ISLAMABAD: The Implementation Agreements (IAs) of two Thar coal-based power generation projects totaling 990 MW were signed Thursday at Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) for materializing the financing of $1,490 million as the cumulative projects cost.

Shah Jahan Mirza, Managing Director PPIB, signed the documents with Mohammad Asad. Project Director of M/s Lucky Electric Coal Project and Muhammad Abdul Vakil, Chief Operating Officer of M/s Siddiqsons Energy Coal Project. The signings were witnessed by senior officers of PPIB and other high-level officials representing both projects. Earlier, the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) of both the projects were executed on 7th March 2018, said a press release.

The 660 MW Lucky Electric Coal Project being developed by M/s Lucky Electric Power Company Limited at Port Qasim has an investment of $1,080 million, whereas 330 MW Siddiqsons Energy Coal Project by M/s Siddiqsons Energy Limited is located at Thar Block-II having Investment of $410 million. Both projects will utilize Thar coal supplied by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), which is executing coal mining operations for coal extraction in the Thar coalfield Block-II. Letters of Support have already been issued to both projects by PPIB which are currently at advanced stages of achieving financial closure. It is anticipated that Lucky Electric Coal Project will start generation by March 2021 while Siddiqsons Energy Coal Project by June 2021 latest advancements by both projects are very crucial in achieving future milestones which include financial closing and start of construction activities.

The addition of 990 MW of affordable and reliable electricity will energize the national grid in true sense while it will also be instrumental in saving of millions of dollars of precious foreign exchange annually, generating economic activities as well as employment opportunities for the people of Thar in particular and will also entail improvement of the basic infrastructure in the vicinity of these projects.

After overcoming the crisis of electricity, GoP is prioritizing and encouraging power generation through indigenous coal and hydro beside renewable sources for achieving energy security. Exploration of Thar coal is opening a new chapter in the energy history of Pakistan and PPIB has been quite successful in implementing seven Thar coal based power projects of 5,000 MW which are at different stages of development.-PR