Letter of intent for Thar electricity project approved
By Amin Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) approved on Monday the issuance of Letter of intent (LOI) for the 1,000MW coal-based power project in Thar.
The project is being undertaken by the Engro Power Generation (EPGL), whose sister concern, the Sindh Engro Coalmining Company, is taking part in a joint venture with the provincial government for developing the coalmine.
The Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, told a PPIB meeting that another 1,200 megawatts would be added to the national grid by the end of this year, raising the independent power producers’ (IPPs) share to 2,465MW under a policy framed in 2002.
He said the government wanted to facilitate investors and join hands with entrepreneurs for developing the power sector.
According to the minister, an energy mix was of utmost importance for making electricity affordable and the government was trying to develop indigenous resources, e.g. hydropower and the Thar coal reserves, as well as imported coal.
Seven projects having a combined capacity of 1,265MW had been commissioned over the past one year, Mr Ashraf said. A 62MW rental power plant was among them.
Mr Ashraf said energy shortages were affecting the economy and society of several countries.
“A crisis also brings opportunities in its fold and decisions taken at the recent energy summit in Islamabad have encouraged the private sector to expedite their projects.”
According to a press release, the minister praised efforts of the PPIB for bringing in investment, including the launch of an international competitive bidding for a 300MW IPP based on residual fuel oil near Lalian, in Punjab, and a 300MW IPP in Sonda Jherruk, in Sindh, based on imported coal. Representatives of the Sarhad Hydel Development Organisation told the board that feasibility studies of small hydropower projects were in progress in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.