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Friday Jan 31, 2014

Sharif, Zardari launch Thar Coal power project

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former President Asif Ali Zardari Friday jointly performed the groundbreaking of the US 1.6 billion dollar Thar Coal power project to help the country meet its energy needs.

The project will initially provide 660 MW of power for Pakistan's energy starved industrial units. It will be complete in 2017 and help spur economic development and bring energy security to the country.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pledged to overcome gas and power shortage shortly.

He said three power projects on River Indus namely Bonji‚ Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha dams will produce around fifteen thousand megawatts of electricity. The nuclear power plant in Karachi will produce 2200 MW of electricity. He said‚ similarly‚ Tarbela upraising project and Jhimpir wind power project will add further electricity to the national grid.

He said the project will not only bring investment to the country but will also provide employment opportunities to local population and improve their living standards.

The Prime Minister said prosperity and peace in one province is the development of the entire country. He said all parties should get united to work for peace‚ prosperity and development of the country. He said it is time to shun political differences and move forward.

Nawaz Sharif said we have respected the mandate of all the political parties after general elections. He expressed his pleasure over Thar Coal power project and said it is not only Sindh government's project‚ but a national project.

The project will be carried out by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) - a joint venture between Engro Powergen and Government of Sindh.

The project in Block - II of Tharparkar District is spread over an area of 79.6 square kilometers. According to a feasibility study, the project is commercially viable and has no significant environmental threats and social implications.

In the Phase I, the project will develop coal mining and power project with a capacity of 3.8 million tons per annum and 660 MW.

Subsequently the mine will be expanded to a coal capacity of 6.5 million tons per annum to support a 1300 MW power plant.

In Phase II it is planned to expand mining project to 13.5 million tons and 9.5 million tons, with a power generation capacity of 2400 MW and 3600 MW.

Meanwhile, former President Asif Ali Zardari thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for taking care of the poor people of Sindh.

He said Pakistan's leadership has now matured and will benefit from democracy.

Sindh and Balochistan Chief Ministers Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Dr. Abdul Malik‚ federal ministers‚ Chief Executive of Engro Company and other officials were present on the occasion.

Former President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah received the Prime Minister at Sindhri Airport when he arrived for laying foundation stone of the project.

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