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Projects launched but no package announced for people of Thar

Projects launched but no package announced for people of Thar
Thar Coal Power Plant recently inaugurated by Prime Minister of Pakistan (File Photo)

People from other provinces and cities are availing employment and business opportunities – Bilawal Bhutto

Sindh Chief Minister suggested the premier any initiative like Sindh govt. that is paying power bills of people of Islamkot

By Rehan Khan Khushik

Islamkot, Tharparkar, Sindh

Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif, who launched two major projects in Sindh province, the COD of Thar Coal Block-I, integrated coal mine & power generation project and the COD of ThalNova 330 MW power generation at Block-II on Wednesday, flew back to Islamabad without announcing any development package or any concessions to the people of Thar that is contributing electricity to the national grid and employment to the people of all the provinces.

Besides supplying electricity generated by coal-fired power plants, these projects are providing employment to thousands of the people from across the country.

During the project launching ceremony, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had told the Prime Minister that Sindh government is paying electricity bills of the people of Islamkot and had suggested him similar initiative.

Addressing the ceremony, PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto also said that the slogan ‘Thar badlega Pakistan’ (Thar will change Pakistan) has proved to be true and now Thar has started changing Pakistan by generating and providing cheapest electricity.

Bhutto said that during his visit to power plant he met with the employees who have come here from every nook and corner of all the four provinces. “In the past, people of Thar used to go to other cities of the province and the country and now people from other provinces and cities and even from China come here [Thar] for availing employment and business opportunities,” he said.

He said that those who were propagating against Thar coal failed and the commitment of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and her party succeeded. He added that 2640 MW electricity is being produced from Thar Coal.

Bilawal said that when Federal and provincial governments work together such important project of national importance emerge.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif in his address said that these projects were a testament to the strong and enduring partnership between China and Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Prime Minister gave a deadline of April 2023 to Water & Power Ministry to complete ongoing work on Transmission line so that power generated from Thar could be linked to the national grid.

The PM thanked the Government of China, the companies involved, Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah for his unflinching support to Thar Coal Mining and power generation and all those who contributed to the successful completion of these projects. “We are proud of this achievement and remain committed to working together with China to make CPEC a success,” he said.

Thar-Coal-PM-Sindh-Courier-1Sindh Chief Minister speaking on the occasion said that Shaheed Mohterma Benazir Bhutto during her tenure as prime minister had made 40 agreements for launching coal mining and power generation from Thar. “Had her agreement’s agreement been honored Thar would have been producing more than 40,000 MW electricity today,” he said.

Shah told the PM that people of Thar were providing cheapest electricity to the country and in return they must be provided free of cost electricity. “The provincial is paying power bills of people of Islamkot and similar initiative may be taken by the federal government,” he demanded.

The COD of Thar Coal Block-I marks a major milestone in the development of the Thar Coalfield, which is one of the largest coal reserves in the world.

The integrated coal mining and power generation project by Shanghai Electric is a flagship project of CPEC, which will help Pakistan to meet its energy demands and reduce its dependence on imported fuel. The project has been completed with the highest standards of safety, quality, and environmental protection, and it will create jobs and boost economic growth in the region.

The integrated project is led and invested by M/s Shanghai Electric, includes 2x 660 MW power generating units, supported by an annual output of 7.8 million tons of lignite open-pit coal mine. It is a key project among the “China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)” energy cooperation projects.

After achieving CoD the project is capable of meeting the electricity demands of 4 million households in Pakistan, bringing social and economic significance by reducing fuel imports, saving foreign exchange reserves and enhancing national energy security of Pakistan.

The total investment amount of the integrated project is up to 3 billion US Dollar. The project started site construction since 2019. Although the project delayed to achieve its financing closure even till now, Shanghai Electric support the construction with his own fund continuously in the past years.

An official handout of Sindh government said that the development of Thar Block-1 Integrated Project has created more than 12,000 direct employment opportunities for the locals, with a cumulative tax payment of $135 million and CSR expenditure of over $1.63 million. Moreover, Shanghai Electric has timely contributed to the flood affectees in Sindh province in the mode of living and medical supplies of amount Rs8.88 million against the flood.

Similarly, the COD of ThalNova 330 MW power generation at Block-II is a remarkable achievement in the energy sector of Pakistan, completed at cost of $527 million. The project is another great example of China-Pakistan cooperation under CPEC and will play a significant role in addressing Pakistan’s energy deficit. The project has been completed with the latest technology and in compliance with international standards, which will help to mitigate environmental concerns.








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