Thar Engro Coal Power Project (Thar block-II)

The Thar Desert – with 175 billion tons of coal – is home to the 7th largest coal reserves in the world. The Thar Engro Coal Power Project (also known as Thar-II or Thar Coal Block II) will consist of three phases and is located in Tharparkar District, Sindh Province, Pakistan. Phase I consists of an open pit mining project and two 330 MW lignite sub critical coal fired power plants. In Phase II, the mine will be expanded to yield 13.5 million tons of coal and in Phase III, the mine will be expanded to yield 19.5 million tons of coal annually in order to support 3600 MW of power generation. The coal power plant is currently under construction in Block II of the Thar coal field. In total the Thar Power Project will consist of five Blocks. The project is being developed as part of the China – Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (a joint venture between the government of Sindh and Engro Corporation) and China Machinery Engineering Corporation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Surface mine in block II of Thar Coal field
Picture Credit: www.cpec.gov.pk

Project Information

Project Name
Phase 1 Thar Engro Coal Power Project (Thar block-II)

Type
Energy

Location
Tharparkar District, Sindh Province, Pakistan

BRI Corridor
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

Current Status
In May 2008, Government of Sindh (GoS) invited proposals for the development of Thar Coal reserves on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis. Financing agreements between Pakistan and China were signed on February 19, 2016 and financial closure for both the coal power plant and the surface mine was achieved in April 2016. Thar Block II unearthed coal on 10th June 2018 and construction of Transmission Line was completed in August, 2018 to supply electricity to the national grid. Electricity production is expected to start October 2019 with the completion of Phase I. Phase II is planned to start in the near future, and the financial arrangement for phase II is expected to be settled in 2018.

Project Start
In 1992 a geological survey spotted the large coal reserves in Thar. In December 2014, the Thar Coal-fired Power Plant was listed as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Planned Completion Date
The Thar Mining and Power Project Phase I is planned to be completed in October 2019. For Phase II and Phase III there are not completion dates, yet.

Chinese Involvement
Financing, construction

Projected Total Project Costs
Engro Thar Block II 2×330MW Coal fired Power Plant: USD 2 billion
Surface mine in Block II of Thar Coal field: USD 1.47 billion

Financing
USD 820 million loan provided by China Development Bank, Construction Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. An additional 7% on the total debt servicing is to be paid to Sinosure. DebtEquity Ratio is 70:30.

Coordinating Ministry
Engro Thar Block II 2×330MW Coal fired Power Plant: Ministry of Water and Power
Surface mine in Block II of Thar Coal field: Ministry of Water and Power, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources

Supervising Agency
Engro Thar Block II 2×330MW Coal fired Power Plant: Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB)
Surface mine in Block II of Thar Coal field: Thar Coal Energy Board (TCEB)

Executing Company
Engro Thar Block II 2×330MW Coal fired Power Plant: Engro Powergen Thar LTd., a joint venture between Engro Powergen Ltd. (with 50.1% ownership), China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), Habib Bank Ltd. (HBL), and Liberty Mills Limited. The joint venture was formed in 2014.

Surface mine in Block II of Thar Coal field: Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company Ltd. (SECMC), a joint venture between the Government of Sindh, Engro Energy Limited, Thal Limited, Habib Bank Limited, Hub Power Company and China Machinery Engineering Corporation. The Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company is Pakistan’s single biggest formed public-private partnership. A Coal Supply Agreement was signed with Engro Powergen Thar Limited for 30 years.

Chinese Contractors
China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) – EPC contractor Mining

Electricity and Coal Price
For the Thar Coal there is a 30 years levelized Coal Tariff of USD 69.22/ton.

Project Sustainability
The project causes vast environmental concerns regarding the climate impact of the low-quality lignite coal as well as the disposal of wastewater into the surrounding landscape.

Additional Project Information

The Thar coalfields contain 175 billion tons of lignite, capable to produce 100,000 MW for the next 200 years.

The Thar Engro Coal Power Project (Thar Block-II) consist of three phases:
Phase 1. Two 330 MW sub critical plants with majority share of Engro Powergen Phase 2. Expansion of the mine to 7.6 MTPA, additional 2 x 330 MW will be added Phase 3. The mine will be taken to its potential of 33 MTPA capable of generating 3,960 MW

The phase 1 power plant project consist of:
1. TEL 1×330MW Mine Mouth Lignite Fired Power Project at Thar Block-II and
2. ThalNova 1×330MW Mine Mouth Lignite Fired Power Project at Thar Block-II

The surface mine in Block II of Thar Coal field has an output of 3.8 million tons per year according to Zhang Chun, president of CMEC, the project is the first CPEC integration project of coal mining and coal-based power plant.

Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company engaged several renowned international organisations in 2010, including RWE Germany, SRK UK, Hagler Bailly, Sino Coal China and NCBG China, which conducted feasibility and socio-economic impact assessments of the mining and power project.

Further Information

Petition for Reference Coal Tariff Determination for Contract Stage Tariff

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) “Approval of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority in the matter of Application of Engro Powergen Thar (Private) Limited (EPTPL) for Unconditional Acceptance of Upfront Thar Coal Tariff for 2×330 MW Coal Power Plant

Feasibility Study – RWE Power International

Outline of the Block Units of the Thar Project

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