Early utilisation of Thar coal urged

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Early utilisation of Thar coal urged

KARACHI - Sindh Board of Investment Chairman Muhammad Zubair Motiwala said that the quality of huge reserves at Thar coal has been recognised by the world renowned institutions and at Clean Coal Forum 2013 held from 13th to 14th June 2013 in Beijing, China. Chairman SBI, during his address at the event, briefed the international audience regarding current development projects in Thar, Sindh to increase access and develop infrastructure for increasing participation of local & foreign investors. These include development of airport planned to be completed well before end of this year.

He added that re-strengthening of road heading from Karachi to Thar, improvement of water scheme, establishment of effluent treatment plants, upgrading of grid for evacuation of power, development of reverse osmosis plants & many other development projects are also in development program.

All misconceptions about Thar coal were also clarified. He said that coal contributes 41% of total generation capacity of the world, however; it only constitutes 0.1% in Pakistan.

Chairman further clarified that the specifications of coal reserves available at Thar are duly certified by RWE of Germany, M/s Shenhua of China, Mangolian Institute, United States Geological Survey etc. He also presented comparisons with world as well as country to country basis. Thar lignite has a stripping ratio of 6:1, heating value of 11-12 mj/kg, ash 7%, moisture 45 - 47% & sulphur 0.9-1.3 %. This lignite is suitable for power generation and other uses.

As a consequence, many of participating companies have committed to visit Pakistan & Thar and few of companies are also willing to participate in next international bidding.

Motiwala instilled that coal is the only solution to resolve Pakistanís energy crisis. Pakistan has no option and both federal and provincial governments should apply all efforts to explore Thar coal to overcome energy crisis. He added that Thar coal resources have an estimated potential of generating 100,000MW of electricity for a period of 300 years; thus, providing an opportunity for large scale mining & power generation over a long period of time. However, according to estimates, if we start today then it will require minimum 3Ĺ years from today for sand evacuation only. So decision today will be better than taking decision tomorrow.

Chairman SBI informed that Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) is a jointly managed company by Government of Sindh and private sector. This company is near its financial close. However, few of guarantees like sovereign guarantee for mining and power plant of GENCO are still in pipeline. Looking at seriousness of federal government, it is advisable that they should come up with trigger to explore this most important resource of Pakistan. It is matter of ownership and commitment which is required.

Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), Department of Coal & Energy Development Department, Government of Sindh and Sindh Board of Investment participated & represent Pakistan at the event.

Courtesy: † Nation

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