Pakistan's Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) has approved the 1400 MW Tharparker coal-fired power project to be installed by the Shanghai Electric Group in Sindh province, Pakistan.
The project, located in the Hindu-majority district of Tharparker, is among the "prioritized projects" under the China-Pakistan Economic Corrider (CPEC), the ambitious US$46 billion megaproject initiative which was announced in April.
The Shanghai Electric Group will install four separate power units of 350 MW each, bringing the total generating power to 1400 MW. The total investment cost of the project is roughly US$2 billion.
The plant will be built next to an open-pit coal mine for which Sino Sindh Resources Ltd holds the mining lease rights. The coal mine should produce approximately 20 million tons per year, much of which will be used for other power plants as well as exporting.
The 1400 MW Tharparker plant is the second Thar Desert coal-based independent power project (IPP) approved by the PPIB board, the first being a 660 MW plant in Engro Colony.
The board also approved the signing of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between PPIB, China Three Gorges Corporation and Silk Road Fund China for the development of private hydropower projects in Pakistan.
Spread over 9000 square kilometers, the Thar Desert in the south east region of Pakistan is host to the seventh largest coal reserves in the world. The development of these coal resources is expected to provide a major breakthrough to develop huge generation capacity using cheap local coal.