KARACHI: The Sindh government has finally engaged an international consortium of consultants to carry out a study to lay railway lines, install the power plant and construct a jetty to transport equipment and machinery at Keti Bunder.
Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah said this while presiding over a meeting on Saturday regarding the Keti Bunder project at CM House. The Keti Bander project was conceived by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the CM said, adding that due to political reasons it could not be materialised.
“The [Pakistan Peoples Party’s] government in Sindh is now going to make the mega project of Keti Bunder a reality,” he said, adding that they have included it in the list of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. The meeting was attended by Planning and Development Department Chairperson Muhammad Waseem, Energy Department Secretary Agha Wasif, Energy Department Special Secretary Rasid Hussain Kazi, Sindh Coal Authority Director-General Abu Bakar Madani, technical officer Shariq Raza and Finance Investment Chief Shahnawaz.
Briefing the CM, Wasif said Bridge Factor has been engaged to conduct a study for the construction of the power plant. The firm will carry out a feasibility study of the project. The study includes the laying of a 450 kilometre railway line from Thar coalfield to Keti Bunder, installation of the 1,320 megawatt (MW) power plant, which is extendable up to 10,000MW, at Keti Bunder and the development of a jetty to cater to the transportation of machinery and equipment for the power house. He added that strategic environmental assessment will also be an integral part of the study.
According to Wasif, the CM has entrusted the energy department to pursue development of Keti Bunder and has allowed utilisation of the project development funds for the study. The study will cost Rs326.44 million and will cover all aspects of development.
“The consultant will also prepare a business plan and assist the government up to the financial close,” he said, adding that the feasibility report will be completed within 10 months and the project, being a part of CPEC, is expected to bring in Chinese financing.
Khurshid Anwar Jamali, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company board of directors chairperson, emphasised the need to prepare a complete master plan, special economic zone and future expansion provisions in the area. The planning and development department chairperson said that the development of Keti Bunder is an important part of the Sindh government’s strategy towards developing the energy sector. The energy department is pursuing development of Keti Bunder project vigorously, he added.