ISLAMABAD – Shamsudin Ahmed Sheikh, chief executive officer of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) on Monday said that the Thar Coal-Fired Projects of 660MW would become operational with its first by June 3, 2019 instead of October 2019.

According to The News, Sheikh said the financial close of the project was achieved on April 4, 2016 and since then 10.2 percent of the total work had been completed. He said work on the power plant and coal mining was going on simultaneously.

“This is the first coal-fired power project in Thar, and it is one of the leading energy projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor,” Sheikh said adding that this was also the only energy project with a majority private sector sponsorship.

He said that under the second phase, two more power plants (330MW each) would be completed by December 2019, as the SECMC had committed to off take coal for phase II (7.6 million ton per acre) to Thal Limited and Hubco for setting up plants at block II.

“The SECMC also planned to add additional capacity of 11.4 million ton per acre coal beyond phase II by December 2021,” he said.

Sheikh said five more coal-fired power plants would be set up in block II of Thar by December 2021, expanding the total production capacity of Thar coal-based electricity to around 3,000MW.

He said the coal mining project cost was $845 million which would be on the basis of 75:25 debt to equity ratio and would consist of 31.5 percent foreign, and 68.5 per cent local debt, The News reported.