The Hong Kong-based Consolidated Electric Power Asia (CEPA) is to invest more than $6,000 million in a 5,280-MW power plant in Sind province. A memorandum of understanding with the government was signed on 6 October.

The plant will consist of eight 660-MW coal-fired units, and construction is expected to begin once a coastal site has been selected. The first unit is scheduled to come on line by 1998, and the entire project to be completed by 2000. The plant will need 30 million-35 million tonnes of coal a year, and will initially rely on imported coal.

CEPA is to participate in a study to evaluate the feasibility of developing a coal field in the Thar desert near the Indian border. The field is estimated to have reserves of 78,000 million tonnes, but its remoteness and lack of necessary infrastructure mean that it could be 6-10 years before any coal is burnt. Depending on the results of the study, CEPA will consider using coal from the Thar field instead of imports (MEED 10:6:94).

CEPA has also expressed interest in investing in transmission networks. The government is soon expected to announce a new package of incentives to encourage private sector involvement in developing the power distribution system and other related infrastructure.