Thar Coal reserves to help overcome energy crisis

Islamabad: Renowned Scientist and Member of Science and Technology, Planning Commission of Pakistan Dr Samar Mubarakmand on Tuesday said that Thar Coal reserves could play a pivotal role in meeting energy crises both in long term and short term. Addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), he said that power generation from coal would also enhance industrial competitiveness due to cost effectiveness.

He said that 41 per cent electricity in the world was being produced from coal while India was producing 64.6 per cent electricity from it but Pakistan only 2.27 per cent. He said that 95 per cent natural wealth was not being utilized, whereas not a single kg of coal was mined.

The current energy crisis was causing loss of Rs.230 billion and bringing 400,000 people jobless. Current dependable power supply hovers around 14,000MW in summer though it drops in the winter, he remarked. On the other hand power demand in 2030 would be more than 100,000 MW, he added.

He emphasized that the development of the Thar coal was the only viable long-term solution for meeting energy demands of the country. “Only Thar Coal can provide guaranteed long-term energy security to Pakistan”, he maintained. He said indigenous coal can be used, adding that coal gas power plants based on integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants would generate electricity at a cost of about Rs.7 per KWH.

He further said that coal can also be converted into coal gas above the ground in machines called surface gasifies,” Dr. Samar said, that the efficiency of the conversion of coal gas to electricity is about 40 percent. In his welcome address, Mahfooz Elahi, President ICCI said that energy was the key determinant of economic development of the country as Pakistan has been facing an unprecedented energy crisis for past few years.

He urged the government for building power plants and tapping into alternative energy resources for meeting energy demands.

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