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ISLAMABAD: K-Electric (KE) has sought support from federal government for allocation of coal for its 300 MW Mine Mouth Coal Power Project at Thar coalfield, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

On April 4, 2024, PPIB wrote a letter to KE requesting an update on the status of feasibility study, data collection process, land acquisition, grid interconnection and load flow studies for the Project.

KE, in its response to Managing Director PPIB, stated that addition of inexpensive and indigenous fuel sources to KE’s network is of tantamount importance; for that very reason KE is fully committed to provide all possible support in carrying out all the development activities needed for the prompt initiation of the competitive bidding process. Additionally, KE is fully cognizant about the significance of the Project as it is driven based upon directives issued by the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

330MW Mine-Mouth Project at Thar coal fields: PPIB seeks update from KE on buying process

“It is for that very reason we have been actively apprising PPIB about all the developments and challenges being faced, and have also requested your due assistance, as a one window facilitating agency and the Government of Pakistan’s representative, to help in timely acquisition of the pre-requisites needed for the bidding initiation,” said Shahab Qader Khan, Chief Strategy Officer KE, in his letter.

According to him, the initial correspondence received from PPIB through its letter of December 5, 2023, which requested KE to conduct a feasibility study for the Project, was a prerequisite for the competitive bidding process tasked to PPIB.

He further explained that KEs timely responded on December 8, 2023, stating that it will be imperative to attain clarity on various aspects, including but not limited to the allocation of the land parcel at the Thar coal field, before initiating any sort of feasibility study.

KE also requested PPIB’s consent to use the existing studies already conducted by Siddiqsons Energy Limited (SEL) for development works of this Project, as this would also help in reducing the time needed for floating the RFP of the project.

In the meantime, KE conducted a meeting with senior management of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) on December 7, 2023, and convinced them to make available land and coal quantities needed for the Project. Subsequent to the meeting, KE was continuously engaged with SECMC’s working team, and conducted various correspondences to follow up on the matter that was principally agreed during the earlier meeting held with their management.

The second correspondence from PPIB was received through letter of January 8, 2024 in which a reference to the understanding developed during the meeting held in Power Division on December 14, 2023 was made, and it was concluded that an independent feasibility study for the Project will be conducted, given that SEL has an ongoing litigation for its 330MW coal project at apex court.

It was also mentioned that using SEL’s work may result in contractual implications in the future. It was again requested that an update on the status on the feasibility study and acquisition of land for the project should be provided. KE promptly reverted to PPIB in a letter of January 17, 2024 in which an update on the meeting between KE and SECMC held in December 2023 was provided, and it was mentioned that based upon the information communicated by SECMC, the process would take another two to three months.

KE within the same correspondence requested PPIB, to provide its facilitation in fast tracking the approval process for land and coal quantities; however, no response on the request was received.

“Although there was no solution available with regard to earlier request, PPIB again wrote a letter on February 7, 2024 and on March 12, 2024 again requesting KE to undertake and complete the Grid Interconnection and Load Flow Studies (GIS) in coordination with National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC),” KE said, adding that since the GIS is part of feasibility study and it was already apprised earlier that the initiation of the study cannot be carried out without the availability of land co-ordinate, therefore, it was promptly communicated to PPIB through a letter of March 14, 2024.

KE’s Chief Strategy Officer further claimed that as apprised during KE’s recent engagement, based upon the letter written by KE on March 21, 2024, SECMC recently provided the land coordinate on March 25, 2024, through a letter. However, SECMC explicitly stated that the availability of coal for the project can only be firmed up after the completion of the bankable feasibility study of the mine expansion, beyond phase-3.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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Tariq Qurashi May 07, 2024 10:01am
Using Hub coal at its source for power generation is a good initiative. Is the usual red-tape holding this back? However, I hope they have proper emission control measures on the smoke produced!
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