The Thar Coal-Fired Power Projects of 660 MW are sailing smoothly, as the first phase would begin commercial operations about four months ahead of its deadline.
This was stated in a briefing to the media visiting the site of the project to witness the progress of the ambitious projects.
The briefing was given by the Media and Communications, Manager, Mohsin Babbar and Planning and Contracts, Manager Muhammad Idrees of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) who said that the commercial production of the project would begin by June 2019 instead of October 2019.
Idrees, while spelling out the detail of the progress – that has so far been achieved – said the financial close of the project was achieved on April 4, 2016, and since then 14.2 per cent of the total work had been completed.
He said work on the power plant and coal mining was going on simultaneously. Idrees said that this is the first coal-fired power project in Thar, and it is one of the leading energy projects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
He added that this was also the only energy project with a majority private sector sponsorship. He informed that under the second phase, two more power plants (330MW each) would be completed by December 2019, as the SECMC has committed to off-take coal for phase II (7.6 million ton per acre) to Thal Limited and Hubco for setting up plants at block II.
According to a press statement issued on Thursday, the SECMC also planned to add additional capacity of 11.4 million tonnes per acre coal beyond phase II by December 2021.
The main sponsors of the project were 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.
Babbar said on the occasion that the total cost of two 330MW 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 were Engro with 50.1 per cent share, while its other shareholders included Liberty, HBL, and China Machinery Engineering Company (CMEC).
He said the Sindh government had been a key enabler for the Thar project, which committed 110 million equity investments for phase I and provided a backup sovereign guarantee to the federal government of $ 700 million.