Saturday, June 15, 2024

Govt Plans to Convert Three Imported Coal-Fired Power Plants to Thar Coal

The Pakistani government is planning to switch three power plants that currently use imported coal to using coal from the Thar region. This conversion will involve cooperation with the Chinese government. Minister Ahsan Iqbal will be in charge of working with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to change the coal used at the Sahiwal, Port Qasim, and Hub power plants.

Additionally, the Jamshoro plant and the Lucky coal power plant will also start using Thar coal. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has instructed several agencies, including the Power Division and the Thar Coal Energy Board, to ensure these conversions are completed by December 2025.

In other energy sector plans, some power distribution companies, like Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco), and Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO), will be privatized in phases. Other power companies will be offered through long-term concession agreements.

To manage this process, the Privatization Commission will hire a transaction advisor who will help with the privatization efforts, aiming to finish the first phase by January 2026. The Power Division will also hire a technical advisor to review and possibly revise the current regulatory and policy frameworks.

Moreover, a new tariff category will be created specifically for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

As for renewable energy, only one solar power plant with a capacity of 600 megawatts will proceed with investment from Saudi Arabia. The plans for future energy generation will be adjusted to reflect this focus on solar power.

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