Ensure full usage of Thar Coal

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REGARDLESS of possessing 175 billion tons of coal reserves in Tharparkar, it is really unfortunate that our country is still relying greatly on imported coal for different sectors including power generation.

Whilst this shows lack of planning and interest on the part of relevant quarters to exploit the indigenous resources, this is consuming the costly foreign exchange reserves.

As the coal prices have shot up to $400 per metric ton in the international market, the government has now finally decided to convert 3960 megawatt of electricity generation from imported coal onto local coal of Thar.

In fact, this should have been done much earlier to provide cheap electricity to both the domestic and industrial units which would also have given much needed impetus to the economy.

The fact of the matter is that Pakistan can produce enough electricity from this precious source for several decades but it is really lamentable that we so far have failed to fully utilize it.

The electricity prices would not have gone up the way we are seeing today, had we utilized it.

Anyway, it is still time for us to use the indigenous coal not only for power generation but also for production of diesel and petrol.

China has been producing diesel from coal since 2008.According to some estimates, coal to diesel is feasible at $ 50 per barrel of crude oil prices and the current Brent crude price is hovering around $ 112 per barrel.

Hence, our authorities concerned should immediately develop a feasible project for producing diesel from Thar coal.

Similarly, we can perform liquefaction and make syngas (synthesis gas) which can be utilized as a raw material for fertiliser manufacturing.

We will ask Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to give special emphasis to the utilization of this resource which has the potential to reduce the country’s reliance on expensive imported energy and raw material for fertiliser manufacturing.

This would slash the lofty import bill, help narrow down the current account deficit and accelerate economic growth.

 

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