KARACHI – Engro Powergen Thar (Private) Limited (EPTL), realizing the nation’s dream of producing electricity through Thar coal, has successfully tested and energized its first 330 MW coal-fired power unit in Thar Coalfield, and hooked it with the national gird.

This unit is a part of the combined 660MW power plant located in Thar coal field block-two in Islamkot. EPTL is the majority-owned company of Engro Energy Limited, said a press release here on Tuesday.

It was a defining moment when electricity from the first unit was successfully pumped into the national power supply system. On this occasion, senior officials of EPTL and from China Machinery Engineering Corporation – the Engro Pakistan Corporation’s contractor of this project.

The injection of the electrons produced for the very first time from Thar coal – declared as the 7th largest coal reserve in the world with 175 billion tons of lignite coal – has redefined Pakistan’s energy landscape. Also, it secured the country’s energy future on an indigenous and native footing, which will eventually relinquish Pakistan’s dependence on foreign fuel mix.

EPTL is one of the early harvest projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). EPTL started construction of 660 MW power plants in Thar after the financial close of the project in April 2016. EPTL operates as a subsidiary of Engro Energy Limited along with other sponsors including Habib Bank Limited, Liberty and China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

The synchronization of the first unit of the power plant is a considerable achievement given that the project has been constructed in a record time of under 3 years as per schedule and projected costs, a feat in itself given the complexity of the project.

The EPTL power plant will utilize 3.8 MTPA of coal supplied by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company. The dateline for commercial operation of both the projects – power plants and coal mining- is June 2019.

Together both the mining and power projects, managed by Engro Energy Limited, will help the country save foreign exchange up to dollars 1.6 billion per annum at average.