Project ID: 35127

[CPEC, IPP] China Development Bank, China Construction Bank, and ICBC provide $621 million syndicated loan for 2x330 MW Engro Thar Block II Coal Power Project (Linked to Project ID#54316, #54315)

Commitment amount

$ 696933128.7085295

Adjusted commitment amount

$ 696933128.71

Constant 2021 USD


Funding agency [Type]

China Development Bank (CDB) [State-owned Policy Bank]

China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB) [State-owned Commercial Bank]

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) [State-owned Commercial Bank]




Energy (Code: 230)

Flow type


Level of public liability

Central government-guaranteed debt

Financial distress






Mixed (The next section lists the possible statuses.)





Financial Flow Classification

OOF-like (The next section lists the possible statuses.)

Official Development Assistance

Other Official Flows

Vague (Official Finance)

Flows categorized based on OECD-DAC guidelines

Project lifecycle


Completion (The next section lists the possible statuses.)










Planned start


Actual start


Planned complete


Actual complete


NOTE: Red circles denote delays between planned and actual dates


Engro Powergen Thar Limited (EPTL) was a joint venture company — established by Engro Powergen China Machinery and Engineering Company (CMEC), Habib Bank Limited (HBL), and Liberty Mills Limited — that is responsible for establishing a 2 X 330 (660MW) mine mouth circulating fluidized bed technology coal-based power plant. The independent power plant project (IPP) was located at Thar Block II, 25 kilometers from the city of Islamkot, near the village of Singharo-Bitra in the district of Tharparkar within Sindh Province. Thar Block II was a 95.5 square kilometer area of the Thar coalfield, which has total lignite reserves of 175 billion tons which can be utilized to produce 100,000 MW for over 200 years. The project will be fueled by coal supplied by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), which was developing a coal mine of 3.8 million tonnes per annum capacity beside the project (see Project ID#54315). The total estimated cost of the 2 X 330 MW Engro Thar Block II Coal Power Project was $1.1 billion USD which was financed with 75% debt and 25% equity. Accordingly, the total equity requirement is $275 million. The majority of the equity investment for the project was expected to be from EPTL and its affiliates. IJGlobal reported that China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) invested $96.95 million USD (see Project ID#54316). In December 2014, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China's (ICBC) Karachi Branch submitted an initial expression of interest to provide $825 million USD of debt financing for the power project. Then, a set of financing agreements were signed in Beijing on December 21, 2015 for both the power plant aspect (this project) and the mining aspect (see Project ID#54315). Under these agreements with EPTL, the 2 X 330 MW Engro Thar Block II Coal Power Project project was supported by a Pakistani rupee-denominated syndicated facility agreement from consortium of banks including: HBL, United Bank Limited, Bank Alfalah Limited, Askari Bank Limited, Soneri Bank Limited, Sindh Bank Limited, Bank of Punjab, MCB Bank Limited, Faysal Bank Limited, Pak Oman Investment Company Limited, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), National Bank of Pakistan, and Pak Brunei Investment Company Limited. The total syndicated loan is worth 17,016,000,000 Pakistan rupees. Moreover, EPTL signed a bilateral facility agreement with National Bank of Pakistan worth 3,134,000,000 Pakistani rupees as well as Islamic facility agreements with three banks — Meezan Bank Limited, Faysal Bank Limited and Habib Bank Limited — worth 4,000,000,000 Pakistani rupees. All of these loans were repayable in 20 semi-annual installments commencing from the earlier of (i) first fixed date falling after 48 months since facility effective date and (ii) second fixed date falling after Commercial Operations Date (COD); where fixed dates are defined as first June or first December of any year and carries interest at the rate of 3 months KIBOR plus 3.5%. On December 21, 2015, EPTL also signed a $621 million syndicated loan facility agreement with China Development Bank (CDB), China Construction Bank (CCB) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The borrowing terms of the syndicated loan facility are as follows: a 14-year maturity, a 4-year grace period, an interest rate of 6-month LIBOR plus a 4.2% margin, and a 7% Sinosure insurance premium. The Government of Pakistan also provided a sovereign guarantee. As of December 31, 2018, EPTL drew down $504,731 against this facility. China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) was the EPC contractor responsible for project implementation. In April 2016, a groundbreaking ceremony was held. The project reached its commercial operation date (COD) on July 10, 2019. However, this project has encountered a number of revenue generation, debt repayment, and financial management challenges since the power plant went into operation. In May 2022, reports emerged that the Government of Pakistan’s Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) had fallen behind on payments (for the purchase of electricity) to EPTL. Total payment arrears, at that time, amounted to PKR 45 billion (approximately $225 million). Several months later, on October 26, 2022, Sinosure informed the Government of Pakistan that it would not be able to provide credit insurance for any additional projects in Pakistan without ‘early resolution of [the] Revolving Account Agreement (RAA) pending between Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) and Chinese IPPs since 2017’. Under a November 8, 2014 CPEC Energy Project Cooperation Agreement, the CPPA and Chinese IPPs had agreed on the establishment of an RAA to facilitate the automatic payment of at least 22% payables to IPPs directly through the recovery of electricity bills of distribution companies (so-called ‘discos’). However, ‘due to various technical and financial constraints’, the Government of Pakistan’s Power Division acknowledged that the RAA had not been implemented over the previous 5-year period. In May 2022, an effort to establish an RAA was undertaken by the Government of Pakistan, but it was ultimately unsuccessful. Then, on October 31, 2022, Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance came up with an interim arrangement for the Power Division to open ‘an assignment under the title of Pakistan Energy Revolving Fund (PERF) till such time matters pertaining to RAA are resolved’. The escrow account was to be opened at the National Bank of Pakistan and operated by the CPPA and PKR 50 billion was to be allocated from the Ministry of Finance’s subsidy account to the PERF with a monthly withdrawal limit of PKR 4 billion (against invoices from IPPs). The Government of Pakistan acknowledged, at the time, that this '[would] not fully fulfill the revolving account requirements under the RAA, but it [would] provide additional comfort to Chinese IPPs’. Then, in November 2022, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet turned down a proposal by the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) for the PERF (escrow) account to be operated by the National Bank of Pakistan. It decided that the account would instead be operated by the country’s central bank: the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Then, in May 2023, EPTL informed the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) that it might shut down operations entirely because of a 'severe liquidity crunch' that made it challenging for EPTL to settle its liabilities with both lenders and suppliers. Its outstanding receivables from the CPPA amounted to PKR 65.5 billion at the time. EPTL demanded the CPPA pay it PKR 28.7 billion before May 31, 2023 to help it avert a default on debt servicing.

Additional details

1. IJGlobal (see source ID 61620) assumes that CDB, CCB, and ICBC contributed equal amounts ($207 million) to the syndicated loan. 2. AidData has estimated the all-in interest rate by adding 4.2% to average 6-month LIBOR in December 2015 (0.764%). 3. On November 8, 2014, the Chinese Government and the Government of Pakistan signed a CPEC Energy Project Cooperation Agreement. According to Article 5 of the Agreement, ‘the Pakistani Party agrees that a revolving account shall be opened with 30 days of commercial operation of the respective project, into which the money, no less than the 22 per cent of the monthly payments for the respective power project under the agreement shall be deposited to provide cover for the shortfall in power bill recoveries from the date of power generation of the said projects agreements subject to the condition that the additional direct and indirect expenses incurred in maintaining the revolving account would be compensated by the producers through a discount arrangement to be mutually agreed.’ Subsequently, the Finance Division, in consultation with the Power Division, finalized a mechanism for the Revolving Account (RA) with the approval of The Minister of Finance in a letter dated June 22, 2015. Then, in September 2017, the Power Division forwarded a draft Revolving Account Agreement (RAA) to be signed between Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guaranteed (CPPA-G) and power producer(s) to the Finance Division. CPPA-G subsequently executed the finalized draft of RAA with multiple CPEC IPPs. The Government of Pakistan also guaranteed the funding obligations of the CPPA with respect to the RAA, through Supplemental Implementation Agreements signed between the Government of Pakistan — through the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) — and the respective IPPs. 4. The Sinosure insurance premium is identified via

Number of official sources


Number of total sources


Download the dataset




Direct receiving agencies [Type]

Engro Powergen Thar Private Limited (EPTL) [Joint Venture/Special Purpose Vehicle]

Implementing agencies [Type]

China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) [State-owned Company]

Guarantee provider [Type]

Government of Pakistan [Government Agency]

Insurance provider [Type]

China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) [State-owned Company]


Cash deposited in an escrow account known as the Pakistan Energy Revolving Fund (PERF)

Loan Details


14 years

Interest rate


Grace period

4 years

Grant element (OECD Grant-Equiv)


Syndicated loan

Investment project loan