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330MW CPEC’s power plant synchronized with National Grid

BEIJING: The 330MW Thar Energy Limited Power Plant (TEL), a mine-mouth lignite-fired power plant under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at Thar Coal Block II, Sindh, was successfully synchronized with the National Grid.

The Project is a joint venture among Hub Power Company Limited (HUBCO), Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited (FFC), and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), which is also the EPC contractor, China Economic Net (CEN) reported.

The foreign financing for the Project was arranged via a Chinese syndicate led by China Development Bank whereas the local financing has been arranged via a syndicate led by Habib Bank Limited.

The project started construction in May 2018 from the sponsor’s equity to ensure a timely Commercial Operation Date (COD) and early utilization of the local resources. The financial close of the project was achieved in January 2020.

Now, the project has successfully reached its commissioning phase and COD is expected by the end of this month. The Thar Energy Limited Plant utilizes indigenous Thar coal sourced by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), a joint venture initiative of which HUBCO is also a shareholder. The utilization of indigenous fuel is a development that will further revolutionize the Pakistani energy sector.

It will enable the nation to become proficient in supporting its own energy needs through local resources rather than allocating funds to import fuel, which will significantly decrease the country’s import bill.

The TEL power plant has created numerous direct employment opportunities for the locals of Thar and adjoining communities. TEL and Thal Nova (another venture between HUBCO, Thal Limited, Novatex, CMEC, and Descon) have jointly employed over 3,700 locals for the construction.

TEL is the first coal-fired power plant in the country to be run entirely by the Pakistani workforce. Similarly, the Thal Nova power plant is also near completion. Collectively, these two power plants will provide 660 MWs of affordable and indigenous electricity.

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