Thar coal becomes the ‘cheapest’ source of energy in Pakistan

By Khalid Aziz | Gwadar Pro Jan 6, 2023

ISLAMABAD, Jan 6, (Gwadar Pro)- The 330 megawatt Thar Energy Ltd. (TEL) and the 2*330 megawatt Engro Powergen Thar Ltd. (EPTL) have secured the second and fourth places, respectively, in the latest merit order issued by the National Transmission and Dispatch Co. (NTDC) for the month of January.
According to the NTDC merit order issued on January 5, TEL came in second place among 53 thermal power plants in the country, with a cost of PKR4.33 per unit. In terms of low energy costs, TEL even surpassed the power plants that used local gas, with only the Uch power plant ahead of  TEL. Similarly, EPTL ranked fourth, trailing 10 power plants that use local gas.
The local gas has so far been considered as the most economical fuel for electric power plants in Pakistan.
 TEL and EPTL were built as mine-mouth power plants in Block-II of the Thar desert in Sindh province as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Shanghai Electric 2*660MW Thar Coal Block-1 Power Plant and the 330MW ThalNova Power Plant have also been connected with the national grid, after which CPEC power projects in the Thar desert have started contributing around 2,640 MWs of low-cost energy to the country’s energy system.
In addition, Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui claimed in a tweet that Thar coal was now the cheapest source of energy, at an average price of PKR3.1 per unit, leaving all other fuels, including imported coal, LNG, and furnace oil, behind. Siddique said that Thar coal will ensure energy security of the country and save precious foreign reserves.

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