Local Thar-coal based electricity generation to jump to 1,320 MW in Dec

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Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir Khan on Tuesday said that total electricity generation from local Thar coal would jump to 1,320 MW with addition of 330 MW by ThalNova Power Thar Ltd’s Plant in December.

Addressing a press conferencing here, the minister said that the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the other day, formally inaugurated 330 MW HUBCO Thar Coal Power Plant which increased the electricity generation to 990 MW from local Thar coal.

He said the people had started getting dividends of projects launched by Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in 2014.

As many as 660 MW electricity had already been supplied to the National grid since 2019 through local Thar coal, he added.

The minister said that another 1,320 MW Shanghi Electric Thar Coal Power Project under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would start generation before the next summer which would help double electricity generation to 2640 MW.

He said Thar coal reserves was a blessing for the entire country, adding that as per initial estimate, the reserves stood 175 billion metric tons. The Thar coal reserves spread an area of over 100 square kilometers and had been divided into 13 blocks, he said.

The minister said currently out of total 13 blocks, only two blocks were opened. Presently, three power plants with accumulative capacity of 990 MW had been operationalized on local Thar coal, he added.

He said the coal price at international market had surged to $ 400 per ton, while Thar coal would be available at only $ 40 per ton. Thar coal based power plants would also help reduce cost of electricity, he added.

He said Thar coal power plants projects was a best example of public private partnership in the country. Special attention was also being paid that the coal-based power projects have not any effects on environment, he added.

He said as per technical study, 20 per cent Thar Coal could also be used in already set up coal power plants including Sahiwal and Port Qasim. The coal could also be used for getting diesel besides in cement and fertilizers industries, he added.

He said the Thar Coal would fulfill the energy requirements of the country.

Khurram said the PM had already approved a project to link IslamKot (Tehsil in Thar district) to Hyderabad through railway track in next 6 months. It would play a key role in effective transportation of coal in the country through railways, he added.

Replying to a question, he said transmission line had already been laid to evacuate 2,640 MW electricity from Thar coal based power projects. However, working was being carried out to lay new transmission line for evacuation of power from future projects, he added.

To another question, the minister said that cost of electricity had decreased after shutting down of all expensive power plants with decline of electricity demand and change in weather. Relief was being passed on the consumers and only 22 paisa per unit fuel cost adjustment was charged in the current month billing as compared to Rs 9.89 per unit in June. He said the average cost of electricity would also decrease with increase of share of electricity from Thar coal blocks.

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