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The two leaders of Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party performed the ground-breaking of the project that will be carried out by  SECMC. — File Photo
The two leaders of Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party performed the ground-breaking of the project that will be carried out by SECMC. — File Photo

THAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari Friday jointly performed ground-breaking of the US 1.6 billion dollar Thar coal power project to help the country meet its energy needs.

The project, scheduled to complete in 2017, will initially provide 660 MW of power for Pakistan's energy starved industrial units.

The project will be carried out by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) — a joint venture between Engro Powergen and Government of Sindh.

Prime Minister Sharif, in his address, said the launch of the project along with Zardari, had sent a message across that the political leadership should be united when it comes to the development of the country.

He said this political trend must be set in Pakistan now and the leaders need to think about the country first regardless of their differences.

He thanked Zardari for inviting him to the ground-breaking of the project and said it was a matter of satisfaction that “we all are together and have the same priorities”.

Prime Minister Sharif termed the Thar coal project a big national development project and suggested that the coal for all projects in Gaddani should be supplied from Thar.

He said the government was working on several power generation projects including hydel and nuclear generation.

The prime minister also said the recently launched nuclear power project in Karachi would generate 2200 MW, while the Dasu, Diamir and Bunji dams on Indus River would generate 15000 MW electricity. He said the Thar coal project would eventually produce 6600 MW of power.

The prime minister said three power projects would complete in 2017, including the Jhimpir Wind Power project in Thatta, CASA 1000 and Tarbela Dam upgradation.

He said efforts were afoot to import Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and pledged that in a year and a half, the country’s gas shortage problem would be addressed.

Prime Minister Sharif said the project will usher in an era of prosperity and development for the people of Tharparkar.

He also seconded former president Zardari’s suggestion for setting up an industrial park in Thar that would generate employment for the people. He said the federal government would contribute in its development.

Zardari said the day's event would convey a message to the next generations of the country that the politicians need to sit together to work for the development of the country.

He said the project, initiated by Benazir Bhutto and later pursued during his government, had finally seen the light of day.

Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah said the project would bring about a big change in the lives of the people of Tharparkar, Sindh and the entire country.

He termed the coal as gold for Pakistan and said the electricity generated would be used to help run the industrial units of the country and generate employment.

The project in Block-II of Tharparkar District is spread over an area of 79.6 square kilometres. According to a feasibility study, the project is commercially viable and has no significant environmental threats and social implications.

In its first phase, the project will develop a coal mining and power project with a capacity of 3.8 million tonnes per annum and 660 MW.

Subsequently, the mine will be expanded to a coal capacity of 6.5 million tonnes per annum to support a 1300 MW power plant.

In the second phase, it is planned to expand mining project to 13.5 million tonnes and 19.5 million tonnes, with a power generation capacity of 2400 MW and 3600 MW.

The Thar coal field has an estimated lignite reserves of 175 billion tonnes, equivalent to the total oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Iran combined and can be used to produce 100,000 MW for 200 years, according to the data available by SECMC.

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Comments (31) Closed

farhan Jan 31, 2014 02:46pm

How many times Thar coal project needs to be launched?

Anees Jan 31, 2014 05:10pm

" ... can be used to produce 100,000 MW for 200 years? "... and still the future asset of this country have to use candles to do their homework at night?

azmat khan Jan 31, 2014 06:23pm

Zardari and Nawaz kudos to you both.Well done.

Khan Jan 31, 2014 06:32pm

Good example set by Nawaz sharif and Zardari. All the parties should work together to solve the mess in the country.

Amir Bangash Jan 31, 2014 06:39pm

Good progress. The timings of load shedding have been increased from 15 hours to 18 hours a day because of no of projects coming up like thermal plants, solar power plants, coal power plants, Hydro electricity plants,Nuclear plants from China and with all this Pakistan will be the bulk supplier of electricity to entire world including USA.

Akram Jan 31, 2014 07:09pm

@Anees: How much money will Shareef and Zardari make on this project???

S. Nasir Mehdi Jan 31, 2014 07:32pm

@azmat khan: In what capacity Mr Zardari was there why not Fazal or Imran or Bilawal

Karachi Wala Jan 31, 2014 08:27pm

A picture is worth a thousand words. How sweet of these two......By the way I did not know Mr. Zardari had joined Pakistan Muslim League ......

S Chaudhury Jan 31, 2014 08:32pm

This shows when their financial interests converge they set aside the country's interest. So called Pakistani courts help these corrupt & dishonest people to govern while honest cannot get justice. What a country

dildar Jan 31, 2014 08:46pm

Zardari probably reminding Nawaz that after 5 years it will be PPP turn to loot.

Karamat K Jan 31, 2014 09:23pm

Looks like negotiations going on for partnership.

Ali Jan 31, 2014 09:35pm

There goes the coal, the money and any hope Pakistan had of using the Thar coal for its benifits. Wherever one sees the name Zardari, Sharif, PPP or PML-N, one should autmatically assume fraud, nepotism and corruption. Sad day for Pakistan that this has to happen to its citizens!

Shozab Abbas Jan 31, 2014 09:59pm

People of Pakistan deserves congratulations on this unprecedented event of national unity.This expression of political resolve to address national issues is unique and highly commendable. May Allah bring prosperity for both the rich and poor of Pakistan and connect us with one vision- Build Pakistan.

Syed Ahmed Jan 31, 2014 10:02pm

It is a saying" that "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." The to highly ultimately corrupt decided to join hands.

malik nawaz Jan 31, 2014 10:11pm

"sent a message across that the political leadership should be united when it comes to the development of the country"

Very nice when there is money there is a will.

Ebrahim Jan 31, 2014 10:17pm

@Anees: No surprises if Sharif and Zardari will come out with a huge Candle Mfg. plant??? It is in the interest of Zardari to cooperate with Sharif to have friendly opposition and go scot free of all the corruptions done in the past.

Hamood Jan 31, 2014 11:53pm

Both these leaders have siphoned off (read stole) a combined $4-5 billion from Pakistan. How much will be their take from this project?

Shakil Khan Feb 01, 2014 12:13am

He said, it will , this will do this do that... all distant future! on part of Dawn instead of relying on news and coverage of the event as news papers, they should analyse and report details of the project instead of mere political event.

Akoo Feb 01, 2014 12:19am

All words and no play?

D Feb 01, 2014 12:28am

@Anees: It is not very cheap to produce power from coal. Stop blaming everything on the government, and ask your neighbors to pay their electricity bill.

M. Siddique Feb 01, 2014 01:17am

It is great news that finally a power plant is being built in Pakistan in the last two decades. Musharaf's mismanagement of power sector has caused the power shortage. In his tenure not a single power plant was initiated. That is why it is good for the country that army stays in barracks.

Waqar Umar Memon Feb 01, 2014 02:18am

This is a good step by Asif Zardari and Mian Sahab. This meeting would prove to be a good measure for the Pakistani democracy.When democracy strengthens ,Pakistani institutions would strengthen and economic prosperity would come by.Ultimately,the people of Pakistan would benefit from this measure.The problem in Pakistan is that the politicians have not gotten enough time to rule.The economic,political ,social and the security mess has been created by the four dictators....Let the politicians do their job and let the army do its job.Democracy is a big process .We have to promote the democratic culture in the country.Once , 4 to 5 elected governments finish their tenure,things would improve.We do have the example of Turkey in front of us.Lets support the democratic doctrine in our country.Long live Pakistani democracy.....

Jaswinder Singh Feb 01, 2014 02:36am

Two best friends meet again.

MSA Feb 01, 2014 02:44am

What Zardari has to do with the inaugurations of this type now? Why he did not do it when he had the government for 5 years? Nawaz sounds like a fool here.

Jalaluddin S. Hussain Feb 01, 2014 03:36am

Congratulations! As a member of Pakistani Diaspora, living far away from the homeland, I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel! Long live Pakistan!

Haider Feb 01, 2014 04:21am

Bunch of crooks laughing at the whole nation of smart & intelligent people who elected them!

Engineer Feb 01, 2014 08:03am

Both do not know crap about energy. This work should have started more than 40 years ago. It's only the hard working engineers know about it. The leaders just stash and bungle the treasury. Now, that they have bungled billions, they pose as if they're doing everything.

Waris Pirzada Feb 01, 2014 05:30pm

Really we appreciate our leaders on this remarkable day. IN SH Allah our problems will be resolved with great vision and unity by all sides.

eman khan Feb 02, 2014 07:45am

Two very happy people. Are they up to something we don't know?

Danish Feb 02, 2014 08:15pm

I wish if you could see faces of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and Dr. Ata ur Rehman here. The impotent politician cannot produce results.

Just Someone Feb 03, 2014 06:36pm

Good gesture from the govt. to invite Zardari at the inauguration.