KARACHI, May 14: Sindh Government and visiting Chinese Shenhua delegation Tuesday signed a contract paving way for the start of banking feasibility and survey for exploration of Thar coal in one of the four blocks allotted to the company as well as setting up of two coal-fired power plants in Thar under a project.

The contract was signed by Provincial Industries Minister, Dewan Mohammed Yousuf Farooqui on behalf of Sindh Government while Mr Chen Biting, President Shenhua group of China signed on behalf of the company.

The signing ceremony was held at the Governor House in the presence of Sindh Governor Mohammedmian Soomro and members of the Shenhua Group delegation.

Also present on the occasion were Provincial Secretary Mines and Natural Resources, Mohammed Aslam Sanjrani, Sindh Chief Secretary, Javed Ashraf Hussain besides officials of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines and Natural Resources, Sindh.

Under the contract, Shenhua will dispatch 150-160 engineering technicians and management personnel and 8 units of mobile drilling rigs with necessary machinery and equipment material, etc.

The geological survey is expected to complete within six months from the date of first borehole drilling. Thereafter all the information, data, engineering reports, maps, drawings and other relevant material will be provided to Sindh Government.

Earlier, welcoming the delegation at a meeting held before the signing of the contract, the Governor described the occasion as momentous and said that it makes the beginning of a different kind of relationship between Pakistan and China.

Pointing out that Thar area has billions of tons of Coal, the Governor appreciated the cooperation extended by China for its exploration.

“We all are keen to see the project to take off,” the Governor said adding that it was noble gesture exhibited by the members of the Chinese delegation who travelled by road to Thar. He said this journey enabled them to have an appraisal of the area as well as the cultural environment of Thar.

Talking to APP after the signing ceremony, Sindh Governor, Mohammedmian Soomro said that Thar Coal development project will have a significant impact, that one could visualize, on the Province of Sindh.

The governor said it would be a very important event for Pakistan’s economy.

The Coal reserves, he pointed out, will Insha Allah help generate power, provide a cheaper fuel source and gasification we are looking at and a continuous source of energy which will cut down the imports and bring prosperity to the area.

“We will be developing one of the 6th or 7th largest coal reserves in the world,” he added.

He said that exploration of Thar coal reserves, would result in a fast development of Thar area besides bringing far reaching effects on the economy of Sindh and Pakistan as a whole.

An MoU for 600 million dollars Thar coal exploration project was signed during a recent visit of Pakistan delegation, headed by Sindh Industries Minister, Dewan Mohammed Yousuf Farooqui to China.—APP

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