Thar coal projects to begin operations by June 2019

Published: July 28, 2017


ISLAMABAD: The first phase of Thar coal-fired power projects is likely to begin commercial operations by June 2019, about four months ahead of its deadline.

This was stated in a briefing to the media visiting the site to witness progress.

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Speaking at the briefing, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) Media and Communications Manager Mohsin Babar, and Planning and Contracts Manager Muhammad Idrees said that the commercial production of the project would begin by June 2019 instead of October 2019.

While spelling out the detail of the progress that has so far been achieved, Idrees said the financial close of the project was achieved on April 4, 2016 and since then 14.2% of the total work had been completed. He said that work on the power plant and coal mining was going on simultaneously. Idrees said that this is the first coal-fired power project in Thar, and it is one of the leading energy projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He informed that under the second phase, two more power plants (330MW each) would be completed by December2019, as the SECMC has committed to off-take coal for phase II (7.6million ton per acre) to Thal Limited and Hubco for setting up plants at block II.

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The SECMC also planned to add additional capacity of 11.4 million tonne per acre coal beyond phase II by December 2021. “Five more coal-fired power plants would be set up in block II of Thar by December 2021, expanding the total production capacity of Thar coal-based electricity to around 3,000MW.”

The cost of coal mining project was $845 million, which would be on the basis of 75:25 debt to equity ratio and would consist of 31.5% foreign, and 68.5% local debt, Idrees added.

Following completion of power plants, the consumers would be able to have access to cheap electricity as Engro’s generation would be linked to the national grid at the rate of Rs6 to Rs7 per unit.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2017.

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