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October 29, 2010
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Thar coal power project

Opinion

October 29, 2010

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KARACHI: Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) has started pre-qualifying mining contractors for the power project at one of the world’s largest Thar coal reserves, a top official of the company said.
“We have initiated the process of pre-qualifying companies to construct mines,” said Khalid Mansoor, Chief Executive Officer of SECMS.
A joint-venture of Demir Mining Turkey and Bilal Transport UAE has shown interest in carrying out the mining work at Thar Block II. A delegation, comprising representatives of both companies, visited Thar a few days ago and expressed desire to get the mining job when the work begins in 2012. The project will take another four years to generate power.
Almost a week ago, the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet approved an ‘attractive’ fiscal incentive package for Thar coal power project after the timely completion of the feasibility study. The study confirmed availability of two billion tons of coal reserves in Block II, which could generate 5,000 megawatt electricity for the next 50 years.
SEMC, a joint venture between the government of Sindh and Engro Powergen, has started negotiations to secure project financing from abroad, which might come around 3.5 to 4 billion dollars, Mansoor said.
“We are holding discussions. We will have to see whether we can get financing from one or more banks,” he added.
The Sindh government has also started infrastructure development at the site. In a press conference earlier this week, Sindh Chief Minister, Qaim Ali Shah, said that Rs8 billion had been allocated for critical infrastructure projects during the current fiscal year, which would be raised to Rs10 billion during the next 10 years.

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