Prague - Noen, an engineering firm based in the Czech capital, will open a brown coal mine and build a brown coal power station in southern Pakistan, in an investment in the tens of billions of korunas.
The firm's management signed a preliminary agreement with the government of Pakistan' Sindh province, reported Hospodarske noviny, a Czech business-oriented newspaper.
"The local government wants to build 5,000 megawatts of energy resources and they have a lot of coal," Noen CEO Vladimir Jaros told the newspaper.
Noen will produce a feasibility assessment first. The coal power station is projected to generate between 200 and 400 megawatts, which means it will be a mid-size energy resource. Is is planned to be built in the Badin region.
The Czech firm has managed to enter the Pakistani market without any assistance from the Czech Embassy in Islamabad. The project will be funded from the province government's resources, bank loans and export financing.
"We want Czech firms to participate in the project as much as possible," said Jaros, who wants the dragline excavators for the mine as well as the components for the plant to be produced in the Czech Republic.
Noen has been active in the Czech and international market since 1997. It has 90 employees.
It is the second Czech company to be awarded a public contract from Pakistan in the past months. Wikov Wind, a Hradec Kralove-based firm from the Wikor Industry group, announced in October it would supply 50 wind turbines worth CZK 4 billion to the South Asian country.
The two recent investments in Pakistan are the latest sign of a gradual reorientation of the Czech export industry towards emerging markets, mainly in Asia.
The record sales for 2011 announced by Skoda Auto, the motor of the Czech industry and a subsidiary of Germany's Volkswagen Group, were mainly driven by demand in BRICS, above all in Russia, China and India.
This ongoing shift in the Czech Republic's export orientation is accompanied by corresponding diplomatic and lobbying activities.
In a much criticized speech, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said in September this year that the support for Russia's and China's dissidents by some Czech politicians and activists hurts Czech exports to the said countries.