CPEC Thar coal project back in spotlight | The Express Tribune



Work on a stalled priority project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative in Thar Coal Block IV is expected to begin as Pakistan is exploring possibilities of utilising indigenous coal resources for producing cheaper electricity amid exorbitant prices of fossil fuels in the international market.

A consortium of Oracle Power, China National Coal Development Co and the Private Office of Sheikh Ahmad Dalmook Al Maktoum, a member of the royal family of Dubai, plans to establish a 1,320-megawatt coal-fired, mine-mouth power plant, integrated surface coal mine, and coal-to-gas and coal-to-diesel conversion facilities in Thar Coal Block IV at an estimated cost of $4 billion. The coal-to-gas facility will produce urea fertiliser as well, according to
Oracle Power.

The project remained on the back burner for several years until Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif recently formed a committee on coal development to cope with the electricity crisis.

Oracle Power CEO Naheed Memon was also part of the committee, which ignited hopes of progress on the massive CPEC project.

The committee held a consultative session to deliberate on the prospects of utilising Thar coal to overcome power shortages and save the foreign currency reserves spent on the import of fossil fuels.

The committee will also hold a follow-up meeting on coal gasification and coal-to-diesel conversion before putting forward recommendations to the PM.

As part of the committee, Memon will be in a better position to advance Oracle’s Thar Coal Block IV project, the company said.

The company is awaiting a Letter of Intent from the Private Power and Infrastructure Board.



Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2022.

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