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Pakistan starts commercial operations of the 1.3 GW Thar coal power plant

Pakistan has put into commercial operations a 1,320 MW coal-fired power plant in the Thar Desert of the Sindh Province (southern Pakistan). The Thar power plant, developed by China’s Shanghai Electric Group, is part of the Thar Coal Block-I Coal Electricity Integration project and was built under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. The coal-fired plant is expected to generate about 9 TWh/year of electricity for the Pakistani national grid and supply power to nearly 4 million Pakistani households.

The Thar Coal Block-I Coal Electricity Integration project, which began construction in 2019, includes an open-pit coal mine with a lignite production of 7.8 Mt/year and a coal-fired power plant with two 660 MW supercritical power generation units. The first 660 MW unit was connected to the grid in December 2022.

At the end of 2020, coal represented 11% of Pakistan’s installed capacity with 4.2 GW and 17% of its power generation. In 2020, the government of Pakistan announced that it would not build new coal-fired power plants. However, 2 GW of coal capacity is still under construction and nearly 10 GW are under development in the country.

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