ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has said that his Ministry would provide Rs900 million for the Thar Coal Gasification Project for generating 100MW power through conversion of coal into gas. He stated this while chairing a meeting, where Dr Samar Mubarakmand, Member Science and Technology Planning Commission, along with officials of Thar Coal Project briefed the Minister for Finance and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources about the project. "The success story in the Thar Coal Project will encourage the international leading companies dealing with the development of underground coal, to invest in it and many have approached us for this very purpose", Dr. Mubarak informed the meeting. The first phase of this project for producing 100MW of electricity requires $ 105 million so that the Letter of Credit (LC) may be opened for the import of machinery and equipments, he added. The Member Technical, the known scientist of Pakistan, informed the meeting that by the second week of September 2011, he would be able to open the lid of the gasification project. The projects "Creation of new processing facilities (for production of coal gas by underground coal gasification)" and "Creation of new processing facilities (for handling and purification of coal gas produced by underground coal gasification)" were approved by CDWP on 30th April 2009 at a cost of Rs494.45 million and Rs.490.48 million respectively. The projects are now in full swing and the first 50MW gasifier to produce Underground Coal Gas (UCG) has been completed. The project "2x50 MW Power Plant from Syngas (Integrated gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC-2009)" was approved by ECNEC on 9th December, 2010 at a cost of Rs.8898.7 million including FEC of Rs.5847.3 million. This project was not allocated any funds in PSDP 2010-11 due to economic crunch. However, in PSDP 2011-12, only a negligible amount of Rs 5 million has been allocated against the demand of Rs. 5703 million. This time, keeping the importance and financial viability of this project, the Minister acceded to the just demand of Rs.900 million for the machinery and equipment. Meanwhile, while chairing a meeting on the power situation of the country on Thursday, Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said that the government has decided to take serious measures to resolve key issues of financial sustainability of the power sector. He stated this while chairing a meeting on the power situation of the country. Resolution of circular debt and curtailment of future build up through cost recovery, increasing efficiency of the sector, improving cash flows of the power sector through recovery of current and outstanding dues of PEPCO and other power sector companies were put forward. The actions being taken for recovery of private receivables of PEPCO were presented. The progress on recovery of receivables from the Federal and Provincial Government departments was also assessed. It was decided that the interaction would continue for smooth functioning of the power sector. Measures to ensure the financial sustainability of the power sector were discussed in detail. The meeting was attended by Dr Asim Hussain, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Recourses, Naveed Qamar, Minister for Water and Power, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Secretary Finance and other senior officials of Finance, Water and Power & Petroleum & Natural Resources Ministries.