KARACHI - In the absence of best quality of coal of Sindh, Thar, the provincial government has termed decision to import coal as unfortunate to convert 800 MW oil based power plant of Jamshoro Thermal Power Station and setting up a new 600 MW coal fired power plant at Jamshoro on import based coal.

The Sindh government has also decided that the issue will be taken up with the federal government to establish at least new 600 MW power plant at Jamshoro based on Thar coal and sign the off-take agreement so that the mining project may be executed immediately.

This decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah at CM Secretariat here on Wednesday, which reviewed the progress of Thar Coal Block-II Project of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company. The meeting was informed that the recent studies carried on lignite transportation confirmed that Thar lignite can be transported via trucks or rail to other parts of the country. This in fact has broadened the scope of Thar coal from integrated mine mouth power plant to utilising the coal in power plants located elsewhere. Aijaz Ali Khan, Secretary Coal and Energy Development Department, GoS/ Managing Director Thar Coal and Energy Board informed the meeting that the mining project is ready for execution and if a coal off-take agreement is signed by GENCO with SECMC.

The chief minister welcomed the participants of the meeting and said that the government is fully committed for development of Thar coal which has the potential of turning the country’s economy around. Thar coal resources can be used for power generation, chemical production and had the potential of providing energy security to the country.

He hoped that the Thar Coal Project will bring progress and prosperity in the country particularly in Sindh. This will result in saving of foreign exchange of $ 230 million per annum, besides use of indigenous coal will bring down the power tariff substantially and prevent dependence on costly imports. It will also provide much-needed energy security to the country and help minimise circular debt.

The meeting was also attended by Jam Saifullah Dharejo, Provincial Minister for Irrigation, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Provincial Minister for Finance ,Jam Mahtab Dahar, Provincial Minister for Revenue and Sharjeel Memon, Provincial Minister for Information, Minister for Agriculture Syed Ali Nawaz Shah, M Zubair Motiwala, Chairman Sindh Board of Investment, Raja Muhammad Abbas, Chief Secretary, Aijaz Ali Khan, Secretary Coal and Energy Development Department, GoS/ Managing Director Thar Coal and Energy Board, Alliuddin Anasari, President Engro Corporation and Shamsuddin Ahmed Shaikh, CEO Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company.