The Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) Board has approved the expansion of its Thar Coal Block-II mine to 12.2 million tonnes/annum (Phase III).
According to a statement, the coal price of the SECMC mine will reduce to $27/tonne with this expansion.
SECMC is expected to complete this expansion by June 2023. At a price of $27/tonne, the company’s Block II coal will become the cheapest fuel source in the country.
It will enable Pakistan to save $420 million/annum on account of foreign exchange. Additionally, this expansion will lead to a reduction of Rs74 billion in the circular debt on an annual basis.
SECMC CEO Amir Iqbal said: “With the international coal prices recently crossing an all-time high of $250/tonne and the volatility in the international prices, SECMC, through this expansion plan, not only offers a hedge against market volatility but being an indigenous resource shall ease out the pressures on the current account deficit.”
“Additionally, it is our firm belief that at a price point of $27/tonne, Thar coal shall transcend its current utilisation in the energy sector to other uses of coal,” he added.
The cost of this expansion project is estimated to be $93 million, which will enable Thar Block II to achieve a sustainable supply of 12.2 million tonnes of coal annually over the next 30 years.
SECMC currently has an annual production of 3.8 million tonnes, which is used for the generation of 660MW since the start of its operations in 2019. — TLTP