December 4, 2021

Coal Company to mortgage acquired Thar land with lenders

foto FB Thar Coal Block-1 Power Generation Company

KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet has allowed the coal company to mortgage acquired land with lenders.

This decision was taken at cabinet meeting presided by CM Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday.

The Energy department told the cabinet that M/s Thar Coal Block-I Power Generation Company Limited (TCB-I), a subsidiary of Shanghai Electric Ltd, China was installing a 1320 MW power generation facility at Thar Coalfield Block-1.

The company has made substantial progress and about 45 percent construction has been completed. The project is under CPEC framework and an amount of $2 billion will be invested. The Commercial Operation Date (CoD) of the project is May 31, 2022.

The cabinet was told that for the development, M/s TCB-1 has acquired 232.32-acre land within the Thar Coalfield Block-I.

In this scenario, the company requires the land to be mortgaged with lenders for which the cabinet was requested to approve NOC. The cabinet approved issuance of the NOC.

Land and environment questions

Land and environment questions in Thar has remained controversial, as affectees of Thar coal block 2 including Gorano Dam are still protesting.

The project is said to be integrated, experts said, it is difficult to find who the actual owner is.

Ownership

The information collected from different sources and media reports reveal very confused situation.

It may be recalled Sino Sindh Resources Limited (SSRL) is the holder of mining lease rights in Thar Block-I, spread over 150 square kilometers. In the first phase, 6.5 million tons of coal would be produced per annual, supporting a 1,400 MW (4 x 350 MW) coal plant.

According to Thar coal and energy board Sino-Sindh Resources Ltd (SSRL) is 100% owned by Global Mining (China) Co. which is a BVI incorporated company formed for the purposes of investing in Thar Coalfields by its shareholders.

As part of the deal, SSRL and Shanghai Electric Corporation entered into a coal supply agreement, in which SSRL will extract coal and supply it to China Power International (CPI). Eventually, the mine is expected to reach 20 million tons per year, which will be used for additional power plants as well as for export. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) will provide US$1 billion for the mining operations.

According to English media reports, in October 2019, Shanghai Electric began mining work on the Thar Coal Block-I mine and plant. An estimated 600 families will be displaced due to the coal mining and installation of the power plant.

SSRL is owned 55% by Global Mining China (GMC) and 40% by Asiapak Investments, with the remaining 5% owned by a Dubai-based company. SSRL will mine the coal for the power station, while the power station will be set up by Shanghai Electric Group Company of China.