Pakistan’s first ever power plant based on Thar coal has started generating electricity.The first of two 330MW units of the 660MW Engro Powergen project located in Thar Block II was energised and started supplying power to the national grid. This is the beginning of a new golden chapter in the energy history of Pakistan.Now, the Thar coal would provide energy security to the country while saving billions of dollars of precious foreign exchange. This is, indeed, the first step towards the self-reliance. The project would also generate thousands of jobs and provide model housing schemes and clean drinking water in Pakistan’s most remote region under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program of various mining and power generation companies.The historic milestone has been made possible largely by the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) under the Power Division along with the Sindh government, SECMC, Engro Group, and several Chinese companies. This significant feat has marked a new era for energy security in Pakistan and comes as the realization of Thar dream. The project is being implemented as a “prioritized project” under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a game changer initiative to develop mega energy and infrastructure projects in the country.It is a joint venture between Engro Powergen Ltd, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), Habib Bank Ltd (HBL) and Liberty Mills Limited, and is being developed at a cost of USD 995.4 million. The fact that it has successfully synchronised with the national grid is yet another example of PPIB’s efficient processing.Earlier, the company had started construction activities after securing Financial Close on April 4, 2016, and signing Security Package Agreements. The long-awaited dream to rely on indigenous Thar coal reserves for the country’s energy needs has finally become a reality after decades of relentless efforts put in by federal and provincial stakeholders.The CPEC should be particularly mentioned for further supplementing these efforts and helping make Thar coal a harbinger of prosperous Pakistan.Thar Coal Project would not only be a game-changer in the energy sector of Pakistan but also create ripples of prosperity on both local and regional levels; transforming lives of the Thari people. Furthermore, the PPIB and Pakistan’s government have planned to induct an additional capacity of over 4,000 MW in the system by mid- 2021, which would be further enhanced to 24,000 MW by 2040 based on Thar coal.With an aim to push boundaries, PPIB remains committed to facilitating private investors in more such projects to empower Pakistan for a prosperous tomorrow.The project is amongst the fleet of twenty-six multi-fuel projects of around 14,500 MW processed by PPIB, which is being targeted to be fully functional by this June.Published in Daily Times, March 20th 2019.