Karachi, May 16, 2012 (PPI-OT): A spokesman for Coal and Energy Development Department has said that Pakistan has huge lignite coal reserves in Thar estimated to 175 billion tons. And the quality of Thar Lignite Coal is at par or even better than the lignite mined in other parts of the world.
He said that Renowned international companies like RWE Germany, SRK United Kingdom, Sino Coal China, North East Coal Bureau China and China Coal Technology and Engineering Group have done detailed feasibilities in Thar and all of them concluded that Thar Coal Mining was technically, economically and environmentally viable project and this coal could be used for power generation and other petro chemical uses.
He mentioned that presently three companies viz, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company, Oracle Coalfields UK and Sino-Sindh Resources China had completed their Detailed Feasibility Studies and their projects of open cast mining was expected to start within this year. He said that these three projects has total power generation planned in the first Phase was 2100 MW by 2016.
The Government of Sindh is giving high priority to the development of Thar Coal and has allocated around 30 billion rupees in the last four years for coal and energy related projects like coal exploration, block development, mining and infrastructure development.
These include development of 12 coal blocks at Thar to prove estimated reserves as per international standards, improvement of roads, construction of mining rescue centre, water channel from LBOD to Thar via Nabisar with treatment facility, effluent disposal channel from coalfield, construction of 20 bedded Thar Lodge, establishment of Thar Airport at Islamkot and installation of reverse osmosis plants for provision of potable water to local people and project developers. Beside these infrastructure development projects, government of Sindh also entered in the mining project through a joint venture with Engro Group.
He remarked that the federal government was also playing its role for expeditious development of Thar Coal. The projects of transmission network are being prioritized by the Ministry of Water and Power, Planning Commission and other related agencies. Recently the Asian Development Bank has signed a loan agreement with the Economic Affairs Division to fund transmission network projects including Transmission Line from Matiari to Rahim Yar Khan. For the other component of Thar Transmission Network i.e, from Thar to Matiari, NTDC has completed the PC-I at the cost of 20 billion rupees and various foreign lenders have shown interest in financing this project.
He further said that Government has also formulated investment-friendly policies focusing to provide enabling business environment to local and foreign investors which include declaring Thar Coalfield as Special Economic Zone, approving fiscal incentive package for coal mining and power projects by giving tax holidays and duty free import of machinery for 30 years and 20% rate of return for those projects which achieve financial close by 2015.
He said that presently, the Oracle Coalfields of UK, which is working in Block VI of Thar Coalfield, investing up to US$ 610 million, to develop a coal mine of 5 million ton per year capacity. He further told that Initial coal production is expected in 2015 with mine development in early 2013. Oracle has also signed an MOU with KESC to develop initially a 300 MW mine-mouth power plant with plan to develop up to 1100 MW at the Block VI site.
He said that In Block-II of Thar Coalfield, the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) has completed the Bankable Feasibility to develop open cast mine of 6.5 million ton per year in first phase. They plan to generate 1200 MW by 2017. He said that the total cost of integrated mining and power generation project is around US$ 3 billion.
A Chinese company Global Mining (GMC) is also working in Block-I of Thar Coalfield and has plan to invest US$ 2.9 billion for developing coal mine of 10 million ton per year’s capacity and 900 MW power plant by 2015. He also told that recently one of the largest Chinese companies, Three Gorges Corporation has participated in the ICB and government has approved allocation of Block-IV of Thar Coalfield to it. The Thar Coal is the future of Pakistan’s Energy Mix and it is the most viable option for providing Energy Security to the Country.
For more information, contact:
Information and Archives Department
Directorate of Press Information
Government of Sindh
95-Sindh Secretariat 4-B, Karachi
Tel: +9221 9920 4423