Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) has reached a production milestone of 10 million tonnes of coal. With an annual production capacity of 3.8 million tonnes, SECMC, one of the largest public-private partnerships in the energy industry, began commercial operations in July 2019. SECMC has successfully dug 10 million tonnes of coal in the last 2.5 years, effectively altering Pakistan’s energy landscape by permitting the production of power from indigenous coal reserves.
Over the previous 2.5 years, record production has resulted in the generation of over 10,000 GwHs of power, which has contributed to the national grid. Furthermore, the company’s record coal output and energy generation using Thar’s domestic reserves benefited the national economy by saving USD 210 million in import substitution during the same time period.
During the course of operations, SECMC has maintained a stellar safety record following international and world-class benchmarks – a feat that has earned international acknowledgements from organizations such as British Safety Council. The Company has also adopted the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework to deploy high-impact interventions prioritizing education, health, economic growth and women empowerment amongst other areas.
SECMC has also contributed to uplifting the local community by generating employment opportunities for the local population and creating other economic avenues for the community. It is pertinent to mention that 80% of the employees in SECMC are locals from Sindh where the project has provided significant socio-economic benefit to the local Thari population.
“The 10-million coal production mark is a commendable achievement considering the constant fluctuation and vulnerability in international coal prices,” said Chief Executive Officer SECMC – Amir Iqbal. He added that Thar coal is the best resource to help the national economy in terms of easing out the pressure on the Current Account Deficit and also indigenize the current energy mix which is heavily reliant on imported fuels. Currently, the second phase of the SECMC mine is already under development which will increase SECMC’s production to 7.6 million tons per annum with a cumulative power generation of 1320MWs.
Talking about the subsequent phase III expansion project, Iqbal said that the estimated investment for phase III expansion is to be approximately USD 100 million which will enable Thar Block-II to achieve a sustainable supply of 12.2 million ton of coal annually over the next 30 years. SECMC is expected to complete this expansion by June 2023 and with this expansion coal price of SECMC mine is to be reduced to under USD 30/ton – making it the cheapest fuel source in the country ensuring economic stability and energy security for the country.
In addition, phase III expansion will also enable Pakistan to save USD 420 million per annum on the account of import substitution whilst also leading to a reduction of PKR 74 billion in circular debt on an annual basis.