KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that his government has achieved three milestones in the development of Thar Coal for energy self-sufficiency of Pakistan by achieving financial close for installation of a 1320 WM power plant in Block-I, expansion of Block-II for development of another 660 MW power plant.
“Under these financial close $1301 million will be invested in Thar for the generation of 1980 MW electricity and development of two coal mines with the production of 10.6 MTPA.”
This he said while speaking at `Conference on Public Announcement Financial Close of two Mines’ here at CM House. The conference was attended by Minister Energy Imtiaz Shaikh, Advisor to CM Murtaza Wahab, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Energy Musadiq Khan, MD Thar Coal & Energy Board Tariq Shah, President SECMC Ghayas Khan, CEO SECMC Abul Fazal Rizvi, Director Sino Sindh Resources Ltd (SSRL) Mr Li Jigen, Deputy CEO SSRL Huang Jinting, Deputy Head of SSRL (Finance) Mr Li Hongtu, SSRL deputy CEO (Industrial) Mr Zhang Hongpeng and other concerned.
The chief minister said that this was really a new year gift his government was giving to the people of Pakistan, particularly of Sindh. “Development of Thar and making Pakistan an energy self-sufficient country was the dream of Shaheed Mohterma Benazir Bhutto which we are realizing with hour hard-work and vision of the Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,” he said.
Shah said that the first threat to the national development was terrorism and the second and more dangerous threat was an energy crisis. “Alhamdullilah, we crushed the terrorists who were the enemies of Pakistan and then focused on the development of Thar coal to generate electricity and now we are also succeeding in defeating the darkness of load-shedding,” he said.
It may be noted that Sino Sindh Resources Ltd, a Chinese company, has achieved a financial close of $1060 million for development of 7.8 million tons per annum (MTPA) coal mine in Block-I of Thar Coalfields. The mine will supply this coal to 1320 MW of coal-fired power plant which will bring in another $ 2 billion of foreign direct investment.
Another achievement is the financial close of $215 million achieved for developing the second phase of 3.8 MTPA coal mine as an expansion to the first phase of Sindh Engro Coal Mines Company (SECMC) coal mine in Thar coal Block-II, thus reaching 7.6 MTPA under both phases. Under the first phase of this mine 660MW of power is already being generated. The second phase will also generate another 660MW with an additional $1 billion of foreign direct investment.
It may be noted that the Sindh government owns 55 per cent shares of SECMC with ENGRO at 12 per cent Thal Ltd 12 per cent HBL 9.5 per cent and two other partners.
The third and equally significant achievement is the announcement of contract stage first year tariff of $42.45 per ton of Thar coal by the Thar Coal Energy Board for mines of size 7.8 MTPA.
The chief minister said that with this tariff, Thar coal will provide energy to the country at $3.8 per MMBTU in two-year time.
It may be noted that any new domestic gas reserve will provide energy at almost $7 per MMBTU and Pakistan imports LNG at $10-12 per MMBTU.
The Chief Minister acknowledged the support of CPEC framework for financing the projects in Thar. For every 3.8MTPA mine, the Sindh province gets a royalty of about $20 million per annum indexed with the coal tariff. “This amount of $20 million is being spent on the social and economic uplift of the people of Thar,” he said proudly.
He further added that the Thar coal price was fast becoming competitive and in near future, clean coal technologies would be employed for coal to liquids (diesel) and surface gasification leading to urea production plants would be set up under CPEC in Block-VI of Thar coalfields.
“That initiative will then literally revolutionize Pakistan’s energy sector – Thar will indeed change Pakistan,” he said.
Murad Shah said the achievement of these three landmarks were gifts of Sindh to the people of Pakistan in the new year.