon commissioning [32] [35]

While voltage levels of 765 kV have been introduced in many countries which
include Canada, Brazil, Russia, USA, South Africa, South Korea, Venezuela
and India [33][34] [35].

Fig-4.1 1000 kV Test Line Developed by Siemens

Fig-4.2 1000 kV Test T/L Tower Design by Siemens

Table 4.1: Expected Growth in Transmission Lines In North America


Feasibility of Transmission Lines above 500 kV in Pakistan

In Pakistan feasibility studies of power dispersal schemes for major generation

projects has been carried out by NTDCL with the help of internationally
recognized consultants, keeping in view the technical, environmental, socio-
economic aspects, future expansion plans and national interests along with local
and international commitments.

The key objective of the transmission expansion plan [36] is to ensure that the
planned generation can be delivered to the load centers throughout the country. To
achieve this task following items are considered.

To identify technical and or economic requirements that might require the

introduction of any new voltage levels and/or transmission types into the
existing transmission network.

To fulfill the reliability criteria of NTDC Grid Code approved by NEPRA in

terms of acceptable voltage, frequency, loading of lines and transformers for
normal (N-0) and contingency (N-1) conditions both under disturbed
dynamic/transient conditions and steady state conditions.

To check the transient and dynamic stability of 500 kV HVAC or above, and
HVDC systems catering for the bulk transmission of power from major power
plants to the major load centers to verify the adequacy of network for normal
and disturbed conditions.
Planning criteria is to study system in Steady State, Dynamic/Transient
Conditions, Grid Frequency Variations, Grid Voltage Variations and Short
Circuit (Fault Levels).

The power dispersal feasibility of the following mega power projects is discussed:

26 Hydro Power Projects

Electricity Export from Iran
Thar Coal Project

4.2.1 26-Hydro Power Projects [37]

This feasibility study identifies the available corridors for the transmission lines
and transmission scheme to evacuate almost 36,000MW of power to load centers
from future hydropower projects.

Table 4.2: List of 26 Hydropower Projects

Alternate rationalized capacities of four HPPs as suggested in NTDC letter No.
4324-27/CE/EHV-1/ dated 05/04/2010 followed by NPSEP were:

Bunji 5400 MW
Palas Valley 580 MW
Tungas 2000 MW
Yulbo 2400 MW
System Study Services and Options for 26 HPPs

Based on the available transmission corridors identified by the surveys conducted

by MAES, the HPPs were divided into different groups with interconnection
schemes to transmit their collective power through common corridors to grid
substations at load centers. Intermediate substations were considered at appropriate
locations to collect power at the end of a corridor before distributing power to the
main load centres at Gujranwala, Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad.

Most of the available and suitably accessible corridors in the north have some very
narrow sections with limited space. Therefore based on available corridors new
connection schemes were developed and the groups selected by the Consultants to
include the additional HPPs.

Intermediate substations considered for the scope as follows:

Chilas to collect power from Basha and Bunji;

Aliot near the Murree- Muzaffarabad Road to collect power from Kunhar
Valley and also additional HPPs in the Jhelum Valley;

Mansehra to collect power from Chor Nullah and Ogi Valley; and

Mardan to collect power transmitted through the Swat Valley.

For each corridor the voltage levels as defined in the Contract of 500 kV HVAC,

765 kV HVAC and 500 kV HVDC were considered for study and analysis. The
initial corridors proposed included one from Chilas to the south up Thak Nala to
the Babusar Pass through the Kaghan Valley and down the Kunhar River to the
Jhelum River. There was no alternative found to the selected routes through the
passes at Babusar and Batugah where sections of the corridor reach altitudes of
more than 4000 masl. This altitude is more than the peaks of the highest
mountains in Europe. The new corridors for the additional HPPs also included
sections at high altitudes to connect Yulbo to Bunji and Basha to Gabral Kalam
resulting in significant corona problems particularly at higher voltages. Systems
and transmission line specialists worked together to consider feasible solutions.

Information on international experience for 500 kV and 765 kV was investigated

and it was found that there is very little, if any, available design data based on
proven experience for installed transmission lines, conductor, clearances, insulator
and accessories, etc. at such high elevations. There is a long history of successful
use of 500 kV double circuit (D/C) lines in many countries including Pakistan. In
Brazil and other countries this is also the case for 765 kV single circuit (S/C) lines
with the 3 phases horizontally spaced on wide towers. There is very limited
available design data based on proven experience for transmission lines using
765 kV double circuit towers at any elevation. The advantage of the higher

voltage level to transmit power is also limited to the available rating of equipment
such as circuit breakers. This will remain a problem until commercially available
proven equipment becomes available. The cost of substation equipment for 765 kV
at the time of this study was found to be between 2 and 3 times more expensive
than the equipment for 500 kV. The Consultants concluded that the use of 765 kV
in a proposed transmission system could only be considered with the current
international knowledge and experience using single circuits and limited to
corridors with adequate width along the full length of the corridor. Such corridors
with adequate space are only found to the south of the mountainous regions where
there are also no proposed corridors reaching very high elevations. The
Consultants specialists also concluded that proven available design data for 500
kV double circuit transmission lines at lower elevations could be extrapolated for
elevations above 4000 masl.
As part of the initial phases to develop transmission system options a detailed Load
Flow Study was prepared by PPI for all the different options of corridors and
voltage levels for HVAC and HVDC. In these study all the planning criteria issues
included in the Grid Code were complied with. This detailed report was submitted
to NTDC in January 2011. The Options studied were as follows:

Option-1: All interconnection lines using 500 kV HVAC or 220 kV for

lower load flow;

Option-2: A mix of 500 kV and 765 kV HVAC (500 kV at high altitude and
765 kV at low altitudes);

Option-3: A mix of 500 kV HVAC and 500 kV HVDC Bipoles.

The HVAC Options 1 and 2 were further subdivided as follows:

Option-A: Utilizing a corridor close to the border line which divides land
controlled by Pakistan and India (LoC);

Option-B: Without utilizing any corridor near the LoC; and

Option-C: Without utilizing the corridor along LoC but with the alternative
reduced (rationalized) outputs of Bunji, Yulbo, Tungas and Palas Valley

As provided by the design engineer, the following conductors and lines

configurations were used in the system studies:

500 kV Double circuits using quad-bundled ACSR Martin conductor

765 kV Single circuit using quad bundled AAAC Araucaria conductor

All the results were compared and Options 1-A and 1-C were technically the most
feasible options. NTDC did not want to consider the corridor with sections close
to the LoC therefore Option A as unacceptable leaving Option-1C as the selected
proposal. The NTDC Power Planning department accepted this Option-1C with
detailed comments on the Consultants Systems Study Report of April 2011.

Final Load Flow Simulations for Amended Scope

Detailed load flow simulations for normal and N-1 contingency conditions were
carried out for the options as identified in the initial system studies.

For the transmission scheme Option-1B the system would require a huge amount
of reactive power compensation to facilitate the power flow on 500 kV circuits to
the load centres, whereas for Option-1C the system remains relaxed all the way
from North to South.

Single circuits of 765 kV HVAC using quad-bundled AAAC Araucaria

conductors were also considered to transmit all the power from the intermediate
substations to load centers. However for this Option 2C huge and costly capacitive
reactive power compensation would be required to facilitate power flow on the 765
kV lines and also expensive step-up equipment (from 500 kV) and step down again
equipment at grid stations to 500 kV near load centers at Islamabad, Gujranwala,
Faisalabad and Lahore. The Consultants concluded that the use of this new,
higher voltage level transmission lines with the additional cost of equipment
for a proposed feasible transmission system was not justified, particularly when
considering the relatively short distances from the intermediate substations to the
load centers. In addition and there is considerable experience in Pakistan for
installing and the maintenance of 500 kV D/C lines.

Option-3 only considers an alternative for the evacuation of power from the Bunji,
Yulbo and Tungas HPPs, however power from the Yulbo and Tungas HPPs would
use the same 500 kV HVAC D/C transmission lines to Bunji as for Options 1 and
2. This collected power from these together with the Bunji HPP would be a total of
12,300 MW. This Option 3 considers the evacuation of all this power from Bunji
directly to Lahore using HVDC. However it is not technically possible as there is
not enough space due to many narrow valley sections of the corridor to the south
from Chilas for the 4 lines that would be required, which would comprise 3
Bipoles HVDC together with one 500 kV HVAC line for the Basha HPP. This

Option would also require a vast land area near Bunji for a converter station of

12,300 MW and this space is unlikely to be available. This option would also be
very expensive and therefore it has been considered as neither technically nor
economically feasible.

This has left the proposed transmission system as Option IC.

Final Short Circuit Studies for Amended Scope

All the substations of HPPs and intermediate stations have been proposed to be
designed with 1 breaker configuration and to maintain fault levels reasonably
below the current factory standard equipment maximum limit of 63 kA. The short
circuit analysis found that the fault levels are more reasonable in Option 1C.
In all the Options the switchgear rating for the substations at the HPPs and for
intermediate substations should be set at 63 kA for the transmission system to
connect all the identified HPPs up to the year 2030.

Final Transient Stability Studies for Amended Scope

To check the proposed transmission system Option-1C is robust enough to remain

stable with disturbances in the system, transient stability simulations were
performed to check post fault stability. The ultimate spot year 2030 was selected
for this analysis with all the 26 HPPs interconnected and with the transmission
lines fully loaded, which could only occur in the high water season. Two
worstcase disturbances have been simulated and studied following the NTDC

Code. The results from stability simulations found:

No problems of angular stability in the system. All the transients damped down
within 2-3 seconds after the clearance of faults in almost all the simulations. There
is good damping torque in the system. Voltage recovery after clearance of fault is
very quick and the voltage dips on the bus bars near the fault locations disappear
soon after fault clearance. The frequency recovery after clearance of fault is also
very quick and overshoots or dips in the frequency disappear soon after fault
clearance. The transient power swings of power flow on transmission lines damp
down within 2-3 seconds after fault clearance. The conclusion was that the
proposed transmission system Option 1C fulfils all the stability criteria of the
NTDC Grid Code
Recommended Scheme Option-1C
The recommended most feasible scheme, technically and economically, for the
evacuation of power from 26 Hydropower Projects in North area of Pakistan is
included as the sketch in Appendix C.
Survey Services to Route Lines and Define Characteristics of Corridors
The detailed services to survey corridors in greater detail and to define line
routings were mainly performed for the more mountainous North using SUPARCO
satellite data and imagery. Tower spotting was made for over 8,000 towers in 24
line routes in 16 corridors namely:



These were prepared for the 2,400 km of transmission lines which were surveyed
in more detail with the SUPARCO data provided by NTDC.

The steep valleys in the mountainous terrain in the north of Pakistan with many
hazards and corridors with some sections at very high elevations and severe winter
conditions will make installation and maintenance of some sections of the
transmission lines difficult, although considered physically feasible by the
Consultants. Essential challenge will be the lack of any access road and the non
feasibility of their construction as this may increase the already high capital costs
to the unsustainable level and prolong the construction period by years. The
Consultants advised NTDC that they believe that helicopters and other resources
available from the Pakistan military or other party will be needed not only for
construction but also for essential maintenance.

Conclusions from Feasibility

o The transmission system proposed Option-1C (Appendix C) uses 500

kVand 220 kV HVAC double circuit lines and reaches over 4000masl in
some sections.
o Availability of corridors has been determined using satellite imagery
o The Consultants have described the advantages and limitations of
alternate technologies.
o Transmission line engineering and experience were used for the
selection of technology, conductors, design parameters for towers
and estimated costs for lines and substations.

o The proposed system was checked by detailed analysis of load

flows for normal and N-1 contingencies, short circuit fault levels
and system stability to absorb disturbances.

o The selected corridors were surveyed in detail and based on the

established design parameters, satellite imagery and data, plan &
profile drawings were prepared for the more challenging conditions
in the mountainous regions. Reconnaissance visits were also made
to many of the corridors.

o The Consultants have provided an estimate of the time to select

and award contract, design, supply materials, construct and
commission could be between 5 and 10 years.

o The proposed system has used available space in some narrow

sections of the selected available corridors. Therefore although
several of the smaller HPPs could first be connected to load centers
using lower voltage levels and lines with reduced capacity, these
lines would have occupied the space required for the proposed
system to connect all the HPPs.

o The Consultants have also not addressed in any detail the

availability of land from owners, the necessary resources in NTDC
to evaluate proposals, select, award and manage contracts and
the operation and maintenance of the system in the North.
Fig-4.3 Dasu-Islamabad Transmission Line Route

Fig-4.4 Geological Map of Project Area Fig-4.5 Dasu-Islamabad 500 kV T/L Altiutude

(Source: Geological Map of KPK, Pakistan 2006, by GSP) [40]

Table 4.3 Transmission Lines Access to Road

Fig-4.6 Option 1-A 26 Hydro Power Project Power Dispersal Feasibility

Fig-4.7 Option 1-C 26 Hydro Power Project Power Dispersal Feasibility

4.2.2 CASA-1000 [38],[39]

The proposed CASA-1000 project would build a cross-border power trade facility,
comprising 477km of 500kV HVAC transmission lines from Kyrgyzstan to a 1,300
MW HVDC converter in Tajikistan and thereafter 750km 500kV HVDC
transmission, via a 300 MW HVDC converter in Kabul, to a 1,300 MW terminal
with HVDC converter facilities in Pakistan. It can be viewed as a combination of
the following elements:

Fig-4.8 CASA-1000 T/Line Bifurcation

The concept of the CASA 1000 project was developed after a comprehensive
Phase-I pre-feasibility study (2007) of the viability of extending 500kV networks
from Tajikistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. By the time of the Phase II study
(2009), that option was rejected in favor of a combined HVAC/HVDC
configuration. The final feasibility study was updated in December 2011.

The use of dedicated HVDC transmission for long distance power transit
interconnections is generally the optimum techno-economic option for the parties
involved in the various proposed power trading operation.

HVDC transmission is normally used to achieve efficient power transfers from a
single point to another, using an AC/DC converter at each end. DC transmission is
preferred over long distances as it does not require any intermediate substations or
compensation as AC transmission does. In this case, DC transmission is also
preferred as it allows the networks of Pakistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan to
exchange power while remaining asynchronous and shielded from faults or
disasters occurring on the other side of the line.

In traditional AC transmission, the power transferred through a line depends on the

voltage magnitude and angle difference between the two ends of the line. In DC
transmission however, the power transferred is ordered at each terminal.
Converter stations are given orders to transfer exactly a given amount of power in
a given direction and at a given time. Converter stations will then inject power into
a network or absorb power from an AC network irrespective of the state of

The major obstacle to regional power trading, that is peculiar to the Afghanistan
situation, is the inability of the various neighboring grids in the CAR countries,
Iran and Pakistan to be synchronized with each other. The need for islanding is
also exacerbated because some of the CAR exporters do not permit Afghanistan
to synchronize its domestic generation to their grids without first meeting the
obligations of their respective Grid Codes.

In the foreseeable future it will not be possible for the three large regional power
systems blocks (Iran/Turkmenistan, CAR and Pakistan/India) to be synchronized
with each other, directly or indirectly through Afghanistan. If this option was to be
seriously considered, its implementation would cause a great deal of disruption to
the power systems in the many interconnected countries that are not involved with
cross border trading. On the other hand Afghanistan could be more easily
synchronized with one of the major blocks, and can feasibly be interconnected with
other blocks using interfaces such as HVDC converters facilities.

Traditionally when large volumes of power are to be transmitted over long

distances the use of HVDC is recommended because of the low cost of the HVDC
transmission lines, typically less than half the cost of double circuit (d/c) HVAC
transmission lines of equivalent capacity. For power transit between systems in
excess of 600 km apart, the lower cost HVDC line makes up for the high cost of
HVDC terminal facilities at each end of the line.

The security and reliability of a transmission network is considerably enhanced if

diverse transmission line alignments are used, each preferably taking shortest route
between the generation sources and the main load centers. Moreover given the
difficult security situation in Afghanistan it is inadvisable to create critical
substation nodes in the transmission network that may be prone to terrorist activity
or equipment failure (where there may be limited access to spares). In a reliable
power system, for every transmission path there would normally be alternative
path capable of carrying the load that would otherwise have been disrupted on a
different path.

Transmission Needs of the Existing Network in Pakistan

Based on load flow studies carried out during the initial assessment of the HVDC
interconnection, the Pakistan network at Peshawar can absorb all the power to be
delivered by the CASA DC interconnection project without incurring significant
costs in the upgrade of their AC power systems up to an import level of 1,000
MW. If the import level into Pakistan were increased to 1,300 MW or 2,000 MW,
then some additional 500 kV transmission out of the Peshawar area would
probably be required.

Access restrictions to the Peshawar substation site due to existing 500 kV and 220
kV lines would mean that the HVDC converter station would need to be located at
a site remote from Peshawar and tied into the Peshawar substation via some short
500 kV circuits. This has been included in the cost estimate by allowing for two 10
km 500 kV circuit to integrate the converter station into the existing network.

Fig-4.9 Proposed Transmission Line Route for CASA Project

4.2.3 Pakistan-Iran Power Trade Project [36]

Under the project, Iran will build a powerhouse in its Zahedan province bordering
Pakistan, to generate electricity for export. A 700-kilometre transmission line of
500 kV HVDC Bipole for 1000 MW import of power from Iran will also be laid
from the Pakistan-Iran border to Quetta. Tehran has provided 50 million for
laying of 170 Km transmission line on its side for the import of 1000MW of
electricity from Iran in 2009.

Following are the reasons for considering HVDC over conventional HVAC system
as more feasible option:

Asynchronous system - Power control is easier and faults across border will
not travel due to DC interlink.

Reactive power compensation will be required in HVAC lines.

Less cost of transmission line construction

Less power losses than HVAC.

High voltage problems during energization of HVAC and voltage drop over
long distance during loaded conditions are not encountered in case of

No intermediate points to collect other generation sources make HVDC

more cost effective then HVAC over longer distance.

765 kV lines will require additional infrastructure at Quetta i.e

Construction of 765/500/220 kV substation.

Power will be disbursed using existing / committed 220 kV system in

4.2.4 Thar Coal Power Project [36]

NTDCL in its NPSEP aims at power dispersal of around 36600 MW power to be

generated only from indigenous coal of Thar. Other projects proposed in the
southern region are imported coal power plants in coastal area, nuclear power
plants at Karachi, wind power generation and newly announced Gaddani Power
Park. All power generated from these power plants till 2030 is expected to flow
through this southern network requires network reinforcement and expansion. So
the NPSEP [36] prepared by NTDCL after detailed study and independent
feasibility study (conducted by SNC Lalivan Canada, PPI Pakistan on behalf of
NTDCL) on Power dispersal of Thar coal Power project suggest the following
moderations as the generating stations in Thar are developed.

The addition of transmission network necessary for the evacuation of power from
the Thar Power plants identified in the NPSEP [36] by 2016-17 would be as

Thar to Matiari switching station 500 kV D/C

The transmission additions necessary for the evacuation of power from the Thar
power plants in the NPSEP between 2016-17 and 2020-21 would be as follows:

600 kV HVDC 4000 MW Bipoles from Thar to Lahore-South with two

converter stations of same capacity on both ends
600 kV HVDC 4000 MW Bipoles from Thar to Faiselabad-West with two
converter stations of same capacity on both ends
500 kV D/C from Thar to Karachi new 500/220 kV substation at KDA-33
The transmission additions necessary for the evacuation of power from the Thar
power plants in the NPSEP [36] between 2020-21 and 2030 would be as follows:

Three 600 kV HVDC 4000 MW Bipoles from Thar to Lahore-South with

six converter stations of same capacity on both ends
Two 600 kV HVDC 4000 MW Bipoles from Thar to Faisalabad with four
converter stations of same capacity on both ends
One 600 kV HVDC 4000 MW Bipoles from Thar to Multan with two
converter stations of same capacity on both ends
Three 500 kV D/Cs from Thar to Matiari
Two 500 kV D/Cs from Matiari to Moroo
500 kV D/C from Moro to R. Y. Khan
Two 500 kV D/Cs from Thar to Karachi (Karachi-East)

500 kV lines to be double circuit quad bundled using Martin conductor (ACSR) in
North and mid country; and Araucaria (AAAC) in South. The following table
shows the total additional reinforcements required for the NTDC network till the
year 2030 over and above the ongoing, committed and planned till 2016-17.

Table 4.4: Total Transmission Line Expansion Proposed 2017-2030

Fig-4.10 Transmission System in the Ultimate Year 2030

Chapter 5


The study of feasibility of construction of transmission lines above 500 kV in
Pakistan can be concluded in light of following points:

Proven technology for construction of transmission lines above 500 kV is

available in the market for both HVDC and HVAC system.

In HVAC up to 800 kV circuit breakers, transformers, shunt reactors and

other substation equipments are available along with detailed tower designs
for transmission lines which can be modified for conditions suited to
particular area where transmission lines is to be constructed except for very
high altitudes. While the countries that constructed the transmission lines
above 500 kV prematurely were often forced to de-rate its operating voltage
due to different technical issues. E.g. are Russia and Japan. On the other
hand where systems are large enough, voltages upto 1200 kV are under
considerations for e.g. China and India. Siemens is developing test
technologies for construction of 1200 kV transmission line in China.

In HVDC voltages above 500 kV are operating successfully in many

countries now. HVDC technology has established itself superior to HVAC
for transmission of bulk power over very long distances due to its low cost
of construction, low losses, low maintenance cost, lower requirement of
ROW and providing asynchronous links. But it has issues with higher
number of terminals in same lines, so limiting its use where more than 4
terminals are required.

In Pakistan initially 765 kV HVAC transmission lines were considered for

power dispersal of hydro power projects in northern areas as most feasible
option, which were not at very higher altitudes. But when NTDCL in
October 2011 included further more hydropower projects in the
samecorridor which required transmission lines passing through altitudes of
approx. above 4500 msl, then the whole study of the power dispersal related
to the hydropower projects in region was remodeled for accommodation of
these newly identified projects.

The 26 hydro power due to unavailability of proven technology for 765 kV

at such high altitudes, non-availability of structures which could
accommodate double circuits at 765 kV and on the basis of space required
by one 765 kV structure decided rightly to discard the previously almost
proposed scheme. The study considering the available space in different
corridors decided to propose 500 kV D/C to accommodate more power
transfer with 220 kV transmissions where ever required. Also issues were
related to constructability of 765 kV transmission lines in such steep and
hilly areas.

Similarly HVDC above 500 kV was not considered as an option as it would

have required a lot of converter stations to accommodate all 26 hydro power
projects, which would have escalated the cost well beyond its benefits in
saving power loss and other areas. As the major cost in HVDC system
relates to its converter stations.

During the study it was also noticed that due to reservations of NTDCL over
transmission lines passing near the LoC, alternatives of transmission lines
route were finally proposed which resulted in downward revision of Bunji
HPP from 7100 MW to 5400 MW, Pallas Valley HPP from 621MW to 580
MW, Tungus HPP from 2200 MW to 2000 MW and Yulbo HPP from 3000
MW to 2400 MW.
It is also concluded that smaller hydro projects and their transmission
system development in the same corridor could lead to further congestion of
already limited spaces for construction of these proposed transmission lines.
So care full planning and good co-ordination between different stake holders
is required to implement these projects, so maximum hydropower potential
in this corridor could be exploited.

In case of CASA-1000, due to very unstable situation in the neighboring

country it is unfeasible to synchronize the power system of Pakistan to
another country using HVAC technology, which strikes out the option of
HVAC regardless of its other technical and economic aspects. However it is
a general practice throughout the world since the development of proven
HVDC technology grids of different countries are connected using
asynchronous HVDC connections, which limit fault to travel and power
transfer is scheduled regardless of frequency of the exporting system.

Since the power transfer in CASA-1000 is limited to 1300 MW and only 750
Km transmission line is to be built +/- 500 kV bipole is considered as a
feasible option.

Similar is the case with Iran-Pakistan Power project. The power transfer in
this project is limited to 1000 MW and about 700 Km transmission line is to
be built +/- 500 kV bipole is considered as a feasible option. Though
constructability of 500 kV or 765 kV HVAC transmission line would not be
had been huge issue due to easy availability of vast open lands. But its
consequences of connecting synchronously another foreign system to
Pakistan transmission system could have been disastrous in case of faults
across the border. Besides the losses will be far lower in HVDC than 500 kV
or 765 kV HVAC transmission line. Substations in between or reactive
power compensation issues in HVAC system would had further escalated
the cost of transmission system.

Thar Coal power project is the only project where lines above 500 kV are
considered in Pakistan as NPSEP issued by NTDCL in 2011, as four
( 600 kV HVDC 2x2000 MW bipole each) from Thar to Lahore, three
( 600 kV HVDC 2x2000 MW bipole each) from Thar to Faisalabad and
one ( 600 kV HVDC 2x2000 MW bipole each) from Thar to Mulatn are
proposed for power dispersal from Thar Coal Power Project. Since the
number of HVDC transmission lines and 500 kV HVAC transmission lines
for reinforcement of AC transmission system are proposed, constructability
of HVAC above 500 kV would definitely be issue as the amount of power to
be transferred would require far greater number of lines and space. Further
500 kV HVAC system is already existent, replacement or up gradation to
765 kV would require huge amounts, which will not be economically
feasible as well.

Since the length of these proposed lines is easily over 1000 Km, 1000 kV
UHVAC system (recently re-developed by china and its successful operation
since commissioning) will not be even feasible due economic reasons as
losses will be far greater as compared to HVDC, besides higher construction
cost for transmission lines of UHVAC system.

Since there are only two terminals proposed in each HVDC line, it will be
economically feasible unlike 26 Hydro power cases and the smaller amount
of generation in route can be connected to existing or proposed 500 kV
HVAC system.
Since the feasibility of Thar Coal Power Project in 2011, higher HVDC
voltage levels had been successfully commissioned and are operating. 800
kV UHVDC transmission lines are operating in China at various sites for
more than three years now.

So the voltage levels for these proposed HVDC bipoles can be raised from
600 kV to 800 kV after careful study keeping in view reliability of system,
economy, and constructability, environmental and other important factors in

After conducting proper feasibility for up gradation of HVDC bipole

voltage, if possible it will reduce further losses, save construction and
maintenance costs. It will also reduce congestion and provide room for
further expansion.

So it can be concluded from this study that construction of high voltage lines
in Pakistan is suitable. HVDC lines are the most suitable option of both
technologies due to its superiority of proven technology, lesser lines losses,
and cost efficiency over large distances. HVAC lines are limited in Pakistan
due to the smaller system in terms of loading of system and spacing required
in different cases. Further different transmission lines constructions options
are suited for different projects. So far, for the identified power projects
HVDC is better option to go beyond 500 kV in Pakistan.


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Mallick, Steam and Boiler Review, July 2012: Volume 6: Issue 7, Page 25-30.

[34] Power Transmission and distribution, UHV 1200 KV Transmission, Grid Tech, 2007,
Siemens by

[35] Global Transmission Report, VOLUME 6, ISSUE 6, MARCH 2014

[36] National power system Expansion Plan 2011-2030, NTDCl, 2011

[37] Feasibility of Evacuation of Power from 26 Hydropower Projects in the North, NTDCL

[38] Central Asia - South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade (CASA-1000) Project
Feasibility Study Update, SNC Lavalin Int. Inc. Feburary 2011.

[39] Technical and Economic Options for Power Transit Operations through Afghanistan ,
John Irving, Peter Meier & Vijay Prash, August 2013

[40] Socio-economic profile and Impact Screeing, 500 kV Dasu-Islamabad Transmission Line
Project, Vol-I, NTDCL, Feburary 2013.
Annexure i Tower Specifications Used By NTDCL on 500 kV T/Lines
Annexure ii Load Flow 2030 South, High Water Peak
Annexure iii Load Flow 2030 North, High Water Peak

Annexure iv Dynamic Study Sample

Annexure v Parameters for Lines Above 700 kV