STAFF REPORT LHR: The physical work on Thar Coal Power Project will start within next two months even before financial close while power generation is expected to start in 2017, earlier than any other project currently being envisaged.

“The project in now in the phase of contractor finalization and world class Chinese companies have given proposal for execution as well as financing both debt and equity,” said Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) CEO Shamsuddin A Shaikh while presiding over a meeting of the company.

The financial closure is expected by mid-next year and the project will start its commercial operations within three and half years of the financial closure.

In his remarks, he appealed for joint efforts by Sindh and federal governments to make the project happen. He requested the federal government to list Thar Coal Project among the “Priority Projects for Pakistan” as this is not included in the list of priority projects despite the fact that Pakistans power sector suffers from shortage as well as expensive energy mix.

He also mentioned that lenders have linked their firm commitment with provision of requisite infrastructure among which transmission line from Thar to Matiari is a key requirement.

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