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KESC, Sindh Engro sign accord for 600MW Thar coal power project

Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) to jointly pursue a generation project of up to 600 megawatts as a mark of cooperation between the two companies on the development of one of the largest coal reserves around the world in Thar, a statement said.

By virtue of this MoU, SECMC, a joint venture company between Powergen Limited (EPL) and the government of Sindh, would develop a 600MW mine mouth power plant at Thar Bloc-II, whereas KESC would off take power from this plant to meet the rising demand in its coverage zone in Karachi city and adjoining areas in the interior of Sindh and Balochistan, it said.

The memorandum was signed by Nayyer Hussain, chief executive officer of KESC, and Shamsuddin A Sheikh, chief executive officer of SECMC

Hussain said that the MoU is of strategic importance for the country, as well as for the two organisations. “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 would do the groundbreaking work in coal exploration and coal-fired power generation in Thar region, paving the way for other developers to embark upon major infrastructure development projects.”

Sheikh said: “Thar coal is a project of national security as it will bring the much-needed energy security to propel the nation into an era of prosperity and development.

“SECMC’s Thar Bloc-II alone can produce 5,000MW for the next 50 years that amount to an estimated forex savings of $50 billion for the life of the project. This project will demonstrate maturity and capability of corporate sector to join hands and synergise on the national agenda.” Both KESC and SECMC were of the opinion that the MoU would serve as the base for a mutually beneficial partnership for future progress in the power sector and bring prosperity to the population of Pakistan. The two companies acknowledged that Thar coal has the potential to address the country’s severe power shortage and bring energy security, which is indispensable for economic growth. Thar coal power project aims at providing 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 expensive refined furnace oil, reducing the overall cost of power generation.

The launch of power generation from Thar coal-based plants would start a new era that would not only enhance the availability of electricity in the country but also make it easier for industrial, agricultural and commercial sectors to boost their production.

Additionally, availability of Thar coal for coal-fired power generation would help create new jobs and achieve energy security.

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