Concern over underutilization of Thar coal


Karachi: United Business Group (UBG) of the FPCCI on Sunday expressed serious concern over underuse of Thar coal terming it contrary to the national interests.

The world has 890 billion tonnes of known coal reserves out of which 175 billion tonnes are in Pakistan which has more energy than the energy of Saudi Arabia and Iran put together but it is not being used, it said.

Thar coal can not only fulfil all the energy requirements of Pakistan for decades but it can also help country earn hefty foreign exchange through export of coal or electricity, said Rauf Alam, Chairman North Zone UBG.

Speaking to the business community, he said that Thar coal was discovered in 1992 but so far it is not being used to generate electricity or other industrial purpose which is amazing.

He said that it is highly discouraging that Thar coal is not available in the market leaving heavy industrial sector to import coal from Indonesia, South Africa and Australia.

Rauf Alam, who is also presidential candidate for presidency of FPCCI said that 43 percent of the global electricity is being produced through coal, 68 percent of India power is because of coal, china is producing its 79 percent electricity through coal while South Africa is satisfying 93 percent of electricity demand though it.

However, Pakistan is producing 0.1 percent of electricity through coal which indicates that there is something wrong with the power policy.

Pakistan is facing a shortfall of two billion cubic meters of gas and a gap of six to seven thousands megawatts of electricity but coal is not used while imported fuel is used to fulfil 36 percent of the energy needs.

Using imported fuel has compromised growth while LNG is costly therefore coal must be preferred, he demanded.