Thalnova Power Thar awarded power generation licence

330MW project to become operational by December 2019

Salman Siddiqui February 02, 2017

KARACHI: Thalnova Power Thar (Private) Limited has been awarded a power generation licence for its half-a-billion dollar, 330-megawatt coal-fired power plant at Thar coal mine mouth, Sindh, said the power regulatory authority.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) said the plant is scheduled to start production latest by December 31, 2019.

Two Thar coal-based power projects approved

The plant is being set up at a cost of $498.30 million. The amount includes the capital cost of $408.2 million, custom duties and cess, financing fees and charges, interest during construction, and Chinese debt serving charges.

Earlier, the regulator approved an unconditional acceptance of the upfront (fixed) tariff by Thalnova.

Accordingly, the company would sell power at Rs3.67 per kilowatt per hour in the first 10 years of its operations. The tariff would reduce to Rs1.91 per kilowatt per hour for the next 20 years.

The tariff comprises a return on investment at 38% and debt servicing at 48%.

The debt on the project would be paid off completely in the first 10 years of operations. The tariff falls in the category of Thar coal mine mouth projects on foreign financing.

The generation licence is granted for a period of 30 years. The electric power from the plant will be dispersed to the National Grid.

ThalNova Power Thar Private Ltd (TNPTL) is a joint venture between Thal Limited and Novatex Limited. Thal is part of the House of Habib, which has investments across banking, auto, retail, building materials and packaging sectors in Pakistan. Novatex is part of the Gani & Tayub group which is a player in the polyester and textile sectors in the country.

Work on 7,000MW coal-based power plants likely to be abandoned

Thal’s share price closed at the upper limit of 5%, and increased Rs25.20 to close at Rs529.55 with a volume of 337,800 shares.

Nepra commented that the power plant is consistent with the provision of Power Policy 2015, which envisages rationalising the energy mix and reducing the demand-supply gap through imported and indigenous coal based power generation.

The Thar coal based power generation would save foreign reserves, which are spent to meet most of the energy needs in the country, it said.

The Authority observed that the operation of the proposed coal power plant will generate major waste in the form of ash, waste water and gaseous emission.

In this regard, TNPTPL has ensured to adopt adequate measures to cover all these issues. The ash will be stored temporarily on site until it is transported to mine area for final disposal where it will be used as a backfill in the spent mine pit. The dumped ash will be compacted, mixed with sand and given leaching protection.

The waste water from the plant will be treated and stored for recycling in the process stream, suppressing coal and ash dust and for landscaping.

A sewage treatment plant will treat sewage from the housing complex and construction camp. Waste water from the sewage plant will be discharged or recycled in appropriate processing stream. Non-recycled waste water from the project will be disposed through a 50 cusec drainage and waste water effluent channel being prepared by the Govt. of Sindh.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2017.

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