Thar coal plant begins pumping power into national grid

March 19, 2019

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Engro expects its power generation and coal mining projects to total $1.6bn in foreign exchange savings a year. ─ Photo courtesy SECMC Twitter
Engro expects its power generation and coal mining projects to total $1.6bn in foreign exchange savings a year. ─ Photo courtesy SECMC Twitter

Engro Powergen Thar Limited's (EPTL) lignite coal power plant in Thar has started pumping 330MW of electricity generated by domestic coal into the national grid.

The first of two 330MW units of the 660MW project located in Thar Block II was tested and energised on Monday, a press release issued by the company stated.

EPTL CEO Ahsan Zafar Syed told Reuters by telephone that the company is running the plant on 100 per cent local coal. The second 330MW unit will be connected to the national grid in April, he added.

Together, the mining and power projects managed by Engro are expected to rack up a total of $1.6 billion in foreign exchange savings a year since power will be produced using indigenous coal, the press release stated.

Construction on the country's first 660MW power plant, an early harvest China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, commenced in April 2016. It was to begin generating 660MW of power by December 2018.

The EPTL power plant will utilise 3.8MTPA of coal supplied by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) as both projects achieve their commercial operations date by June 2019.

Engro claims that once the projects are running, they will rake up an average of $1.6 billion in yearly foreign exchange savings. Post-COD, the plant is expected to transmit 660MW of electricity through a 282-km long 500 kV double circuit quad-bundle transmission line from EPTL plant to Matiari.