Thar coal project to start production by mid-February, says CM

Published December 7, 2018
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Shah says royalties from the Thar coal project will be around Rs2.5 billion per year. ─ DawnNewsTV
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Shah says royalties from the Thar coal project will be around Rs2.5 billion per year. ─ DawnNewsTV

MITHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday announced that the Thar coal power project would start churning out electricity in mid-February 2019.

He was speaking at a meeting while reviewing progress of coal mining and power plant installation in Islamkot. Provincial Minister for Energy Imtiaz Shaikh, Adviser to the CM Murtaza Wahab, Planning and Development chairman Mohammad Waseem, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) chairman Khursheed Jamali, Thar Foundation chief executive officer Abul Fazal Rizvi and senior officers of the mining company attended the meeting.

The chief minister noted that the twin power plant at the site’s block-II was projected to produce 660MW electricity. He expressed his pleasure over induction of the plant by February next, saying that the work had been completed four months ahead of schedule.

“We are going to inject the first electron in the national grid in February,” he said.

Mr Shah noted that the royalty of Thar coal project would be around Rs2.5 billion per year which would be spent on development in Thar for its people.

At a briefing, the chief minister was informed that an overall 94 per cent progress had been made in the mining work as against the target of achieving 88pc till this day of December.

He was informed that the current depth of mines was 154 metres. The CM examined the coal excavated from the mines.

He was informed that the estimated cost of the project was $845 million but it was being completed with a cost of $670m hence a saving of $175m.

He was told that 96pc work on the power plant had been completed.

CM Shah gave a cheque of Rs50m to the Thar Foundation chief for providing fodder to 20,000 families of Islamkot taluka so that they could feed their livestock.

Mr Shah said that the Thar Foundation was building a 250-bed hospital at a cost of Rs2 billion. The Sindh government had already released Rs50 million for the project, he added.

He said that a new village, New Senhri Goth, for the people displaced due to the land acquisition for the project’s block-II, had also been established. He said 172 families would be shifted to the village by December 20. “We have not only provided them with well-designed 1,100-sqaure metre houses with all facilities such as kitchen, toilet and corridor, but also given them jobs, compensation against their houses and educational and health facilities within their village,” he added.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2018

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