KARACHI (APP) - Sindh Coal Authority (SCA) will offer Block-1 of Thar coal field for mining through open international bidding shortly. This was stated by the Director General SCA, A.B Narejo at a seminar on Future of Power Generation organised by Petroleum Institute of Pakistan (PIP) at a local hotel here Wednesday. This will be followed by the auctioning of three more blocks of Thar coal field, he added. He said 8 blocks are ready in Thar and currently three parties namely M/s Engro Energy Ltd, Coujar Energy UK and Member Planning Commission Dr. Samar Mubarak Mand are working on three blocks. Narejo said that Engro has Block-2 and working on 1000 MW coal power plant while Coujar Energy is working on coal gasification for 400 MW coal power plant. Dr Mubarak Mand is also working on coal gasification and two power plants of 50 MW each based on coal, he added. He pointed out that SCA has received various proposals for 5000 MW of power generation based on Thar coal. Director project PPIB Asif Ali Abro said that the gas shortage will seriously hit power generation in near future as no gas is available for power projects after 2011. There are 11 power projects needing gas. He said that PPIB currently has 48 projects for 12,000 MW but the suppressed demand for electricity would reach 36,217 MW by 2015, creating a gap of 22,891 MW. The generation capacity is 13,326 MW in the country, he added. Abro said currently, PPIB has two power projects, based on imported coal for 1200 MW each by M/s AES, and Mitsui of Japan/Malakoof of Malaysia. He said that PPIB is focussing on hydel and coal based projects as the cost of these projects tend to come down in long run compared to fuel fired power units. CEO Engro Energy Khalid Mansoor said that the total cost of the entire project which included power plant and mining will be $ 3 billion. We are currently working in the coal field and by June this year, we will find out whether we can do open cast mining in the field, he added. He said that infrastructure development work is continued in Thar, but lot has to be done to take out coal from the field. He pointed out that there is a plan to lay an extra high tension line for the power project, connecting the power plant to national grid.