The Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan while presiding the 124th meeting of the Board of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) congratulated and appreciated the combined efforts of Power Division, PPIB and Government of Sindh and expressed his pleasure on commissioning of Pakistan’s first ever indigenous thar coal based 660 MW Engro Powegen Thar (Pvt) limited under the early harvest component of CPEC framework and labelled it an historic development towards realization of nation’s dream of utilizing indigenous thar coal for power generation.
The Minister further stated that all efforts are being made by the present government to generate indigenous, reliable and affordable electricity through different means. He explained that Pakistan has enormous resources of coal and hydro which if utilized properly for power generation, substantial amount of foreign exchange can be saved as thar coal has potential of generating thousands of megawatts for decades to come.
Detailed deliberations took place on various agenda items presented before the Board by the Managing Director PPIB Mr. Shah Jahan Mirza. Performance of various ongoing IPPs was also evaluated and necessary way forward was guided to PPIB for further processing. In order to facilitate the development of 700 MW Azad Pattan Hydrpower Project, the Board agreed to grant extension in Financial Closing deadline of the Project.
Targeted to be completed by June 2026, Azad Pattan Hydropower Project is being built on Jhelum River near Sudhnoti, AJ&K by M/s China Gezhouba Group Company. The Board also granted extension in Financial Closing deadline of thar coal based 330 MW Project by ThalNova Power Thar Pvt. Ltd which is amongst the fleet of “Prioritized Projects” under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and committed to supply electricity to national grid by March 2021.
The Minister commented that the efforts for improving the efficiency of this crucial sector are afoot and GoP has so far bagged tremendous success. He further added that the GoP is determined in developing a competitive energy market in Pakistan that on one hand provides a fair return on investment, while adequately protect the rights of consumers through a robust regulatory regime on the other.