Karachi Electric Supply Company and Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) inked a memorandum of understanding to construct a power generation project capable of producing 600 megawatts (MW) at Thar coal field.
According to the agreement, SECMC – a joint-venture between Engro Powergen and the Government of Sindh – will develop a 600MW Mine Mouth Power Plant in Thar field’s block 2, whereas KESC will purchase power from the plant to meet the rising power demand in Karachi and adjoining areas of Sindh and Balochistan, according to a press statement on Wednesday.
Both the parties believe that the agreement will serve as the base for a mutually beneficial partnership for future progress and development of one of largest coal reserves of Pakistan.
The two companies acknowledged that coal from Thar had the potential to address the country’s severe power shortages and bring energy security which is indispensable for economic growth.
The Thar Coal Power Project aims to provide affordable and sustainable electricity to consumers using domestic resources. Reliance on indigenous fuel is likely to save billions of dollars in foreign exchange currently spent on import of the expensive alternative furnace oil, cutting the overall cost of power generation.
Beginning of power generation from coal-based plants at Thar will start a new era that will not only enhance availability of electricity but also make it easier for industrial, agricultural and commercial sectors to boost production. Additionally, availability of Thar coal for coal-fired power generation will help create new jobs and achieve energy security.
The memorandum was signed by KESC CEO Nayyer Hussain and SECMC CEO Shamsuddin A Sheikh.
Speaking on the occasion, Hussain said the MoU was of strategic importance for Pakistan and both the companies. “We are keen to work together to realise the potential of Thar coal reserves which could be the major indigenous fossil fuel resource for Pakistan’s present and future energy needs. We are confident that together we WILL do the ground breaking work in coal exploration and coal-fired power generation in the Thar region, paving way for other developers to embark upon major infrastructure development projects.”
After the signing ceremony, Sheikh said, “Thar coal is a project of national security as it will bring much-needed energy security to propel the nation into an era of prosperity and development. SECMC’s Thar block 2 alone can produce 5,000MW for the next 50 years, amounting to an estimated foreign exchange savings of $50 billion throughout the life of the project. This project will demonstrate maturity and capability of corporate sector to join hands and synergise on national level.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2013.
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