Engro Powergen Limited (EPL) has signed a joint venture agreement with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for development of 2 x 330MW coal based power plant in Thar Block II.

The joint venture company, Engro Powergen Thar Limited (EPTL) will enter into a coal supply agreement with Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) for purchase of 3.8 metric tonnes per annum coal which will be used for power generation.

The joint venture agreement was signed by Shamsuddin A. Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer EPL, and Zhang Chun, President CMEC, said a statement issued here on Tuesday. The ceremony was witnessed by Syed Tariq Fatemi Minister of State for foreign affairs, Zaffaruddin Mahmood, Special Envoy CPEC, Shajahan Mirza, MD PPIB and Ejaz Ahmed Khan MD TCEB. The ceremony was also attended by other shareholders, Thal Limited and Habib Bank Limited.

At the occasion, Shaikh and Zhang Chun briefed the Pakistan delegation on the progress being made on the project for both mining and power.

Zhang Chun said that "CMEC is a pioneer in developing power projects in Pakistan and we see Thar project to be the key to solving future energy crises in Pakistan".

Shaikh further explained the key milestones achieved in Thar and said "this joint venture between the two companies shows our resolve and commitment to see this project completed by 2017.

We have successfully achieved all milestones and are now actively working together to solve Chinese financing issues" Fatemi appreciated the efforts both companies have put in and said "this is a landmark occasion which highlights corporation between the two countries and shows the resolve to solve the energy crises which Pakistan is facing".

He further added that this is the "first tangible fruit out of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor".