Thar coal power project was inaugurated earlier today. The plant consists of two 330 MW power generation units that can produce 660 megawatts coupled together.
It took a decade for the project to reach completion and it was undertaken by the Government of Sindh under CPEC flagship public-private partnership. A $700 million sovereign guarantee was given for this project by the Sindh government.
Alongside, providing water for power generation, roads and bridges were also constructed to facilitate the Mai Bakhtawer airport project.
Ahsan Zafar Syed – the Chief Executive Officer of Engro Energy and EPTL said:
This achievement speaks volumes of the world-class project management and the engineering capability of Engro that has managed these complex, billion-dollar projects. This event also further reaffirms our demonstration of the proof of concept that Thar coal is well suited for indigenous energy production. At this juncture, I would like to commend the efforts of all our local and international partners especially China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) – the EPC contractor – who have delivered exceptionally on the project. Moreover, what is important to us is the fact that this success has been brought about through our agenda of inclusive development where Thar and its residents are benefitting via our social programs and projects aimed at enhancing their prosperity and reducing poverty in the region.
The coal reserves in Thar are the seventh largest in the world and they were used to power the first 330-megawatt power that allowed it to be connected to the national grid.
Following the inauguration of the power plant, it will now be tested for smooth operations; eventually leading up to the commercial operation of the project which is expected in June 2019. In parallel, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), a part of the Thar coal project, is also on track to achieve commercial operations in June 2019.
Syed Abul Fazal Rizvi, CEO of the company, said:
Today SECMC has delivered on the promise of making Pakistan a self-sufficient energy hub. In the first phase we will supply 3.8 million tons per annum of coal to the EPTL plant to produce 660MW of electricity. Simultaneously we have also commenced work on phase II and the subsequent phases whereby we will expand and optimize the mine gradually towards its full capacity of 30.4 mtpa of coal production; eventually allowing cheapest; affordable and abundant energy production from Thar, for entire Pakistan.
It is important to highlight that SECMC successfully unearthed the first layer of coal at a depth of 140 meters in June 2018 – five months ahead of the schedule – whilst the on-specification coal was unearthed in April 2019 coinciding with the synchronization of the second unit of the power plant.