Govt decides to design new power plants on Thar coal specifications
04 October, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday decided that in future only Thar coal would be used for coal-based power generation and all conversions of existing and construction of new power projects would be designed on Thar coal specifications.
This policy decision was taken by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf while chairing a meeting of Thar Coal and Energy Board at the Prime Minister's Secretariat. The meeting was informed that SECMC and Engro Corporation are working on an integrated coalmine and power project with an estimated cost of $1.3 billion at block 2 of the project for mining of 6.5 million tonnes per annum and a power plant of 1200MW.
The prime minister also decided to provide sovereign guarantee to the Sindh Engro Coalmining Company (SECMC), a joint venture of the Sindh government and Engro Power Generation and directed the Finance Ministry to arrange necessary sovereign guarantee for the company.
He said, "In the present financial situation, we have little space for providing sovereign guarantees. However, this is a strategic decision which has to be taken for meeting the growing energy requirements of the country." The Sindh government had requested the federal government that conversion of existing 800MW and new 600MW power plants at Jamshoro should be designed on Thar coal specifications.
Raja directed the Water and Power Ministry to sign within a week, a coal off-take agreement between GENCO and SECMC for the Asian Development Bank-financed conversion of the existing 800MW and new 600MW thermal power project at Jamshoro.
"History will not excuse us if we do not take correct decision in time" said Raja while announcing these decisions. "Today we have laid the foundation of an energy policy which is based on our indigenous resources and will lead to savings of huge foreign exchange which are presently being spent on import of fossil fuel to run our thermal power plants," the premier said.
Besides, this policy decision will ensure energy security that has been eluding us for such a long time, he added. The PM said that God had blessed Pakistan with sixth largest coal reserves and it is now up to them to utilise these huge deposits for the progress and prosperity of the country by generating affordable electricity.