Pakistan: Hopes Rise For Cheap and Abundant Electricity

Pakistani power sector is continuing its march toward cheap indigenous sources of electricity. Hydropower component has increased 22%, coal 57% and nuclear 8% while oil is down 54% and natural gas and LNG are down 32% and 15% respectively, according to Bloomberg. These changes in power mix are expected to help significantly reduce power subsidies that run into hundreds of billions of rupees contributing to large annual budget deficits.

Data From NEPRA. Courtesy Pakistan Today


Coal's contribution to power mix now stands at just 21%, in spite of 57% increase in use of coal in Fiscal Year 2020. It is still almost half of the global average of 38% of electricity produced from coal. Overall, the contribution of fossil fuels in electricity generation is now about 54%, down from nearly 66% a few years ago.

Pakistan Power Generation Mix. Source: Bloomberg


Hydropower and natural gas now contribute 32% each, making them the biggest sources of electricity in Pakistan. Coal comes next at 21%, followed by nuclear at 8%.

Pakistan Power Generation Plan 2019-2040. Courtesy of World Economi...


One of the biggest economic challenges Pakistan faces is it growing debt and deficit from subsidies to the power sector. Often referred to as "circular debt" in Pakistan, the government owes Rs. 1.6 trillion ($7.2 billion) to power sector at the end of June 2019. Pakistan government is now is committed to improving the situation by its development of an Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP) that runs until 2040.



Change in Sources of Electricity in 2020. Source: Bloomberg

Pakistan recent efforts to diversify its fuel mix for cost reduction are raising hopes for cheap and abundant electricity needed for its industries and residential consumers.  Already, the electricity generation cost is down 11% and current account deficit has declined 78%. There is a plan called "Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan" in place. Execution is the key to making the power sector greener, cheaper and more reliable.
Fuel Mix For Power Generation in Pakistan. Source: Third Pole

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Comment by Riaz Haq on August 7, 2020 at 10:34pm

Pakistan to boost renewables and continue coal expansion

https://www.trtworld.com/business/pakistan-to-boost-renewables-and-...

Mix of renewables to include mainly wind and solar power, but also geothermal, tidal, wave and biomass energy, according to Syed Aqeel Hussain Jafry, policy director for the government's Alternative Energy Development Board.

Pakistan has set in motion a plan this week to boost the share of its electric power that comes from renewables to 30 percent by 2030, up from about 4 percent today.

“The targets in the newly announced policy are a 20 percent share of renewables in installed capacity of Pakistan’s power mix by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030,” said Syed Aqeel Hussain Jafry, policy director for the government's Alternative Energy Development Board.

That will include mainly wind and solar power, but also geothermal, tidal, wave and biomass energy, he said.

With boosts in hydropower capacity expected as well, the shift could bring the share of clean energy in Pakistan's electricity mix to 65 percent by 2030, said Nadeem Babar, head of a task force on energy reforms in Pakistan.

But the legislation leaves in place plans to build seven more coal-fired power plants as part of the second phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project - something that could impede scale-up of renewable power, warned Zeeshan Ashfaq, a solar and wind energy developer in Pakistan.

"A coal pipeline of around 4,000-5,000 megawatts will not provide much space for renewables," said Ashfaq, managing director of SOWITEC (Solar Wind Technology) Pakistan.

The new national renewables policy, approved by the prime minister's cabinet last December, was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and as negotiators tried to resolve disputes with individual provinces.

But Asad Umar, federal minister for planning and development, said on social media the resolution of those disputes now opened the way to "unleash Pakistan's full potential" for renewables.

Reorganised sector

Hobbled by decades of energy shortages, successive Pakistani governments have pursued private sector investment in power production, offering lucrative returns backed by sovereign guarantees.

Up until 2017, prolonged power outages hit the country’s industrial production.

Power cuts and scheduled outages, known as load shedding, in urban areas were sharply reduced from about 12 hours a day previously to only occasional outages by mid 2018.

Despite the progress, seasonal production gaps and distribution woes remain.

New investment in renewable energy is also expected to come from private investors, with potential suppliers bidding in annual auctions and low-tariff proposals winning, said Nadeem Babar, chair of the energy task force and now special assistant to the prime minister.

Jafry, of the alternative energy board, said the policy represented a significant shift from the past, when investors approached the government with individual projects.

READ MORE: Economy forces Pakistan to reopen even as Covid-19 cases spike

A new focus

Ashfaq, the renewables developer, said the current government had shown more interest in renewable energy than previous administrations.

"The last government’s focus was on investing in fossil fuel power plants. This new government is much more open to renewable energy and wants to promote it” he said.

Babar said most of the new planned renewable power would be solar or wind, divided roughly equally between the two technologies, and coming from everything from wind farms to rooftop solar.

"We already have more than 30 wind and solar plants in operation, all financed privately by local and international banks, multilaterals and export credit agencies. New ones will be financed the same way," he said.

The new renewables plan represents "an ambitious target but achievable", he said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 10, 2020 at 4:17pm

Pakistan government’s finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that Pakistan has failed to increase its tax collection and exports. Last year, tax collection was 17% higher despite difficulties.

https://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/558491-Pakistan-failed-increase-ta...


Talking about the economic situation of the country to Dunya News program "Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Saath", the finance advisor said that the problems of refunds are being eliminated completely. Last year, refunds of Rs 240 billion were given and next week, refunds of up to Rs 50 million will be given.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would set aside Rs 10 billion for refunds every month. With regards to refunds, the focus will be on private sector as the committee for the refund process will be headed by someone from the private sector.

Answering a question, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that reforms in the power sector are the number one priority of the Prime Minister. Today, the Prime Minister has made five major decisions regarding the energy sector, the effects of which will be observed in the coming weeks.

He said that today it has also been decided to improve electricity bills collection and reduce distribution losses. The government has to conclude negotiations with the IPPs in a few days, promote cheap power generation from alternative sources and involve the private sector in power distribution companies, he added.

He said that power sector reforms were a part of the IMF negotiations and there can be no slip-ups in this regard. Shehzad Qasim is responsible for implementing the government’s power sector reforms, he added.

Answering another question, he said that the Karachi steel mills would be run through foreign investment and a system is being devised to run it in a modern manner. He cautioned that the Privatization Commission has to carefully follow the rules and said that after the power sector, the matters of government corporations will be improved.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 10, 2020 at 4:31pm

Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said that Moody’s reconfirmation of Pakistan’s credit rating with a stable outlook reflected that Pakistan’s economy was witnessing a ‘V’ shaped recovery amid COVID-19 pandemic.

https://www.gulftoday.ae/business/2020/08/10/pakistan-economy-witne...



In the middle of a global pandemic it was a testimony to the ‘V’ shaped recovery, Pakistan had seen, Umar said in his tweet.

He said the economic recovery could become possible due to prime minister Imran Khan’s balanced approach to safeguarding national health and livelihoods, delivering success on both counts.

Meanwhile the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has enhanced the limits for housing finance and microenterprise loans up to Rs3 million from the existing limit of Rs1 million for borrowings from the microfinance banks.

Likewise, the maximum size of general loans has been enhanced from Rs150,000 to Rs350,000.

Further, to commensurate with enhanced loan sizes, annual income eligibility for general loans and housing loans has been increased up to Rs1.2 million and Rs1.5 million, respectively. Moreover, the limit for lending against gold collateral to meet borrowers’ immediate domestic or emergency needs has also been enhanced.

The decision to increase the limit of housing finance loans has been made in view of the fact that the existing loan limit was insufficient to promote low cost housing finance through MFBs.

Similarly, limits for lending to micro enterprises needed to be enhanced considering the large unmet demand from Micro and Small Enterprise (MSEs). These initiatives would further support the micro borrowers and enterprises and an early revival of economic activities in the current challenging times.

However, in order to ensure sustainability, the enhanced loans sizes for housing and microenterprises would be allowed to those MFBs which are on sound footing and have the capacity to successfully cater the higher loan sizes.

In addition, SBP Relief Package for microfinance banks, which included deferment of principal and restructuring of microfinance loans to deal with the adverse implications of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, have now been expanded with three measures.

First, the relief measures that were earlier available from Feb.15, 2020 have now been allowed to borrowers who were regular on December 31, 2019. This would allow more borrowers to avail the regulatory relief who were previously not eligible.

Second, to facilitate MFBs during these testing times, the provisioning requirements have been extended by 2-months; and third, client’s consent through recorded lines has been allowed to facilitate the customers to avail the relief package.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, announced a Fiscal Package of over Rs1200 billion in the wake of Covid-19 Pandemic.

The ECC of Cabinet Division has approved the proposals on May 13, 2020. Out of this Package, an amount of Rs6.861 billion has been approved for provision of financial relief in terms of markup subsidy on Bank’s loans to the most deserving sub segment of farming community, i.e. farmers with land holding up to 12.5 acres, throughout the country.

Over 70 per cent of the farmers in Pakistan own land up to 12.5 acres.

A Mark-up subsidy at 10 per cent on the loans extended or to be extended during the fiscal year 2020-21 to the farmers of 12.5 acres of land has been approved by the Government of Pakistan.  Total amount of subsidy is Rs6.86 billion. All the loans with passbook as collateral are eligible to avail the subsidy.

Meanwhile the advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said the government is vigorously following a prudent policy to boost export and minimise import for the economic stability through offering lucrative package of incentives to industrialists and businessmen.

It was stated by him while talking to a high level delegation of United Business Group led by President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik.

Razak Dawood said the government is working on short and long term policies simultaneously to boost economy besides accelerating the pace of industrialisation throughout the country on top priority.

Earlier the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz says opening of tourism and various sectors of business is a welcome development.

In a tweet, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s strategy of taking health and economy along through smart lockdown during Covid-19 has proved successful.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 16, 2022 at 8:25pm

Best of 2021: China’s coal exit will not end Pakistan’s reliance on dirty fuel
Pakistan will continue to develop under-construction coal plants and even turn to highly polluting local sources of the fossil fuel

https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/energy/china-coal-exit-will-not-end...

Pakistan is one of the Belt and Road Initiative countries where coal formed a major part of energy projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).


Of the 18 ‘priority’ energy projects (11.87 GW) financed by China at around USD 19.55 million, nine (8.22 GW) were coal-fired.

Of these, four – the Huaneng Shandong Ruyi-Sahiwal Coal Power Plant, the Port Qasim Coal-fired Power Plant, the HubCo Coal-fired Power Plant and Sindh-Engro Thar Coal Power Plant – are complete and have been supplying electricity to the national grid since 2017. Together, their energy output is 4.62 GW.

Michael Kugelman, deputy director for the Asia programme at US-based think-tank the Wilson Center, said China’s exit from coal is a “blessing in disguise” with opportunities for “bilateral clean energy cooperation” a clear win for the environment.

Even Muhammad Badar-ul-Munir, the chief executive of the 100 MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Pvt Ltd (QASPL) plant, said the end of China’s attachment to overseas coal projects is a “great piece of news”, as it may force the government of Pakistan to focus on the much-ignored area of solar power.

Back in 2014, QASPL made headlines. As part of the China-backed 1,000 MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Punjab province, the company set up the first 100 MW of electricity in just under a year.

Two years later, Chinese company Zonergy added another 300 MW of solar energy to the national grid.

“For the last five years, work on this first energy project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been at a standstill, despite the infrastructure in place for the remaining 900 MW,” Badar-ul-Munir told The Third Pole.

He added that now is a good time for the state to pursue new investment: currently solar energy in Pakistan is sold at USD 0.037 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), compared with the USD 0.14/kWh tariff that the government is stuck with buying from solar projects set up in 2014-2016 under a 25-year agreement.

“We believe green is the way to go,” Asad Umar, Pakistan’s federal minister for planning, development and special initiatives, told The Third Pole. “We have always been very critical of the imported coal plants that we inherited from the previous government,” he said.

“Even before the recent announcement by China, greening the future development pathway was practically in motion. We had shelved two negotiated imported 2,400 MW coal projects under CPEC,” Malik Amin Aslam, the federal minister for climate change, added.

But the clean energy source Badar-ul-Munir has in mind is different from the one the government has its sights set on: hydropower.

Umar, who also heads several CPEC committees, said the “big dams that are being set up will have massive hydel energy capacity” and that his government favours them.

Yet this in no way means the government is completely washing its hands of dirty fuel.

The coal projects in the pipeline under CPEC “will continue”, according to Umar. However, all “future thermal projects will be using the indigenous coal from Tharparkar only”, he said, adding this was reflected in the recently approved 10-year energy roadmap.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 24, 2022 at 8:14am

Pakistan to burn more domestic coal despite climate pledge
Islamabad expands use of lignite to ease burden of expensive imported fuel

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Environment/Climate-Change/Pakist...

Work on the third phase of the Thar Coal Block II mine expansion is set to begin this year at an estimated cost of $93 million, according to the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), a public-private enterprise operating the mine since 2019 in the southeastern district of Tharparkar. The second phase of expansion is underway with the help of China Machinery Engineering Corp. and Chinese bank loans, in addition to local financing. The series of expansions will scale up the annual production of lignite from 3.8 million tons to 12.2 million tons by 2023.

The output from the second phase of expansion will feed two 330 MW coal-fired power plants being built under the $50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's flagship Belt and Road Initiative. The power plants are expected to come on line this year.

Lignite is brown coal with low calorific value due to high moisture and low carbon content.

The expansion of the Thar coalfields is aimed at curbing coal imports to ease a staggering current-account deficit made worse by soaring international commodity prices and shipping costs. Pakistan's current-account deficit ballooned to an unprecedented $9.09 billion between July and December last year, as imports continued to outstrip exports during the post-COVID economic recovery. Pakistan had to seek a $3 billion loan and a deferred payment facility on the import of petroleum products from Saudi Arabia last year to stabilize forex reserves.

In recent years, high volatility in international oil prices, soaring LNG prices and dwindling local gas reserves have spurred public-private spending, particularly Chinese investment, in Pakistan's coal power sector. Until now, four coal-fired power plants with 4.62 GW of total installed capacity have joined the grid, while another three plants with an aggregate capacity of 1.98 GW are expected to come online over the next two years -- all under CPEC. In addition, growing demand from cement factories banking on a global construction boom has tripled coal consumption over the last five years to 21.5 million tons per annum.

Consequently, the share of coal in Pakistan's import bill for the year ended June 2021 shot to 24% from over 2% in previous years, according to data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Currently, only the power plant at Thar Coal Block II is running on indigenous coal.

A spike in coal power generation is in line with global trends, where countries including China, the U.S. and India have turned to coal to meet heightened demand following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

------------


Authorities contend that the expansion of Thar Coal Block II will reduce the price of indigenous coal from $60 to $27 per ton -- making it the country's cheapest power source and leading to annual savings of $420 million. Pakistan is currently importing coal at around $200 per ton.


"We are compelled to use this cheap source of energy because we cannot keep using dollars to run power plants running on expensive furnace oil and RLNG (re-gasified liquefied natural gas)," Sindh Provincial Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh told Nikkei Asia. "We would like to mix 20% Thar coal [in power plants running] with imported coal. Then we will move towards converting coal to liquid and coal to gas."

The cost of operating thermal plants has become punishing due to expensive fuel and the cost of diverting scarce freshwater, which leads to underutilization of the plants, said Omar Cheema, director of London-based renewable energy consultancy Vivantive.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 31, 2022 at 8:12pm

#Pakistan begins extracting #coal from a 2nd major #mine in #Thar, #Sindh. Block 1 mine has lignite coal deposits of over 3 billion tons (5 billions barrels of crude oil) with an annual output of 7.8 million tons to generate 1320 MW #electricity. #energy https://www.dawn.com/news/1672580


Sino-Sindh Resources Ltd (SSRL) said on Monday it successfully extracted the first shovel of lignite coal at Block 1 of the Thar coalfields near Islamkot Town of Tharparkar, Sindh.

Block 1 boasts lignite coal deposits of over three billion tonnes (equivalent to over 5bn barrels of crude oil) with an annual output of 7.8 million tonnes.

SSRL, whose majority shareholder is Shanghai Electric Group, was granted a mining lease on May 24, 2012, and the project was included in the Joint Energy Working Group by the governments of Pakistan and China.

As soon as the two governments officially announced the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Thar coal project was included in it as an early-harvest project.

---------

After back-to-back meetings between SSRL and the Energy Department of the government of Sindh, the first excavation took place on Jan 23, 2019, for the development of the largest open-pit coal mine in Block 1.

According to the Thar Coal Energy Board, SSRL and Shanghai Electric Group have already signed a coal supply agreement for power generation through two mine-mouth power plants of 660 megawatt each.

Financial close of the project was achieved on Dec 31, 2019. Soon after the first excavation, the SSRL management started importing mining equipment from China and by July 2020 all the required equipment was at the project site.

Speaking to Dawn, Ministry of Energy spokesperson Muzzammil Aslam said both majority (Shanghai Electric Group) and minority (SSRL) investors in Block 1 are Chinese. Unlike Block 2 where the Sindh government owns a stake of 54.7 per cent, Block I has no direct shareholding by the provincial government, he said.

“Shanghai Electric’s power plant will achieve financial close within this year. It’s a big development because the 1,320MW plant will run on indigenous fuel and produce affordable electricity,” Mr Aslam added.

SSRL officials said the development of the indigenous resource base at Thar will help Pakistan achieve its long-cherished goal of energy security and economic sovereignty.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 6, 2022 at 6:43pm
SECMC has already commissioned a study for converting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor coal plants in Hub, Jamshoro and Sahiwal to indigenous lignite. A 105km long Thar Rail project is being planned to connect Thar coal fields with Main Line at the New Chhor Halt Station to transport lignite to the power plants in the rest of the country.

The transportation of lignite by trucks to Karachi and Kallar Kahar shows its movement by road and rail is feasible and safe despite higher moisture. “Transportation is manageable; no combustion encountered during mining or transportation,” he adds.


https://www.dawn.com/news/1702647
————
“The (Lucky)power plant has been designed to operate on Thar Lignite Coal, subject to its availability; however, during the interim period, it will mainly operate on imported Lignite Coal till the completion of Phase III of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), which is expected in the second quarter of CY 2023,” read the notice.
 
 
————
 
The government has decided to convert 3,960 MW of electricity generated from imported coal onto local coal of Thar to stop consuming the costly foreign exchange reserves for the import of coal, which is no longer available at low prices. The coal price has shot up to $400 per metric ton, a senior official at the Energy Ministry told The News.
 
 
—————-
 
 
The (2nd CPEC coal power) project is likely to start its full commercial operations by the end of the current month. With the launch of the new power plant, 990 MWs of Thar coal-based electricity is being produced to overcome the power shortfall in the country.
 
 
Comment by Riaz Haq on August 7, 2022 at 11:17am

IS THERE A SOLUTION TO PAKISTAN’S ENERGY PUZZLE?
Countries around Asia weigh up the costs and benefits of nuclear power over coal and LNG

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2369846/is-there-a-solution-to-pakista...

According to data released at the beginning of August, out of 18,400MW of energy generated, almost 11,000MW are from hydro power plants and nuclear power plants. The remaining 7,400MW of energy was mostly from gas and coal fired power plants.

These figures show that decision-makers have learnt how to produce cheaper energy. At least 1000MW of energy is produced by wind. In 2020, the US Energy Information Administration predicted that by 2025, coal would cost slightly more than $90 per megawatt-hour, compared to $63 for onshore wind and $48 for solar. Still, Pakistan and most of the Asian countries rely heavily on nuclear, hydro and/or coal power options.

Pakistan is relying too much on coal-fired power plants which are volatile options considering the climate crisis and the environmental cost of carbon emission. Before, Pakistan relied too much on liquified natural gas (LNG) to fulfill its energy shortcomings but because of the Russia-Ukraine war, LNG is not available in the market. At the moment, all of the LNG is going to Europe due to a ban on Russian petroleum products. Over time, Pakistan increased its generation capacity through the installation of new RLNG and coal-fired power plants. However, the country does not have enough funds to purchase fuel for these plants. Gas and coal-fired power plants are extremely sensitive to price fluctuations in the international market.

To address the shortage of electricity, the government recently issued a tender for the purchase of ten LNG cargos on the spot market. But as expected, none of the companies submitted bids due to high demand and higher prices in Europe. Given the current scenario, expensive LNG and coal-based power plants are proving difficult options, suggesting Pakistan should have focused more on nuclear power facilities.

-------

In the fiscal year 2019-2020, four coal-fired CPEC power plants generated 19 percent of Pakistan’s electricity. The 4.62 GW of coal-fired generation funded by CPEC includes the 1,320 MW Huaneng Shandong Ruyi-Sahiwal Coal Power Plant, the 1,320 MW Port Qasim Coal Fired Power Plant, the 1,320 MW HubCo Coal Fired Power Plant, and the 660 MW Engro Thar Coal Power Plant, all of which began supplying electricity to the national grid between 2017 and 2019. Construction on the Thal Nova, Thar Energy (HubCo), and Shanghai Electric (SSRL Thar Coal Block I) power plants to increase 1,980 MW of capacity is currently underway.

-----------

Coal consumption increased at a rapid rate in 2018-19, owing to increased use of cement and other enterprises. Local coal production was 5.5 million tons between 2018 and 2019, while imports totaled 15.7 million tons. During this time-period, the residential sector consumed nearly half of total electricity usage, while hydroelectric power supplied 21.3 percent of Pakistan's power generated.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 8, 2022 at 8:45pm

Pakistan’s Thar desert lignite coal boom gathers pace with SECMC mine hitting 10 Mt & SSRL mine starting up

https://im-mining.com/2021/12/31/pakistans-thar-desert-lignite-coal...

On December 17, 2021, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) announced that it had successfully achieved the 10 Mt of coal production milestone. SECMC, one of the largest public-private partnerships in the energy sector in Pakistan, commenced commercial operations in July 2019 with an annual production capacity of 3.8 Mt. Over the past 2.5 years, SECMC has begun to transform the energy landscape of Pakistan by facilitating production of electricity using indigenous coal reserves. The coal feeds a 660MW coal fired power plant and the overall project is classed as a is classed as a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) priority implementation project.

SECMC is one of two main lignite coal mining operators in the country, and is located in in Block II of the Tharparkar (Thar) area in Sindh province of Pakistan. It is a joint venture between the Government of Sindh (GoS), Engro Energy Ltd (formerly Engro Powergen Limited) and its partners namely Thal Ltd (House of Habib), Habib Bank Ltd (HBL), Hub Power Company (HUBCO); and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC). The world class Huolinhe Open Pit Coal Mine in Inner Mongolia, China, a subsidiary of China’s State Power Investment Corporation, has also joined the SECMC board as strategic investor with preference shares’ subscription.

The other main mine in the country which is just going into production is operated by Sino Sindh Resources Ltd (SSRL) which is located in Block I of the same Thar region; it is also a CPEC project and is owned by Chinese group Shanghai Electric Power Company Ltd. It comprises a 7.8 Mt/y open-pit coal mine and installation of a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant (2 x 660MW). Mining work was set to be completed by end 2021 and the first unit of the power plant is due to start working from 2022 while the entire project is scheduled to be completed by 2023. SSRL has a large mining fleet comprised of 55 t MT86D Chinese wide body trucks from LGMG to be loaded by 28 Liebherr R 9100B hydraulic mining excavators, the largest single mine fleet of this model in the world.

The SECMC mine uses a large fleet of 130 Chinese 60 t TONLY TL875 wide body trucks for coal haulage which are loaded by 18 hydraulic excavators, mainly Komatsu PC1250 units. The record production has resulted in the generation of over 10,000 GwHs of electricity, contributing to the national grid. Besides, the company’s record production of coal and generation of electricity using Thar’s local reserves has benefitted the national economy by saving $210 million through import substitution during the same period.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 8, 2022 at 8:45pm

Pakistan’s Thar desert lignite coal boom gathers pace with SECMC mine hitting 10 Mt & SSRL mine starting up

https://im-mining.com/2021/12/31/pakistans-thar-desert-lignite-coal...

During the course of operations, SECMC has maintained a good safety record following international and world-class benchmarks – a feat that has earned international acknowledgements from organisations such as the British Safety Council. SECMC has also adopted the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework to deploy high-impact interventions prioritising education, health, economic growth and women empowerment amongst other areas.

SECMC has also contributed to uplifting the local community by generating employment opportunities for the local population and creating other economic avenues for the community. It is pertinent to mention that 80% of the employees in SECMC are locals from Sindh where the project has provided significant socio-economic benefit to the local Thari population.

“The 10 Mt coal production mark is a commendable achievement considering the constant fluctuation and vulnerability in international coal prices,” said Chief Executive Officer SECMC – Amir Iqbal. He added that Thar coal is the best resource to help the national economy in terms of easing out the pressure on the Current Account Deficit and also indigenise the current energy mix which is heavily reliant on imported fuels. Currently, the second phase of the SECMC mine is already under development which will increase SECMC’s production to 7.6 Mt per annum with a cumulative power generation of 1,320MW.

Talking about the subsequent phase III expansion project, Iqbal said that the estimated investment for phase III expansion is to be approximately $100 million which will enable Thar Block-II to achieve a sustainable supply of 12.2 Mt of coal annually over the next 30 years. SECMC is expected to complete this expansion by June 2023 and with this expansion coal price of SECMC mine is to be reduced to under $30/t – making it the cheapest fuel source in the country ensuring economic stability and energy security for the country. In addition, phase III expansion will also enable Pakistan to save $420 million per annum on the account of import substitution whilst also leading to a reduction of PKR74 billion in circular debt on an annual basis.

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