KARACHI: The first consignment of 43,999 tonnes of coal imported from South Africa for the trial operations of Sahiwal Coal Power Plant was unloaded at Port Qasim on Wednesday.

Sources said that the early arrival of the shipment for the 1,320 megawatts coal-based power plant in Punjab indicates that the government seems to be in a hurry to make the plant operational in June much ahead of its scheduled date.

FU Ming carrying the fuel was given berth on Jan 12 at Port Qasim and after completing the unloading sailed out on Wednesday.

The $1.8 billion Sahiwal power plant has two units of 660MW each and would be first power plant to be run on imported coal. The government, thereafter, imposed a ban on plants run on imported coal and stressed upon the need to use indigenous coal from Thar.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2017