Sindh Chief Minister has approved phase-III coal mine expansion project in Thar at an estimated cost of Rs15.8 billion to excavate 12.2 Mt coal per annum which is bound to save $420 million forex annually against the imported coal. “The third phase would reduce coal price to $27 per ton, making it the cheapest base load fuel in the country and Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) basket tariff would reduce by Rs0.49/kwh to Rs15.05/kwh by saving consumers Rs60 billion annual and top of it the Sindh government would earn Rs10 billion Royalty annually.” This he said while presiding over a meeting held here at CM House on Friday. The meeting was attended by Minister Energy Imtiaz Shaikh PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Energy Abu Bakar, MD Thar Coal Board Tariq Shah, DG Sindh Coal Authority Mushtaq Soomro, Chief Executive Engro Ahsan Zaffar, CEO Engro Corporation Ghias Khan, Vice Chairman House of Habib Salman Burni, Vice Chairman House of Habib Tayab Tareen, CEO HUBCO Kamran Kamal, Saleemullah Memon of HUBCO, Chief Executive SECMC Amir Iqbal, GM Commercial SECMC Tallah Lodhi, CFO SECMC Muhammad Mudassir, GM Tech. Mines Expansion Faisal Iqbal Siddiqi and others. Murad Ali Shah said that the journey of Thar Coal was started in 2009 with a joint venture partnership between the Sindh government and Sindh Engro for development of Thar Coal. “Numerous challenges were associated with the project and each challenge had the potential of shelving the project,” he said and added “however, only due to unwavering commitment and resolve of the Sindh government the project was commissioned on July 10, 2019. Minister Energy Imtiaz Shaikh briefing the chief minister said that the successful execution of Phase-I of SECM project 3.8 MT/annum and 660 MW was in operation from the last two years. He added that 2640 MW power plants were under construction and 11.8 mt/a incremental mine construction was in progress. At this the chief minister said that his government would utilize Thar Coal beyond the power sector. Sharing spot prices of raw material used to produce energy in the country, the chief minister was told that the LNG was being purchased at $35 per MMBTU, imported coal at $9.7MMBTU, residual fuel oil (RFO) at $12.4/MMBTU and Thar coal at 5.95 MMBTU. At this the chief minister said that the figures showed that the cheapest source of producing energy was Thar coal.