650MW capacity Sindh waiting for Centre’s nod


Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah told Sindh Assembly that 650MW generation capacity was ready in Sindh but it could not be utilised as federal government had not granted us permission. He said this while talking about energy matters during a Question Hour.
He had met PM Sharif and requested him to permit Sindh and sort out tariff and connectivity etc, so that Sindh’s generation could provide relief to people. He said he had also written a letter to federal government but to no avail. I had even offered Federal Government that Sindh was ready to fund installing transmission lines, which is Center’s responsibility, but I have got no response so far. Despite new power plants, people are facing long load shedding, he added.
Earlier, Muttahida Qaumi Movement legislator Kamran Akhtar asked how much work had been completed on Thar coal project and when would its electricity be available. Answering his question, Senior Minister Nisar Khuhro, recalled that during 1990s a Chinese company had started working on coal mining and electricity but nothing happened for many years.
He said Sindh government had started coal mining and power generation with a private company in 2009-10. So far 23% work had been completed. Coal was available at 300 feet and so far 160 feet deep ditches had been dug. Similarly work on generation plant was also under way.
MQM legislator Saifuddin Khalid asked why only 23pc work had been done in over seven years; the minister said it was a huge project and would take time.
Responding to a question by MQM legislator Naila Muneer regarding solar energy, the minister said with financial assistance of $25 million from World Bank some public buildings –  Sindh Assembly, Sindh Secretariat, some hospitals – etc would be shifted to solar energy. A list of such buildings had been sent to World Bank. The project would be implemented after approval.
Mrs. Muneer asked about areas using solar power. She was told these were many schools in Nagarparkar, two villages in Achbro Thar and five villages in Ubauro.
Responding to a question from MQM legislator Heer Soho about number of villages electrified between 2008 and 2013, the minister said that over 4,761 villages were electrified in interior Sindh at a cost of over Rs5 billion. He said 134 villages had also been electrified in and around Karachi during the same period.
Replying to a question Soho stated that the number of wind and solar power projects in Sindh was 35 and 24, respectively. It said there was only one hydro power project on Nara Canal and it was owned by OMNI Pvt Ltd.
To another question regarding coal deposits in Badin, Sindh Assembly was told that a coal seam of 6.17 metres at a depth of 381 metres had been met in a drill hole at Pangrio (Badin) by Geological Survey and its quality was the same as that of Thar lignite. Exploration work was under way and quantum of reserves was yet to be calculated, he added.