Thar Coal Project on the cards: prime minister

HYDERABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said he has issued directives to the ministries concerned regarding Thar coal to enrich the energy sector.

He said the government endeavoured to ensure provision of gas to the far-flung areas of Sindh and Balochistan.

The government, he said, was trying to complete Turkmenistan-Afghanistan Pakistan-India (TAPI), Iran Pakistan Pipeline (IPP) and LNG projects as soon as possible. He asked the ministry concerned to give priority to local people where these gas reserves are discovered.

He was addressing a gathering at the inauguration of the Kunnar-Pasakhi gas pipeline project in Headquearter-3 of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC). Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Senator Dr Asim Hussain, Federal Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah were also present.

He admitted that there was energy crisis in the country and natural gas sector was being given priority to overcome the shortage of gas. The government is committed to provision of facilities of water, electricity and gas and all possible measures are being taken to ensure them without discrimination. ‘We are working seriously to resolve issues.

We have natural resources and we are exploring them to benefit people,’ he said. The government would overcome this crisis with the help of people. The government would continue its journey of progress in the country and provide maximum facilities to people. He said that the gas reserves had been discovered eight years ago in Tandojam but it was delayed, depriving people of the facility.

He applauded Dr Asim Hussain for kicking off the project and completing it, adding that Naveed Qamar -whom he described his old tutor during imprisonment in jail also worked hard on it.

‘Naveed Qamar used to teach me computer and I also learned some words of Sindhi language from him,’ he said and then he uttered a few words in Sindhi language.

This project would reduce shortage of 250mmefd [million cubic feet per day]. With natural gas liquids [NGL] and liquefied petroleum gas[LPG] overall energy requirements would be covered while the government is exploring other options for enriching the energy sector. ‘I have issued directives regarding Thar Coal Project which will help improve energy sector’s capacity,’ the PM said.

He the government was taking up projects which were in line with the vision of late Z.A. Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. He referred to the LPG project of Noshki and Serab in Balochistan, describing them very important. There are projects in Sindh too.

‘The government is trying to complete TAPI, IPP and LNG projects soon and he has asked Dr Asim Hussain to finalise them as soon as possible,’ he said. He said the projects would make the country self-sufficient in gas.

Dr Asim Hussain said it was this government which had finalised this project which was otherwise a subject to litigation for eight years. ‘We fought it for three years in courts and people were trying to occupy it,’ he said. But now this gas would enter the system. The government had inherited energy crisis. It was this government which told people there was a shortage of gas, otherwise this fact would not have shared with people.

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