PACRA Maintains Entity Ratings of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company Limited
The ratings reflect Sindh Engro coal mining company’s ownership structure-owned by the Government of Sindh and financially sound business groups of the country. The rating also incorporates the fact that indigenous coal is expected to play a dominant role in meeting the country's future energy requirement. SECMC has leased Block-II (out of 12 blocks) of Thar, for the period of thirty (30) years, which has a cumulative capacity of ~1.57bln tonnes of coal which could be used to produce 5,000 MW for fifty (50) years. The rating favorably factors in successful commissioning of 3.8mln TPA (Phase-I) mine on 10th July 2019, three months earlier than the Scheduled COD. Comfort is drawn from China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) – the O&M operator – having significant experience of International EPC Projects in Power Plants. Business risk is considered low, exhibited by demand risk coverage as SECMC has signed a Coal Supply Agreement with its associated company, Engro Powergen Thar Limited (EPTL), incorporated to operate mine-mouth coal-fired Power Plant (2x330MW), for phase-I. SECMC has in place insurance arrangements against risk related to property and business continuity. This amply covers SECMC for its own risks and risks arising from its customer. Phase II having potential of soaring coal capacity to 7.6 TPA, has achieved financial close in Dec-19 and is funded with 69% debt and 31% equity. Due to Covid-19 and lockdown in China in Jan-2020, the EPC Contractors of Phase-II Expansion, who is based out of China, had served Force Majeure Event (FME) notice to SECMC, company has also notified Government of Sindh of the FME in due time. However as the situation unfolded and as imports resume from China, the management and its technical consultant is of the view that the COD of Phase-II Expansion would be achieved as scheduled. The Rating incorporates the prevailing uncertainty due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and on account of prevailing circular debt crisis Company’s liquidity situation in terms of pending receivables seems stringent.
Adherence to good financial discipline towards both financial and commercial obligations is considered a strength. Meanwhile, upholding strong operational performance in line with agreed performance levels remain important. Effective management of the project, favourable regulatory regime, and consistency in related policies remain critical for the ratings.
Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company Limited is a public unlisted company, incorporated in Pakistan on October 15, 2009. The Company was formed under a Joint Venture Agreement between the Government of Sindh (GoS), Engro Energy Limited (EEL) and Engro Corporation Limited for the development, construction and operations of an open-cast lignite mine in BlockII of Thar Coal Field, Sindh. The company’s ordinary shares, ~91.5% of the total equity, are owned by Government of Sindh (~54.70%), Engro Energy Limited (~11.90%), Thal Limited (~11.90%), Habib Bank Limited (~9.50%), HUBCO (~8%), and CMEC Thar Mining Investments LTD (~4%). While preference shares, ~8.5% of the total equity, are owned by Huolinhe Open Pit Coal (HK) Investment Co. Ltd (100%).
The board of SECMC comprises twelve experienced professionals, five members represents Government of Sindh, two nominees are from Engro, two members appertaining to Thal Limited, while Habib Bank Limited, HUBCO and Huolinhe Investment company represent one member each. Mr.Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh is the Chairman of the board and Mr. Syed Abul Fazl Rizvi is the Chief Executive officer of the company, a mechanical engineer by profession. He is supported by the experienced management team.