Karachi, December 19, 2013: Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) – a JV between Engro Powergen and Government of Sindh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today with Pakistan’s leading IPP’s Atlas, Liberty and Sapphire to set up country’s first Thar coal-based Power Plant with an investment of US$ 800 Million.

This will be a stepping-stone for a much-needed shift of Pakistan’s current energy mix on most abundant indigenous alternate energy resource in Pakistan. This will be a predecessor of many more projects to come, vowed the companies in their joint statement after the MoU signing ceremony.

This MoU and the project development are in line with the Government of Pakistan’s vision of promoting indigenous fuel based projects to create a sustainable energy future of the country. The construction of the two proposed US$ 800 Million, 300MW power plants will commence in the third quarter of 2014 and is expected to start generating power by the end of 2017.

This MoU will also encourage other international investors and lenders to invest and provide financing for this mega project. Thar Coal has the potential to change the energy landscape of Pakistan. Once scale is achieved, Thar coal can also be used for coal gasification for fertilizer and petrochemicals industry opening up new avenue for industries in Pakistan.

SECMC is a lease-holder of Thar Block II and plans to construct 3.5 million tons per annum coal mine, to feed the mine mouth power plants. Thar Coal is one of the biggest unexploited energy reserves with over 175 billion tons of coal, sufficient to cater to the country’s energy needs for next 100 years.

The companies believe that investment in Thar Coal project today are a preliminary step towards building the capacity, which will foster a more developed and energy-efficient Pakistan.

The Government of Sindh is also keen to establish 10,000 MW of coal based power plants over the next 10 years to produce cost efficient, affordable and reliable electricity, thus reduce the circular debt, and save significant forex by relying on indigenous energy resource.