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Qaim Ali Shah presides meeting regarding progress of Thar Coal project

Karachi, November 22, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah last night presided a high level meeting to review the implementation status of the decisions taken by Prime Minister of Pakistan, for fast tract development of Thar Coal held at Chief Minister House.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Minister for Agriculture / Chairman Sindh Engro Coal Mining company Syed Ali Nawaz Shah, Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Revenue Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar, Chairman Sindh Board of Investment Mr. Muhammad Zubair Motiwala, Syed Asad Ali Shah Ex-Member TCEB, Secretary Coal and Energy Development Department Mr. Aijaz Ali Khan, Principal Secretary to CM Sindh Mr. Muhammad Siddique Memon, President Engro Corporation Mr. Aliuddin Ansari and CEO Sindh Coal Mine Company Mr. Shamsuddin Ahmed Shaikh and others.

The Chief Minister Sindh was briefed about the actions taken by Thar Coal and Energy Board and Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company after the meeting with Prime Minister last month. It was informed that the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company had immediately after the decision of the Prime Minister, approached the CEO GENCO Holding Company to finalize the draft of subject agreement and set the date of signing.

The draft agreement has also been sent to CEO GENCO Holding Company by CEO SECMC. However, till to-date no headway was made on the signing of subject agreement. On the front of Sovereign Guarantee to Thar Block-II Mining Project, all necessary documents were provided by the TCEB to the Finance Division for due diligence in the matter and issuance of Sovereign Guarantee, as directed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Mr. Aliuddin Ansari, President Engro Corporation thanked the Government for its full support for the Joint Venture Project of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company and assured the meeting that Engro has always considered development of Thar Coal as a National Cause and doing its best efforts to start the execution of coal mining project as early as possible.

He highlighted the actions taken by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company during past six weeks to implement the decisions of Prime Minister for fast track development of Thar coal.The legal team of SECMC drafted the coal off-take agreement immediately after the decision by the Prime Minister and sent it to GENCO Holding Company for signature. It was informed that in order to address the concerns of GENCO on availability of Thar-equivalent coal, the SECMC sent its team to India and Indonesia to visit coal mines.

The Chief Minister was informed that the Thar-equivalent coal is available in Indonesia which can be used in Jamshoro Plant, if needed because of any mismatch between timelines of Thar Block-II coal mine and Power Plan. The lignite from coal mines in Gujrat, India is being transported up to a distance of 800 km.

The SECMC also compiled a report by RWE Germany on the concerns raised by the Asian Development Bank on environmental issues in utilizing Thar coal and got re-assurances from Sinosure and other Chinese Financial Institutions to provide lending soon after signing of coal off-take agreement and issuance of sovereign guarantee.

Mr. Aliuddin Ansari said that these efforts of SECMC would definitely show seriousness of Engro in executing this project and assured that they can start physical work on ground within six months if coal off-take agreement would be signed with GENCO and sovereign guarantee would be provided by the Finance Division, Government of Pakistan.

The Chief Minister Sindh said that Thar is the only viable option for meeting Pakistan’s future energy needs and government will provide full support to all projects for early execution. He further said that the current Peoples Party Government since its taking over has been working hard for the development of coal resources of the country and it would be a great tragedy if despite availability of huge coal resources in the country new power plants are based on imported coal. This will be a huge drain on precious foreign exchange and the price of coal will always be subject to international market fluctuation.

He assured the forum that he will take up the matter with the Prime Minister of Pakistan again to ensure speedy implementation of his earlier decisions.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Allah Bachayo Memon
Press Secretary
Chief Minister House
Tel: +9221 99202019
Cell: +92300-3524057 (Ext: 336)

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