(EnergyAsia, March 2 2011, Tuesday) — Pakistan’s Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) and China’s Global Mining Company Limited (GMC) are jointly looking to convert two of the six plants at the Bin Qasim Power Station from using fuel oil to coal.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding for the project as part of an overall progamme to help Pakistan address its ongoing power supply crisis.

They are looking to either retrofit or install new boilers in the two power plants, each of 210 megawatts in capacity. The companies did not disclose the estimated cost of the conversion.

By burning coal, Pakistan is hoping to reduce its dependence on oil and gas.

KESC also owns and operates several power plants supplied by gas from the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited which has warned that its domestic feedstock supply is declining.

The company said it is buying coal at a delivered cost equivalent to US$5.50 to US$6 per mmbtu as compared to fuel oil which costs US$13.50 to US$14.

GMC is a subsidiary of the China MCC Group, which is involved a range of activities including natural resource development, equipment fabrication, real estate development and provision of related services. Another subsidiary, the 64.2%-owned Metallurgical Corporation of China, is listed on the exchanges of Hong Kong and Shanghai.