KARACHI: Engro Powergen Thar (Private) Limited (EPTL) – a majority owned Company of Engro Energy – and Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) – a joint venture of the Government of Sindh and Engro Energy with other corporate partners – have successfully completed one full year of commercial operations of both Block II mine and power plant.
SECMC successfully unearthed the first layer of coal in June 2018, completed all steady state production of on-specification coal and commenced commercial operations for 3.8 million tons per annum (mtpa) output of lignite coal under phase 1 of its plan on July 10, 2019. On the other hand, Engro Powergen Thar Private Limited – which operates 2×330 MW mine mouth power plants successfully demonstrated the proof of concept by synchronizing both the power units with national grid and subsequently achieving Commercial Operations Date (COD) over a year ago. During the year, SECMC unearthed and supplied a total of approximately 4 million tons of coal to EPTL which generated approximately 4,305 GwH of electricity to power 1 million households and benefit around 7 million Pakistanis across the country.
Commenting on the occasion, Ghias Khan – President and CEO, Engro Corporation – said: “The completion of one year of successful and safe operations of the Thar coal mine and power projects has brought our commitment to Pakistan a full circle. At Engro, we are determined to solve some of Pakistan’s most pressing issues and resolving the challenges in the energy value chain are at the core of our focus under the energy vertical. The success of Thar coal projects herald shared triumph for both the company and the country as this achievement translates into energy security for Pakistan. At this momentous occasion, I would like to congratulate the Government of Sindh and the Federal Government, along with all our partner organizations, for their catalytic role and support in helping us deliver this achievement.”
Ahsan Zafar Syed – the Chief Executive Officer of Engro Energy said: “The completion of one year of successful, safe and reliable operations of both the Thar Block II mine and power plant is a significant achievement not just for us but for entire Pakistan. This achievement showcases the true promise of Thar coal and the realization of the Thar dream which has been over two decades in the making. This is a monumental achievement which demonstrates our ability to deliver on mega projects that are not only good for Pakistan but also underscore the need for public-private partnerships in the country. Most importantly, I feel immensely proud that we have completed one full year of operations whilst keeping our focus on inclusive development in Thar intact where, together with our partners, targeted social interventions – worth over PKR 1.5 billion – are bringing development and prosperity for communities in Tharparkar.”
Syed Abul Fazal Rizvi – the CEO of SECMC said that the Block II mine continued to operate with a stellar and unmatched safety record. He further commented that the Company also achieved the financial close of phase II during the year which would allow the production output of the mine to increase from 3.8 mtpa to 7.6mtpa, taking the total power generation from Block-II to 1,320 MW by 2021.
On the EPTL front Syed Manzoor Hussain Zaidi – CEO of EPTL –informed that the power plant continues to operate as per agreed protocols. He further mentioned that given that this was the first year and for the first time that Thar coal was being used in the country to produce electricity, several teething issues were expected. However, the performance of the plant has been as per expectation with the plant ranking high in the merit order list of power plants, and also exhibiting high dispatch order.
Moreover, both SECMC and EPTL have further cemented their philosophy of deploying inclusive development initiatives in Thar through Thar Foundation which focuses on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework. Together with its partners, Thar Foundation has undertaken meaningful interventions in high-impact areas including construction of a newly resettled Senhri Dars village; Thar Foundation Hospital in Islamkot; primary and secondary school units; RO water-plants; innovative bio-saline agriculture; skill development and livelihood opportunities amongst other key areas.