ISLAMABAD: The government intends to convert three plants running on imported coal to Thar coal after taking Chinese government on board, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, who recently undertook an official visit to China, has been assigned responsibility to engage the leadership of National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) for conversion of CPEC imported coal projects; i.e., Sahiwal, Port Qasim and Hub to Thar coal.

Conversion of imported coal based Jamshoro plan to Thar coal and availability of Thar coal to Lucky coal power plant is also on the cards, sources added.

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At a recent meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed Power Division, Ministry of Railways, Government of Sindh, NEPRA, PPIB and Thar Coal Energy Board (TCEB) to accomplish these tasks as per instructions.

Government of Sindh, Power Division, NEPRA, PPIB and TCEB were tasked to obtain approval in principle for utilisation of auxiliary power for mining for Thar coal to replace diesel consumption, feasibility study and implementation by December, 2025.

The meeting also decided that in the light of recommendations of the Committee on Discos, IESCO, Gepco and FESCO shall be offered for complete privatisation in phase -1 whereas LESCO, MEPCO and HAZECO shall be offered for complete privatisation in phase-II.

SEPCO, HESCO, and PESCO shall be offered for long-term concession agreement to the private sector, whereas TESCO and QESCO will be retained for the time being under government control considering their peculiar conditions.

Privatisation Commission was directed to initiate the process of hiring of transaction advisor and complete other formalities as per process to complete phase-1 transaction for privatisation and outsourcing of three Discos through concessions by January, 2026.

Power Division was requested to engage technical advisor to assist in review of existing regulatory and policy structure for completion of the process of privatisation and outsourcing of Discos.

Power Division was directed to get approval of federal government and NEPRA for creation of a separate tariff category for the provision of electricity to CPEC SEZs.

Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, Secretary WAPDA and Chairman WAPDA are to review cost allocation of hydel projects and sequencing of installing turbines at upcoming hydel projects and recommendations be submitted to the Prime Minister for consideration.

Out of strategic allocation of 2400-MW, only one 600-MW solar power plant shall be taken up/ offered for investment with KSA, and future generation expansion plan shall be accordingly revised to reflect the above decision.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Fatima May 17, 2024 08:11am
“after taking Chinese government on board” Unclear if agreed or just hopeful expectations
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KU May 17, 2024 12:29pm
Imported coal to Thar coal, its still coal. Perhaps we should not ask for technical details. But what's mindboggling is our death-wish on fossil fuel pollution that affects life n ignore solar energy.
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