Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) said that mine dewatering process is successfully underway from all three aquifers after reaching 90 meters depth at Thar coal block II mining site.

“No trouble was faced in discharging out the three aquifers,” said Chief Executive Officer of SECMC Shamsuddin Ahmed Shaikh said.

He said that water taking out process from the 2nd and 3rd aquifer by pumps from 120 and 180 meters depth was also in progress.

He said that from the 3rd aquifer company faced difficulty in draining water due to underground lake existed above coal reserves.

Mr. Shaikh said that pumping water from 3rd aquifer was a real challenge due to the underground lake but has been addressed successfully and timely.

“During extracting coal from the reserves removing water will be a continuous process after mining operation”, he said.

CEO of SECMC explained that under a pilot program the underground water is saline and stored about 26 kilometers away from the mining site to grow crops compatible to local weather.

Syed Abul Fazal Rizvi, Chief Operating Officer of the Company, told this scribe that the water drained would be used when the two Thar Coal Power projects of 660 MW constructed at the mouth of the mine would start their operational work at later stage.

Thar 7th largest coal reserves in the world having 175 billion tons of reserves.

Coal mining project has been commenced with combined efforts of SECMC, the Sindh government, and China Power International. The project is also a part of the mega project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“CPEC was decisive to Thar Coal as it makes possible the projects to achieve a financial close and move into accomplishment”, Shamsuddin Ahmed Shaikh said.

He informed that “we will reach the coal level by end of next year.

“The commercial operation starts as soon as supply of coal to the power plants starts and expected that first unit of the four power plants would start its commercial operation by 2019,”, Shaikh remarked.

He explained that in addition to coal mining operation, work on 660 MW power plants including 2 units of 330MW each, price $2.1 billion on the mouth of mine was also underway four months before schedule.