A staggering 22 tonnes of coal went missing from the bogey of a train that was carrying coal for the 1,320 megawatt Sahiwal coal-fired power plant, the first-ever such project in Pakistan, it emerged on Thursday.

A second special train carrying 22 tonnes of coal in each of its 18 carriages reached Sahiwal railway station last evening.

On Thursday morning, railways guards informed the assistant station master (ASM) that coal was missing from bogey number 96329.

The train which was on its way from Port Qasim had stopped on its way at Kulab railway station near Bahawalpur, a railway official said, adding that an investigation has been started to ascertain how the coal went missing.

The first consignment of 43,999 tonnes of coal imported from South Africa for the trial operations of the Sahiwal power plant was unloaded at Port Qasim last month.

Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif had said last week the power plant has been connected to the national grid after its completion.

He added that the power plant will generate 1,320MW from June after its testing has been completed.

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.