Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari interact with local Thari women who work at Thar coal mine during a visit to the area in October 2022. Image Credit: Sindh Govt

Karachi: The third power plant of 330 megawatts generation capacity based on Thar coal has been launched.

The construction of 330 MWs Hubco ThalNova Thar coal power plant has been completed in three years under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The power plant will consume coal extracted from the block-2 coalmine in the Islamkot area of Tharparkar. The cost of power generated by the new plant will be as low as Rs nine per kilowatt hour whereas per unit cost of electricity based on imported coal in Pakistan is around Rs 20 to Rs 30.

With the launch of the new power plant, a total of 3,000 MWs of electricity is being generated on the basis of indigenous reserves of Thar coal and being supplied to the national grid.

power plant Thar pakistan
The new power plant in Thar. Image Credit: Sindh govt

Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, was scheduled to inaugurate the new power plant but his flight from Karachi to Thar was cancelled due to bad weather.

In his place, State Minister for National Health Services, Dr Mahesh Kumar Malani, who is also a native of the Thar area launched the power plant.

In his message read out on the occasion, Sindh CM said the Thar desert area of the province had massive reserves of coal, which could last for over 200 years and could generate up to 100,000 MWs of electricity.

He said that extensive consumption of Thar coal could help the government save up to $6 billion in terms of an effective substitute for imported fuels for power generation in the country.

The State Minister, Dr Malani, said the new power plant would generate hundreds of employment opportunities for the local Thari people.

He said the Sindh government had been doing its best to make sure that the electricity generated on the basis of Thar coal should preferably be utilised for powering the homes of the local Thari people.

The State Minister told the audience that companies involved in power generation and coal extraction in the Thar area had been asked by the Sindh government to spend heavily on the welfare of local Thari people in pursuance of their corporate social responsibility plans.