Thar Coal Project a solution to energy problem: Dr Mubarakmand


FAISALABAD – Pakistan’s nuclear scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmund has said that Pakistan’s Thar coal deposits are a blessing and Pakistan can obtain the cheapest electricity generation through coal gas to overcome its energy crisis.
He was speaking at a seminar titled “Energy Crisis in Pakistan” held at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) at East Canal Road. He said the underground coal deposits spreading over 9,600 square kilometers in Sindh were 100 times more in value than the petroleum reserves existing in oil producing countries.
He added Pakistan was the second country in the world blessed with the largest coal deposits which called for an urgent need to utilise the valuable natural resource for the generation of electricity, gas and coal diesel.
He gave a presentation on the utilisation of coal to produce coal gas that could ultimately be used for electricity generation and said the work on Thar Coal Project would start by March 2011. He remarked that the electricity generation through coal gas was the cheapest way of production that would cost Rs 3.50 to Rs 5.00 per unit that was far less than the amount paid by Pakistan to rental companies.
The secret behind the economic progress of our neighbouring countries was the utilisation of coal gas as the cheapest source of energy, he said, adding Pakistan’s commercial and industrial sectors could not afford to bear Rs 18 per unit electricity which was quite expensive. He further said Pakistani export products had already been beaten in the international markets by other competitors due to the high cost of production. He regretted a lot of useful projects in Pakistan had been left due to political wrangling, but, he said, the Thar Coal Project must go ahead in the best interest of the country. Independent sources said the coal reserves explored at Thar were sufficient for more than 100 years’ energy requirements of Pakistan.
Divisional Commissioner Syed Tahir Hussain said that unemployment was the main cause of increasing street crimes in the country and the Thar Coal Project would stop crimes by creating large-scale employment opportunities in the country.
FCCI Adhoc Management Committee Chairman Muhammad Naseer said Faisalabad was an export-oriented city which had witnessed a large-scale vertical growth of industrial units as well as Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector but, he added, it was unfortunate that both the industrial and SME sectors were sinking in the darkness owing to the worst power crisis.
He added there were at least 1.2 million workers attached to the industrial sector and the closure of business had deprived them of their jobs.
It is imperative that they must stay at work to avoid any untoward socio-economic imbalance leading to crimes, he said and added “we have to secure the industry first to save lobourers.”
He further said that 20,000 units had been closed and the industry was working at 40 to 50 percent of its total production capacity while delay in production due to power shutdowns had cost loss of millions of US dollars to exporters in terms of penalties or cancellation of orders.