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Govt to use only Thar coal for power generation

The government has decided that in future, only Thar coal would be used for thermal power generation. In future, all conversions of existing power projects and construction of new ones will be on the basis of Thar coal specifications, throughout the country.

A decision to this effect has been taken by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf while chairing a meeting of the Thar Coal and Energy Board at the PM Secretariat. The meeting was informed that Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and Engro Corporation are working on an integrated Coal Mine and Power Project with an estimated cost of $1.3 billion at Block 2 of Thar Coal Project for mining of 6.5 million tonnes per annum and a power plant of 1,200 MW.

The PM also decided in principle to provide sovereign guarantee to Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), a joint venture of Government of Sindh and Engro Power Gen and directed the Ministry of Finance to arrange the necessary sovereign guarantee for the company. He said that in the present financial situation we have little space for providing sovereign guarantees. However this is a strategic decision which has to be taken for meeting the growing energy requirements of the country.

Sind Government had requested the Federal Government that conversion of existing 800 MW and new 600 MW power plants at Jamshoro be designed on Thar Coal specifications.

PM directed the Ministry of Water and Power to sign within a week, a Coal Off-Take agreement between GENCO and SECMC for Asian Development financed conversion of the existing 800 MW and new 600 MW Thermal Power Project at Jamshoro. “History will not excuse us, if we do not take correct decision in time,” he remarked while announcing these decisions.

“Today we have laid the foundation of an Energy policy which is based on our indigenous resources and would lead to savings of huge Foreign Exchange which are presently being spent on import of fossil fuels to run our Thermal Power Plants,” he added. “Besides this policy decision will ensure Energy security that has been eluding us for such a long time”, he added. He said that God had blessed Pakistan with sixth largest coal reserves and it is now up to us to utilize these huge coal deposits for the progress and prosperity of the country by generating affordable electricity.

He expressed the hope that these decisions will herald a new beginning and lay the foundation for sustainable socio-economic development in the country.

Thar Coal Field were estimated to have reserves of 175 billion tonnes, 68 times higher than Pakistan’s total gas reserves. Those who attended the meeting included Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister Sindh, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Finance Minister, Syed Khursheed Shah, Minister for Religious Affairs, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Minister for Water and Power, Dr Asim Hussain, Advisor on Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr Nadeem ul Haq, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Ms Rubina Saadat Qaim Khani, MNA, Jam Mehtab Dahar, Provincial Minister for Revenue, Jam Saifullah Dharejo, Provincial Minister for Irrigation, Federal Secretaries, Finance, Planning Division, Water and Power, Chief Secretary Sindh, Dr Samar Mubarakmand, Member Science and Technology Planning Commission, MD TCB, CEO Genco Holding, President Engro Corporation, CEO SECMC and other senior officials.

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