By Dr. Abdul Razak Shaikh,
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday last announced that the Thar coal power project would start churning out electricity in mid-February 2019.
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 announced 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.
It was informed that an overall 94 percent progress had been made in the mining work as against the target of achieving 88pc till this day of December.
The current depth of mines was 154 meters and the estimated cost of the project was $845 million but it was being completed with a cost of $670m hence a saving of $175m. The work on the power plant had been completed 96pc.
The Government of Sindh has established a new village, New Senhri Goth, for the people displaced due to the land acquisition for the project’s block-II. 172 families would be shifted to the village by December 20. PPP Government in Sindh not only provided them with well-designed 1,100-square meter 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.
The PPP government of Sindh has also decided that around 1200 families, displaced due to land acquisition for Thar coal Block II would be given Rupees Ten thousand each as a Financial Assistance monthly in addition to House within a township. Thar foundation will pay the stipend to all the affectees.
The Sindh Chief Minister Sindh has approved 950 million in this regard.
Thar Foundation is also working to construct a 250-bed hospital at a cost of Rs2 billion. The Sindh government had already released Rs50 million for the project.
It is to be noted that Thar coalfields capable to produce 100,000 MW for the next 200 years. Ideally suited to produce electricity giving it a distinct advantage over imported coal. Price of Thar Coal is set on a “cost plus” basis and is not linked to international energy price movements, thereby, insulating the end consumer of electricity in Pakistan from the vagaries of international coal price movements. Thar coal also has the advantage of economies of scale, which will result in a progressively lower coal price and predictable electricity price as the mining operation scales up and more power plants are added. Most importantly, utilization of Thar coal for power generation will result in huge foreign exchange savings versus any other imported energy resources.
Pakistan generates 37 percent of its electricity using oil which is a most expensive source of power generation, while there is negligible reliance on its available coal reserves.
Thar, with 175 billion tons of coal is home to the 7th largest coal reserve in the world and is foreseeable as the only viable and sustainable solution to the country energy shortfall.
The abundance of these reserves can be equated in energy terms to the combined oil reserves of Iran and Saudi Arabia are capable of producing 100,000 MW of electricity for the next 200 years.
Whole Pakistan is now waiting for the energy produced by our own country when we will get relief from load shedding and hopefully
Electricity for everyone and economical. THARI will also beneficial in employment, living standard, Education and health care and Royalty to be used for this poor area, which is also right of THARI people, which will Shine PPP government.