Three private sector companies are set to invest $2.1billion for establishing a 1320 megawatt coal power plant in the Thar coalfield of Sindh and obtained a go-ahead from Sindh Thar Coal and Energy Board in this regard.
Well-placed official sources disclosed to this scribe that three power companies named as Engro Powergen Thar Limited, Nova Power Company, and Thar Energy Limited have obtained approval from Sindh Thar Coal Board to set up 1320MW of coal power plants.
They said these three companies are planning to start construction of their coal power plants soon. “These coal power plants in the Thar coalfield of Sindh will be completed in 2019 and will help in resolving decade-long energy crisis of the country,” sources said.
Sharing details of planned heavy investment in Thar for setting up coal power plants by the private sector companies, the sources informed that Engro Powergen Thar Limited would establish a 660MW plant and plans to invest $1bilion.
Sources further informed that Thar Energy Limited would establish a 330MW power plant and the company is set to invest $0.5billion. They said this plant is expected to be completed by end of 2019.
More, The Nova Power Company will establish 330MW and will invest $0.5billion. “This plant is expected to be completed by end 2019,” sources said.
It is also learnt that a 660MW would require 3.8million tonnes coal per annum and similarly 330MW would require 1.9million tonnes per annum. All this coal will be supplied by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC).
When contacted with Shamsuddin A Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Engro Powergen & Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company, he said work for mining has already started in the Thar coalfield. Engro’s 660MW is also under construction, he added.
Talking about the ongoing energy crisis of the country, Shamusddin said the country is currently facing electricity and gas shortage for a number of reasons. The power outages are experienced throughout the year, peaking at up to 12 hours per day in some remote areas of the country. This results in disruption to the everyday public life, but more importantly it has severe impacts on the provision of civic amenities, commercial activities and agricultural and industrial outputs.
The need is to devise strategies to improve the capacity within the country to meet the expected electricity demand over the next decade. Thus, it is essential to improve the fuel mix to make electricity more affordable in the short- to medium-term and improve the energy security, he said.