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Engro’s coal-based 1,200MW project to commence by April 2013

A Thar coal-based 1,200MW project of Engro is expected to commence operation by April 2013, said Muhammad Aliuddin Ansari, president and chief executive officer of Engro Corporation.

At the same time, international renowned consultants have certified reserves of about two billion tons of lignite coal in Thar Block-II under the management of the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), he added.

SECMC is a joint venture between the government of Sindh and Engro Powergen Limited, established in June 2009.

A handout of the company said that SECMC has completed the Bankable Feasibility Study for Thar Block-II coal mining project by engaging internationally renowned consultants such as RWE-Germany, Sinnocoal-China, SRK-UK and HBP Pakistan.

“The third party certification of reserves in the block was a major milestone in the mining cum power project of Engro,” Ansari said, “Coal-fired power project is the answer to the current energy crisis in Pakistan.”

He said that some 50 percent of electricity was generated through using coal at across the world. He added that Pakistan, being an oil importing country, should generate electricity by using coal, as further increase in oil prices in the years to come would increase the import bill of the country.

The statement of the company said that in the first phase, SECMC would develop an integrated coal mining and power project with a capacity of 6.5 million tons per annum and 1,200 megawatts, respectively. In the second and third phases, mining operations will be scaled up to 13 million tons per annum and 22.8 million tons per annum, which will ultimately be sufficient to fuel approximately 4,000 megawatts of electricity generation.

Ansari, however, expressed concern over the slow pace of work on the project by the provincial government. He said that the government was yet to develop an infrastructure for providing fresh water, and a network of wires to transmit the power to the grid station.

He further criticised the government for not playing its active party in providing gas to its fertiliser pant on Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited.

He said that the government has adopted short-sighted solution by importing urea instead of providing gas to fertiliser makers. He said that the government has imported urea worth about $1 billion and would import more urea worth $500 million in the near future.

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