Three plants to be converted to Thar Coal

The government of Pakistan is planning on the conversion of three major plants that are running on imported coal, to Thar coal. This decision was taken when the Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal made an official visit to China. He has been assigned responsibility to engage the leadership of National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) for conversion of CPEC imported coal projects; i.e., Sahiwal, Port Qasim and Hub to Thar coal. Moreover, the conversion of imported coal based Jamshoro plan to Thar coal and availability of Thar coal to Lucky coal power plant is also under discussion.

At a recent meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed Power Division, Ministry of Railways, Government of Sindh, NEPRA, PPIB and Thar Coal Energy Board (TCEB) to accomplish these tasks as per instructions. Government of Sindh, Power Division, NEPRA, PPIB and TCEB were tasked to obtain approval in principle for utilization of auxiliary power for mining for Thar coal to replace diesel consumption, feasibility study and implementation by December, 2025.

Additionally, it was also decided in the meeting that considering the recommendations of the Committee of Discos, a complete privatization shall be offered to IESCO, GEPCO and FESCO during the phase-1 whereas privatization will be offered to LESCO, MEPCO and HAZECO in phase-2. Also SEPCO, HESCO, and PESCO shall be offered for long-term concession agreement to the private sector, whereas TESCO and QESCO will be retained for the time being under government control considering their peculiar conditions. All the related authorities have been advised to make sure the completion of their individual responsibilities for a smooth and progressive completion of the task as planned.