China is funding the expansion of huge new coal projects in Pakistan region that is inundated by drought and sanctified with solar potential. Investment from China is helping speeding up new coal developments in the Thar region of the country. The reason is that despite local water scarcity and pollution, there is an abundance of solar energy potential.
The CEO of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECM), Shamsuddin Ahmad Shaikh expressed that with the support of government and investors from China in particular, its coal developments in Thar are running faster than they thought. SECM is developing a 1,320MW coal power plant in Thar region and it is anticipated to complete in 2019. The Sino-Sindh Resources Limited (SSRL)’s open pit mine, which is expected to produce 6.5m metric tonnes a year is also under development. It will reach commercial operation during the next year. Coal from this pit will power a 1,320MW plant, likely to work by 2019.
Thar’s provincial chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, stated that the coal projects will “change the face” of Pakistan’s biggest city Karachi and Sindh, where Thar is sited.