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Oracle Coalfields makes progress with Thar Coalfields Block VI in 2015

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World Coal,

Oracle Coalfields PLC, the UK energy developer of a combined lignite mineral resource and mine mouth power plant located in the Thar desert in the southeast of Sindh Province, Pakistan, has announced its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2015.

Oracle’s Chairman, Adrian Loader, has indicated that while the coal mining industry remains “gloomy” it has been a ”year of solid progress” for developing its Thar Coalfield Block VI in Pakistan.

The company resolved the lease issues with the authorities; placed £3.37 million of equity; its inclusion in the China – Pakistan Economic Corridor was confirmed; it formally registered its power plant project and received a No Objection letter for power evacuation; its coal price petition was admitted and agreement was reached with Shangdong Electric Power Construction Corp. (SEPCO) – its Chinese partners – that they take a minimum 10% equity stake in the power plant.

Shahrukh Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Oracle, noted that the government is working towards eradicating the shortfall in electricity generation capacity in Pakistan and supporting indigenous fuel supplies.

Khan explained “Thar Electricity (Private) Ltd (TEPL), a subsidiary of Oracle Coalfields PLC, has registered the Thar Block VI power plant with [the Private Power and Infrastructure Board] (PPIB) for a plant up to 1200 MW capacity and has made the application to construct initially a 600 MW plant at the site. The Central Power Purchasing Agency issued a Letter of No Objection for the 600 MW power plant in November 2015 and NTDC also confirmed that power from the project will be accommodated within the planned high voltage transmission line.”

Khan indicated the next step is for “PPIB to issue a Letter of Intent for the project, which then requires the PPA application to be made along with the electricity tariff application.”

Oracle is working towards financial closure of the project, moving towards finalising a number of agreements and contracts, including the EPC term sheet and contracts with SEPCO for the coal mine and power plant, as well as finalising the environmental and social impact assessments and arrangements for resettlement of people affected by the project.

Khan reported the company is continuing to work with the relevant authorities in Pakistan and with its Chinese partners to bring the project to full implementation. The work in 2016 will concentrate on formalising agreements and contracts to bring the project to full implementation along with securing all the financing arrangements, including equity for funding.

Loader thanked his board and management colleagues for their hard work in 2015 and indicated that their continual work resulted in the preceding developments.

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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