Implementation deals for two Thar coal projects signed

This will clear way for securing $1.49b in financing for the projects

Our Correspondent March 09, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Implementation agreements for two Thar coal-based power generation projects totalling 990 megawatts were signed at the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on Thursday for securing financing of $1.49 billion to cover the cost of the projects.

The agreements were signed by PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza, Lucky Electric Coal Project Director Mohammad Asad and Siddiqsons Energy Coal Project Chief Operating Officer Muhammad Abdul Vakil. Earlier, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) of both projects were executed on March 7, 2018.

The 660MW Lucky Electric Coal Project, being developed by Lucky Electric Power Company at Port Qasim, is receiving an investment of $1.08 billion whereas the 330MW Siddiqsons Energy Coal Project of Siddiqsons Energy, located at Thar Block-II, is getting investment of $410 million.

Thar coal projects to begin operations by June 2019

Both projects will utilise Thar coal supplied by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), which is engaged in mining operations for coal extraction in Block-II of the Thar field. Letters of Support have already been issued to both the projects by the PPIB, which are currently at advanced stages of achieving financial close.

It is anticipated that the Lucky Electric Coal Project will start power generation by March 2021 while the Siddiqsons Energy Coal Project will begin operations by June 2021.

Latest advancements by both projects are very crucial in achieving future milestones, which include financial close and start of construction activities.

The addition of 990MW of affordable and reliable electricity will energise the national grid and help save millions of dollars in foreign exchange annually.

Furthermore, it will generate economic activities as well as employment opportunities for the people of Thar in particular and will also entail improvement of basic infrastructure in the vicinity of these projects.

After overcoming electricity crisis, the government is prioritising and encouraging power generation through indigenous coal and hydro resources besides renewables sources for achieving energy security.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2018.

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