Pakistan to ramp up coal generation

KARACHI, PAKISTAN - The Sindh Assembly in Pakistan was told that four active coal-fired power projects in Tharparkar with a total investment of $4.7 billion would add 2,300 megawatts MW to the national grid in the next four to five years.

In 60:40 joint venture, Engro Powergen and the Sindh government have set up the Sindh Engro Mining Company to feed a 2,400-MW coal-fired station, at an investment of $3.5 billion.

The first phase will see a 1,200-MW project constructed. Capacity will be progressively expanded to feed a 2,400-MW power plant in the second phase, and eventually 4,000 MW of power generation.

The mine will expand from 6.5 million tons per year to 22.5 million tons per year. The feasibility study on the initial 6.5 million-ton-per year coal mine has been fast-tracked in eight months. Funds have been allocated for the mining operation and the 1,200-MW power plant.

Oracle Coal Mining Company is investing $450 million at Thar Block-VI for an initial 300-MW project that could expand to 1,100 MW. Couger Energy Limited will produce 400 MW at Thar Block-III with an investment of $560 million and underground coal gasification UCG projects at Thar will produce 100 MW.

Another power project under consideration is a 40:60 venture between the Sindh government and the Al-Abbas group for a 300-MW plant at the Badin mine mouth. A 100-square-kilometer area has been allotted for the power plant and a coal-washing plant. Total investment is estimated at $360 million, comprising $110 million for the coal mine and $250 million for the power plant.

Tariffs for the projects' output are to be determined by the National Power Regulatory Authority and will probably be in the range of 11 to 11.5 cents per kWh. Further allocations of coal blocks for power projects are anticipated at Thar with the allocation of three new blocks imminent.



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