Engro, PSO to work jointly on Thar coal

Oil marketing firm keen to take a stake in coal mining company.

Our Correspondent April 02, 2013
PSO also intends to acquire 50% of Engro Powergen’s shares in Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company as part of the plan. DESIGN: FAIZAN DAWOOD

KARACHI: In an effort to diversify its business line, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Engro Powergen Limited for reviewing the technical and economic feasibility of Thar coal.

Not only that, PSO has announced that it is also exploring scores of investment opportunities in the energy sector with special emphasis on Thar coal and intends to acquire 50% of Engro Powergen’s shares in Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company as part of the plan.

“This is a momentous occasion as both companies have joined hands for a project of national interest and one which will provide energy security for the next generation,” Engro Corporation President and Chief Executive Ali Ansari said after the signing of the MoU.

“Through this MoU, the two companies have established synergies to develop a self-reliant energy supply chain for the country. Indigenous fuel is our future and with the support and backing of the Sindh Government we are taking steps to meet Pakistan’s energy needs in the years to come,” PSO Chief Executive and Managing Director Naeem Yahya Mir said.

Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Board of Investment and Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) Chairman Zubair Motiwala said the Government of Sindh had been working to meet rising energy needs of the people and the decision to purchase 51% shareholding in SECMC was a clear indication of the government’s support for the Thar coal project.

PSO Chief Executive and MD Naeem Yahya Mir and Engro Corp President and Chief Executive Ali Ansari signed the MoU.

Through this project, not only would the energy chain be strengthened, it would also generate extensive economic activity nationwide while developing the human capital through state-of-the-art coal mining and coal-based power generation projects, a PSO press release said.

PSO and Engro have joined hands keeping in view the fact that coal is cheaper and easily available in comparison to other fuel sources and it has become the fuel of choice for developed nations across the world.

Both the sides are of the view that coal is the best possible indigenous fossil fuel resource and has the potential to tackle the severe power shortage and bring energy security to the country.

Additionally, by playing a lead role in developing this national resource, both companies will be able to strengthen their financial bottom line and expand further through downstream commercial projects based on Thar coal.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2013.

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cautious | 9 years ago | Reply

Last Thar Coal article indicated that Pakistan had agreed to guarantee loans/funding for Engro's Thar Coal project - in a normal country that would indicate that technical and economic feasibility studies had already been performed. If so -- then why is signing a memorandum of understanding with Engro for reviewing the technical and economic feasibility of Thar coal? . Engro is just like all the other Thar Coal lease holders. Doesn't have the expertise to mine the coal, won't put up it's own money and can't find any bank or legitimate mining company to help fund the project. Spends all it's efforts to lobby Pakistan govt so the Pakistani taxpayers can take all the risk.

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