May 24, 2005: IEE NED planned a whole-day visit to HUBCO. The registrations had begun early in the past week. On the morning of May 24, about 31 students and 4 faculty members left for HUBCO. The journey was long and somewhat tiring. We passed through deserts and greenery on the way, the natural beauty not seen inside the city anymore. We reached HUBCO at about 11:00am and we were very warmly greeted by Madam Clara Desouza and Mr. Zafar Faridi. We were shown our way to a training room, which is a standard procedure there that all the visitors must go through a 20 minutes training session before they can be taken inside the powerplant. We freshened up after the presentation and we were offered tea. Next briefing was detailed technical briefing. The session incharge from Internationl Power was not available at the moment, so Mr. Joseph from Portugal took his place and gave us a very small 5 minutes briefing of HUBCO and International Power (IP). He was joined by Mr. Ian from Australia and Mr. Junaid, who is a Mechanical Engineer from NED University and has been working in HUBCO for last 10 years. Mr. Joseph had to leave and he left us with Mr. Junaid who conduct a thorough technical session on the various operations of the HUBCO power plants, he discussed Boilers, Turbines the Generator and pumps etcetera.
Now it was time to go to the field visit but we did not have enough time and there was no way we could make it to the canteen for lunch if we went on the field trip. Mam Clara suggested that we should first say the prayers and have the lunch and we did exactly that.. The mosque was nearby and we prayed there. HUBCO vans escorted us to the canteens, where we had a full lunch meal.
Next stop was the field! We were divided amongst three groups A, B, C and were escorted by different guides. Mr. Raza Mehdi was our guide for group ‘B’ who was very well versed in all the different parts of the plants and even in minor details of the plant. We saw the boilers, turbines and the generator. We next stepped into the master control room. Mr. Naeem Baig was the session incharge there and he briefed us about the different controls and monitoring procedures of the plant. Mr. Zafar Faridi explained the nitty gritty of the control systems in the master control room. Most of the machinery was from Bailey. There were four units in the control room to control four different boilers, which in turn were connected to their own turbines and generators. From a cold start, they required approximately 7 hours to get it operation and produce 300MW (298MW to be accurate) from each unit. The total capacity of the plant is 1292MW, from which 1200MW were given to WAPDA and 92MW were used internally at the plant. When none of the units are running, they have to borrow power from WAPDA to get their systems started. They were just starting one of the units when we were there so we got to see that too. The voltage of their WAPDA intake was 536kV. We also got to see the ducts through which those 536kV are transmitted to/from the WAPDA through a huge number of breakers which were mounted in the open. A large number of transformers were also placed near those breakers to control the voltage levels.
Next stop was the water desalination and demineralization plant. We saw a bunch of Desal Trains and the demineralization system. It was about 4:15pm now and we had to head back home. We couldn’t see the HUBCO beach with the crabs and all! Of course, they don’t have any function when it comes to power generation!
We were escorted back and we grouped together to leave. We said goodbye to Mam. Clara and Mr. Zafar Faridi and the university point was off to NED!