| GEO Pakistan|
Incentives package for Thar coal approved: Raja
| Updated at: 2221 PST, Saturday, November 06, 2010|
KARACHI: Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf said on Saturday that the government has decided to further step up work on Thar coal project as the import of oil for power generation has become unbearable.
He was addressing a press conference along with MNA Rubina Saadat Kaimkhani after attending the 10th meeting of Thar Coal Energy Board (TCEB) at Chief Minister House. Advisor to CM Waqar Mehdi was also present on the occasion. He said Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim AliShah chaired the meeting.
He said that in oil equivalent terms, Thar coal reserves are larger than the combined oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Iran and 68 times more than Sui gas field reserves and can generate 100,000 megawatts of electricity for next 200 years.
Quoting a study presented on Thar coal in today's (Saturday's) meeting, the minister said that just 1 percent of the coal from Block II, can generate 5,000 MW of electricity for next 50 years which is 25 percent of country's total requirements.
"We will not only be able to meet our own requirements but can export the surplus electricity to neighbouring countries", Raja Pervez Ashraf said. He said Pakistan's future belonged to Thar coal.
Giving details of the decisions at the meeting, the Minister said that, he said that the Federal Ministry of Water & Power will establish dedicated wing in Ministry to exclusively deal with infrastructure development for Thar and seek international financing for it as per the decision of the Council of Common Interest.
He said the meeting decided to immediately presented TCEB Act in Sindh Assembly to evolve the organization on permanent basis and board approved to shift TCEB funding from ADP scheme to grant in aid basis.
The Board also approved the revised structure for executive arm of TCEB.
The Board approved issuance of TCB for four blocks of Thar coal and also approved issuance of Expression of Interest (EOI) for infrastructure development schemes to attract international financing.
He said the President and Prime Minister are very keen to exploit Thar coal therefore the ECC meeting has approved the incentives package for Thar coal on 15 October 2010.
Khalid Mansoor apprised the TCEB that on August 31, 2010,Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) completed the "bankable feasibility study" for a 6.5 million ton/annum coal mining project which will supply coal to fuel a 1,200 MW power plant, also to be setup by Engro Powergen limited.
Dr. Samar Mubarakmand shared the progress update on Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) project in Block V. He informed the TCEB that UCG operation has been initiated by drilling two adjacent boreholes into the coal seam and injecting pressurized oxidants like hot air into the coal seam, igniting the coal seam and recovering the combustion gases through adjacent borehole.
He said that by March next year, they will start production of gas from the field.
The Minister said that media team will be taken to Thar coal site after Eid so that the journalists can themselves see the progress there.
Replying to a question, he said that power generation from Thar coal will be environment friendly and there will be no carbon emission from the project like Germany.
He pointed out that coal gasification project will enable Pakistan to earn carbon credits.