The world's largest ship-based power plant has arrived off the Pakistani coast to try to mitigate the country's chronic electricity shortages, a company official said on November 19.
The new supply still won't come close to ending electricity shortages that plague Pakistan, increasing widespread public frustration with the U.S.-allied government as it struggles to contain the Taliban insurgency.
The ship, which burns furnace oil, will generate about 230 megawatts for the national power grid, said Asad Mahmood, a spokesman for the vessel's Turkish owner Karkey Karadeniz Electrik. The owner has a five-year contract with the Pakistani national power company.
Now anchored off the southern port city Karachi, the Kaya Bey will begin feeding into the national grid within four weeks after a dedication ceremony on November 21, Mr. Mahmood said.
The ship's contribution will only make a dent in the overall power crisis. Pakistan's energy demands outstrip supply by an estimated 5,000 MW, thanks to a lack of investment, soaring usage and a crumbling electricity generation infrastructure that heavily relies on hydropower.
Power outages last up to 16 hours per day in some areas and damage industrial growth. The situation is worst in summer, when temperatures soar but power cuts mean that fans and air conditioners won't work.