KARACHI: (APP) Five more coal fired power plants would be set up in the block II of Thar by December 2021 and the total production capacity of coal based electricity of Thar would be expanded to around 3000 Megawatts.
This was told by Chief Executive Officer of Sindh Engro Coal Minning Company (SECMC) Shamsudin Ahmed Sheikh while talking to a group of journalists from Islamabad at the site of the project in Islamkot, Tharparkar, said a statement issued here on Wednesday.
He informed that the coal mining project cost was US $845 million which would be on the basis of 75:25 Debt to Equity Ratio and would consist of 31.5 per cent foreign and 68.5 per cent local debt.
"The main sponsors of the project are Sindh government with 54.7 per cent share, Engro and Thal Limited with 12 per cent each and Habib Bank Limited (HBL) with 10 per cent share", he remarked.
Shamsudin said the total cost of two 330 MW mine mouth power plants would be $1.1 billion with 75:25 debt to equity ratio and it would consist of 75 per cent foreign and 25 per cent local debt.
The main sponsors of the project, he added that were Engro with 50.1 per cent share while its other shareholders were Liberty, HBL and China Machinery Engineering Company (CMEC) and others.
He said that the Sindh Government had been a key enabler for the Thar project which committed $110 million equity investment for phase-I and provided a back up for sovereign guarantee to the federal government of $700 million.
He said although the initial cost of the electricity per unit would be higher (10 cent per unit in the first year) but it would gradually reduce with the passage of time and after about 6-8 years the production cost per unit would be as low as 6 cent which would be even lower as compared to that of hydel power.
The SECMC CEO informed that since the financial close of phase-I in block-II, interest in setting up Thar Coal based plants had surged and major industrial houses of the country and prominent Chinese investors had expressed an interest in obtaining coal from SECMC to set up power projects.
He said the currently about 2000 workers were employed at the project site, out of which 1000 were local Tharis. He said it was part of the agreement that 50 per cent employment would be given to the local Tharis who are living miserable lives due to utmost poverty for centuries.
He said the population that had come under the land of project were being accommodated by providing each couple a model house to be built by the project and they would also be given compensation.
He said that under the second phase, two more power plants (330 MW each) would be launched which would be completed by December 2019 as the SECMC had committed to off-take coal for phase II (7.6 mtpa) to Thal Limited and Hubco for setting up plants at block II.
He said that first phase of Thar Coal Fired Power Projects with power production capacity of 660 MW would start its commercial operation by June 3, 2019 instead of October 2019, earlier then set target for completion of the project.
He said the financial close of the project was achieved on April 4, 2016 and since then 10.2 per cent of the total work had been completed.
He said work on power plant and coal mining was going on simultaneously.
"This is the first coal-fired power project in Thar and it is one of the leading energy project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)", the CEO of SECMC said adding that this was also the only energy project with such a majority sponsorship of private sector of country.