BusinessPakistan Starts Importing Coal from Afghanistan

Pakistan Starts Importing Coal from Afghanistan

Pakistan has started importing coal from Afghanistan which has been supplied to coal-fired power plants in different cities of the country.

According to the media news, the government had directed the concerned departments, especially the Pakistan Railways, to make special arrangements for safe and speedy transportation of coal from Afghanistan.

At present, less than 3,000 tonnes of coal is being brought daily at Khushal Kot railway station, but the supply is expected to reach 20,000 tonnes after the start of coal operations in Mianwali, Kandian and Sibi areas of Balochistan, the official added. Sibi station will receive coal in trucks through Vish Chaman border.

According to earlier reports, the price of Afghan coal has risen from 90 per tonne to 200 after Pakistan decided to buy it from its neighbor.

The official said that Islamabad was paying for the coal in rupees, so the increase in prices would not have any significant impact.

In this regard, an important meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique will be held on Sunday, July 3 at Pakistan Railways Headquarters Lahore.

During the meeting, decisions regarding launching of coal operation in the next few days will also be taken.

He said that under the agreement, it has been decided to supply coal to Sahiwal and Hub power plants through rail network instead of road.

On the other hand, while presiding over a meeting at the PR headquarters, Khawaja Saad Rafique directed the Pakistan Railways administration to ensure the supply of wagons to transport coal from Afghanistan.

During the meeting, they reviewed various issues related to railway revenue and transportation of coal from Afghanistan.

It was decided in the meeting that transportation stations would be set up at Sibi, Kandian and Khushal Kot.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Railways, Chief Executive Officer and other officers.

At June 27 meeting, the government decided to import coal from Afghanistan for coal-fired power plants due to rising prices of petroleum products.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, also approved the import of high quality coal from Afghanistan in rupees instead of dollars to save the country’s foreign exchange.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister was informed that the initial import of coal from Afghanistan for Sahiwal and Hub power plants would help Pakistan to reduce its annual import bill by Rs 2.2 billion.

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