Thar coal project to start power generation in 2019: Sindh CM
THARPARKAR: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that power generation, using unexploited Thar coal reserves, will commence from June, 2019, after the completion of mining work in Phase-1 of Thar Coal Block-2.
The CM stated this on Tuesday while speaking at a programme to celebrate 50 percent completion of coal mining work of Phase-1 of the Thar Coal Block-2. The programme was held at the site of Thar coalfield in Islamkot. The Sindh CM said that the Phase-1 of Thar Coal Block-2 would produce 2.8 million tonnes of indigenously available coal per annum, which would be used for 660 MWs electricity generation. He said that the completion of Thar Coal Block-2 would lead to extraction of 22 million tonnes of coal per annum for 4,000 MWs power generation till 2025.
He said that the completion of Phase-1 of this project would fulfil the long-cherished dream of using vast reserves of Thar coal for massive power generation, while completely relying on an indigenous source of fuel.
He said that the exploitation of Thar coal for power generation would be done in a manner that locals of area would become beneficiaries of the project instead of being affected by it. For this purpose, the CM announced to give 3 percent shares of Thar Coal Block-2 to locals of Thar, who had been displaced due to coal mining work. This 3 percent share would be given out of 54 percent shareholding of the Sindh government in Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company, which is working on the Thar Coal Block-2.
Besides it, the CM said that the Sindh govt would efficiently spend resources in order to run a comprehensive programme for rehabilitation and welfare of the people of Thar, living in surroundings of coal mining area.
He said that coal extraction and its usage for power generation would never be done at the cost of the well-being and livelihood of locals. He said that the Thar Coal Block-2 would first ensure rehabilitation and welfare of local people before doing power generation for well-settled cities like Karachi and Lahore. Murad said that local people of Thar had sacrificed their homes and farms for this project so that it could get materialised without further delay. “Sindh govt would not leave these displaced people, and will do its best for their welfare and well-being,” said the CM.
The CM added: “Those who had opposed this project in the past had done grave injustice with the people of Thar and that of entire Pakistan. I would not like to name people who had opposed this project in the past, but I can’t wish them well at all as they showed insincerity with the people of Thar and that with people of entire Pakistan.”
He said that the Sindh govt had contributed Rs11 billion for coal mining in Thar Coal Block-2. He also announced complete support for the Thar Foundation to work on projects related to health, education, and employment of the locals.
Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company chief Shamsuddin Shaikh thanked the Sindh govt for its all out support for Thar Coal and Power Project. He said that the power produced using Thar coal would be supplied to the entire country using national grid.
He said that once mining work in Thar Coal Block-2 would be completed, the cost of power generation, using local coal reserves, would slightly decrease, making it cheapest power being produced in the country. He said that the Thar Foundation was sponsoring construction of a state-of-the-art private hospital for the people of Thar. “The Thar Foundation is willing to adopt govt-run schools and basic health units in Islamkot to improve their services for local people,” he concluded.