KARACHI          -        Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that his government has achieved three milestones in development of Thar Coal for energy self-sufficiency

of Pakistan by achieving financial close for installation of a 1320 WM power plant in Block-I, expansion of Block-II for development of another 660 MW power plant.“Under these financial close $1301 million will be invested in Thar for generation of 1980 MW and development of two coal mines with production of 10.6 MTPA.” This he said while speaking at ‘Conference on Public Announcement

Financial Close of two Mines’ at CM House on Wednesday. The conference was attended by Minister Energy

Imtiaz Shaikh, Adviser to CM Murtaza Wahab, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Energy Musadiq Khan, MD Thar Coal & Energy Board Tariq Shah, President

SECMC Ghayas Khan, CEO SECMC Abul Fazal Rizvi, Director

Sino Sindh Resources Ltd (SSRL) Mr Li Jigen, Deputy CEO SSRL Huang Jinting, Deputy Head of SSRL (Finance) Mr Li Hongtu, SSRL deputy CEO (Industrial)

Mr Zhang Hongpeng and other concerned.The chief minister said that this was really a New Year gift his government was giving to the people of Pakistan, particularly

of Sindh. “Development of Thar and making Pakistan an energy self-sufficient country

was the dream of Shaheed Mohterma Benazir Bhutto which we are realising with our hard work and vision of the Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,” he said.Murad said that the first threat to the national development

was terrorism and the second and more dangerous threat was energy crisis. “Alhamdullilah,

we crushed the terrorists who were the enemies

of Pakistan and then focused

on development of Thar coal to generate electricity and now we are also succeeding in defeating the darkness of loadshedding,”

he said.It may be noted that Sino Sindh Resources Ltd, a Chinese company, has achieved a financial

close of $1060 million for development of 7.8 million tons per annum (MTPA) coal mine in Block-I of Thar Coalfields. The mine will supply this coal to 1320 MW of coal-fired power plant which will bring in another

$ 2 billion of foreign direct investment.Another achievement is the financial close of $215 million achieved for developing second

phase of 3.8 MTPA coal mine as an expansion to the first phase of Sindh Engro Coal Mines Company (SECMC) coal mine in Thar coal Block-II, thus reaching 7.6 MTPA under both phases. Under the first phase of this mine 660MW of power is already being generated. The second phase will also generate

another 660MW with additional

$1 billion of foreign direct investment. It may be noted that Sindh government owns 55 percent

shares of SECMC with ENGRO

at 12 percent Thal Ltd 12 percent HBL 9.5 percent and two other partners.The third and equally significant

achievement is the announcement

of contract stage first year tariff of $42.45 per ton of Thar coal by the Thar Coal Energy Board for mines of size 7.8 MTPA.He said that with this tariff, Thar coal will provide energy to the country at $3.8 per MMBTU in two-year time. It may be noted that any new domestic gas reserve will provide

energy at almost $7 per MMBTU and Pakistan imports LNG at $10-12 per MMBTU.The Chief Minister acknowledged

the support of CPEC framework for financing the projects in Thar. For every 3.8MTPA mine, the Sindh province

gets royalty of about $20 million per annum indexed with the coal tariff. “This amount of $20 million is being spent on the social and economic uplift of the people of Thar,” he said proudly.He further added that the Thar coal price was fast becoming

competitive and in near future clean coal technologies would be employed for coal to liquids (diesel) and surface gasification leading to urea production

plants would be setup under CPEC in Block-VI of Thar coal fields.“That initiative will then literally

revolutionize Pakistan’s energy sector - Thar will indeed change Pakistan,” he said.Murad said the achievement of these three landmarks were gifts of Sindh to the people