Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, has said that the use of indigenous Thar Coal, instead of imported coal, for power generation, has resulted in a saving of $78 million foreign exchange for the country.
“By procession toward `Economy of scale’ Thar coal prices are reducing from initial $58 per ton to $32 per ton and with further expansion, the prices will reduce even further,” said the CM while presiding over a Thar Coal and Energy Board (TCEB) meeting at the CM House, Karachi.
By further expansion to 15 mtpa or more, Thar coal prices will further reduce by 50 percent, and Thar Coal Tariff (at around 5.5 US cent per kWh) will be the cheapest baseload in the country, he informed.
He said that Thar Coal Mining Block-II, phase-I was a 3.8 mtpa project and has been commissioned on July 10, 2019. It has extracted over six million tons of coal so far.
He added that the power project of 660 MW (2X330 MW) was commissioned and supplying power to the national grid from July 10, 2019. The project has produced more than 3.5 GWh of electricity. “Had this project been provided imported coal, it would have cost around $78 million to the exchequer, but with the use of indigenous Thar coal, we have saved $78 million,” Shah said.
Minister for Energy, Imtiaz Shaikh, briefing the Chief Minister, said that the Sindh Engro-Coal Mining Company (SECMC) was planning to expand the mine from 7.6 Mtpa to 13 Mtpa, and they would supply 3.5 Mtpa to Lucky Electric, for which their agreements have already been made.
The Chief Minister said that Sino Sindh Resources Ltd. has been awarded Thar Block-1, where they have started work. “In this way, various mining projects were either in progress are in the pipeline. Therefore, transportation of the coal from Thar to upcountry is important,” he said. Furthermore, adding that Pakistan railways authorities have already prepared feasibility to lay a 105- km new railway link line from Thar Coal Mines to new Chhor, Cantonment, including up-gradation of the existing track up to Hyderabad.
This will help to transport coal for power generation and other purposes. The Chief Minister urged the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of Pakistan, Jahanzeb Khan, to approve the project so that it could be started.
The deputy chairman assured the Chief Minister that the project would be included in the next year’s PSDP.
The board after thorough discussion and deliberations approved the tariff for Sindh Sino Resources (Pvt) Ltd., which would be notified within two days.
The board also approved the recommendations of the Consultant Selection Committee for the hiring of M/s KPMG and M/s BridgeFactor, “Joint Lead Firm” for the assistance of Thar Coal Tariff Determination Committee in determination of Commercial Operation Date (COD) stage Tariff for 3.8 Mtpa mine of SECMC at Thar Coal Block-II.
The Energy Minister told the Chief Minister that the transmission line to evacuate power from Thar has been installed from Thar to Matiari, where a heavy grid station was being established.
The meeting was attended by board members, provincial ministers, Shabir Bijarani, Imtiaz Shaikh, Murtaza Wahab, MNA Shazia Marri, Chief Secretary, Mumtaz Shah, PSCM, Sajid Jamal Abro, and Secretary Energy, Tariq Shah, while Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Jahanzeb Khan, Additional Secretary Finance, Anwar Shaikh, Additional Secretary Energy Division, Waseem Mukhtar, and other concerned attended through a video link.