ISLAMABAD: Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on Thursday issued Letter of Interest (POI) to Engro Powergen Limited (EPGL) for development of 660 MW Thar Coal Power Project.
Federal Minister for Water and Power and other senior officials of PPIB and Ministry of Water and Power witnessed the ceremony.
The document was signed by Mr. Shah Jahan Mirza Managing Director PPIB and from the company’s side it was signed by Mr. Shamsuddin Shaikh, CEO of EPGL.
PPIB Board in its recent meetings accorded approval for processing the subject project under the “Guidelines for setting up of Private Power Projects under Short Term Capacity Addition Initiative-August 2010” and approved issuance of LOI to the sponsors upon fulfillment of all requirements as per the Guidelines.
Engro Powergen would develop a project of 660 MW (2 x 330 MW each) utilizing indigenous Thar lignite coal 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 utilize Thar coal for power generation and its development will reduce Pakistan’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.
The Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Mohammad Asif said the abundant coal resource largely remains unexploited till date are estimated at around 186 billion tons out of which 175 billion tons are found in Thar alone, however our government is committed to utilize these resources for power generation.
Talking to the journalists on the occasion, he said that Thar Coal would become Energy Capital of Pakistan in next few years. He said that it is the national priority of the Government to develop Thar coal and utilize it on commercial basis.
He said that 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.
To a question, the Minister said that due to effective measures taken by the present government, the duration of load shedding has come down to three to four hours. He said that concrete steps are being taken to reduce the transmission and distribution losses. Recovery has been improved and circular debt issue is being resolved. He told them that some power projects would also be initiated on LNG and would be completed in three years.