ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Power, Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari has said that investors in the power sector are feeling the friendly environment as their cases are being fast tracked due to frequent meetings. He stated this while chairing the 114th meeting of the Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) held here on Wednesday. Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari appreciated the Board members for their active participation in the meetings. Managing Director PPIB, Mr. Shah Jahan Mirza briefed the Board on various agendas of the today’s meeting and activities being undertaken by PPIB for timely implementation of power generation projects under its portfolio. He briefed that in order to encourage indigenous and sustainable energy; PPIB is handling seven projects with a total capacity of 5,600 MW. In Wednesday’s meeting, the board authorized PPIB to acknowledge the ECC approved Interim Agreement for supply of R-LNG to four indigenous gas based IPPs namely Halmore, Saif, Orient and Saphire. Due to non-availability of gas these projects are operating on costly HSD. The replacement of R-LNG with HSD will cut the fuel price to almost half, thus reducing the tariff considerably. Managing Director NTDC made a presentation on the analysis of Matiari-Lahore HVDC transmission line, the flow of power from IPPs based on Thar Coal from south to north, and the financial impact thereof. The Chairman advised PPIB, NTDC and CPPA-G to sit down together and make a thorough analysis based on the actual commercial operation dates of the Thar coal based IPPs so that any financial exposure to the government can be avoided. The board also granted approval for a go-ahead with the procedure of executing Coordination and Indemnity Agreement between Government of Pakistan and Government of Sindh. Under the said procedure, a working draft of the agreement will be circulated to the government of Sindh through the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) and after it is finalized between the parties, shall also be finally vetted by the Ministry of Law & Justice before execution. This is required for the projects based in Sindh, where the Sindh Government signs Land Lease Agreement (LLA) and Water Use Agreement (WUA) with the IPPs. GoP is covering default under these agreements in the implementation agreement. The Chairman advised to conclude the agreement within one month Minister Power Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari stated that the incumbent government has been instrumental in realizing the electricity potential as we believe that electricity plays a vital role in improving the socio-economic growth of the country. We are committed to provide affordable electricity in the most efficient manner to every single consumer for which we have taken concrete steps and will continue the spirit for the future as well, he added. On the proposal of the Federal Minister for Power Division, the PPIB Board decided to hold its next meeting at Thar, Sindh in the second week of February 2018 in order to review the indigenous coal assets of Pakistan. The Board members will also take stock of the projects already under different phases at Thar. It will also provide first-hand knowledge and facilitate the right decisions relating to the Thar Coal Projects. Published in Daily Times, January 18th 2018.