Thar Coal becomes reality

THAR Coal dream has turned into a reality with Sindh Engro Coal Mining (SECMC) making history after unearthing first layer of indigenous coal from its open-pit coalmine in Thar Coal Block II, at a depth of 140 meters (460 feet) below the surface. Chief Executive Officer of SECMC Shamsuddin Shaikh was fully justified in declaring that successful extraction of the first coal seam not only proved that Thar’s indigenous coal is exploitable but can produce thousands of megawatts of cheap electricity for many decades.
This is, indeed, the moment for which all Pakistanis had been waiting for the last 25 years, ever since coal was first discovered in Thar. The deposits have the potential to transform economic and industrial landscape of the country by way of provision of cheap energy besides substantial saving of hard-earned foreign exchange. However, due to lack of necessary commitment and vision we took so long in mining the coal and using it for power generation. Timely attention and decision to exploit world’s one of the largest coal deposits would have provided relief to the people much earlier who had been facing worst kind of load-shedding for years. The credit must go to Sindh Engro and its dynamic head Shamsuddin Shaikh for perseverance and hard work that led to this great achievement. The Company has demonstrated to others prospective investors that Thar coal was exploitable and that investment was worth making. The Company is also setting up two coal-based power plants of 330 MW each and aiming to start power generation by end of the year which would be another milestone towards sustainable and cheaper power generation.
We hope that both the Federal and Sindh Governments would facilitate Sindh Engro in realising its target of producing 5,000 MW of electricity by 2024. It is also appreciable that the Company is mindful of its social responsibilities as it has expressed its commitment to help Islamkot achieve Sustainable Development Goals at an accelerated pace. Thar Foundation and Engro have made successful experiment of growing fish in the area, which would serve as a model for others to follow. Activities of SECMC would surely contribute towards ameliorating the lot of the local people through job generation and socio-economic awareness.

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