ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is likely to inaugurate two Thar-coal power projects this or next week, well-informed sources in PPIB told Business Recorder.
Sharing the details, sources said the government of Pakistan is actively working on development of Thar coal-based power generation to reduce reliance on imported fuel based power generation to enhance national energy security.
With the facilitation of Ministry of Energy (Power Division) and Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB), two Thar coal-based power projects, 1,320 MW at Block-1 and 330 MW Thal-Nova Power at Block-IL have successfully achieved Commercial Operation Date (COD) and have started their commercial operations with effect from 5th and 17th February 2023 respectively.
CPEC power projects: China concerned over payment issues
The sources said it is a momentous milestone and yet another achievement under the CPEC Framework. Successful commissioning of these projects is demonstration of effective coordination among all the stakeholders for realization of full potential of Thar coal.
With these latest additions, total production of electricity from four Thar coal-based power generation plants at Thar has reached 2,640 MW. Additionally another plant 660 MW located at Port Qasim is also designed to operate on Thar coal.
According to sources, commissioning of these projects will result in huge annual savings of foreign exchange outflow and reduce dependence on imported fuels. Cumulative estimated reduction in fuel bill from current Thar based electricity generation is approximately Rs. 550 billion per annum.
Additionally, these projects will also play pivotal role for prosperity and improvement in living standards of local communities through creation of jobs.
In view of the critical importance of the projects and anticipated long terms contributions of Thar coal based generation for national economy, Power Division has proposed that formal inauguration ceremony of these two projects be held at Thar site and graced by the Prime Minister tentatively on March 10, 2023 or any other convenient date.
The sources said, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, has intimated that Prime Minister has shown a willingness to inaugurate both coal-fired projects, however, date and venue and time will be conveyed by Military Secretary or PS to the Prime Minister.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023