ISLAMABAD: What is being described as milestone, the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) issued Letter of Interest (LoI) to Engro Powergen Limited (EPGL) for the establishment of 660MW Thar coal power project.
PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza and EPGL CEO Shamsuddin Shaikh signed the document at a ceremony which was witnessed by Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif and other senior officials.
According to the document, Engro Powergen will develop a project of 660MW (2x330MW each) utilizing indigenous Thar to be supplied by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company which is the lease holder of Thar Block-II. The project is the first and pilot project to utilise Thar coal for power generation and its development will reduce the country’s dependence on costly oil based power generation thus saving millions of dollars of foreign exchange. It is expected that the project will start its commercial operation by December 2017.
Speaking on the occasion, Kh Asif said the abundant coal resource which largely remains unexploited till date were estimated at around 186 billion tonnes out of which 175 billion tonnes were found in Thar alone.
He said that Thar coal would become energy capital of Pakistan in next few years. He said it was the government priority to develop Thar coal and utilise it on commercial basis. He said Thar, presently known as starvation area, after completion of the power projects would become energy capital and drought would become the horrible dream of the past.
He declared that the government had planned taking power generation to 50,000MW by 2025 to ensure ample power for the development of the country.
To a question, the minister said that due to effective measures taken by the present government, the duration of loadshedding has come down to three to four hours. He said concrete steps are being taken to reduce the transmission and distribution losses. He said recovery has been improved and circular debt issue was being resolved. He said some power projects would also be initiated on LNG and would be completed in three years.