Controversy deepens: Nuclear scientists at odds over Thar coal project

Published: August 27, 2012

Dr Mubarakmand and AQ Khan take divergent positions on gasification project’s viability۔ DESIGN: AMNA IQBAL

ISLAMABAD: The controversy surrounding the Thar Underground Coal Gasification Project (TUCGP) has deepened with two prominent nuclear scientists, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan and Dr Samar Mubarakmand, at odds over the project’s viability.

TUCGP has also received criticism both from the Planning Commission and a certain lobby striving to prove its viability a ‘false thought’.

While Dr Mubarakmand, who is overseeing both TUCGP and the Reko Diq project, claims Pakistan has the capacity to carry out both the projects itself, Dr AQ Khan has taken an entirely opposite stance. Terming the former’s claims false, Khan believes the country is not capable of handling the projects on its own.

In an article published in a daily a few months back, Khan indirectly attacked Mubarakmand’s claims. Here is a selection of quotes from the article:

“We all remember that we were promised 50,000MW for 500 years… There were claims that we had 185 billion tonnes of coal reserves, while reliable estimates put this figure at only three billion tonnes, and that too of low grade. That balloon burst quickly…”

“I can say with authority that we do not have experienced and qualified engineers required for handling such a massive, complex project.”

“According to statements Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman Dr Ansar Parvez made in Vienna, he claims 8,080MW could be generated by 2030. In order to achieve that, you require either twenty-nine 300MW reactors or ten 900MW reactors. A 300MW reactor costs around $1 billion and requires eight to 10 years for commissioning; a 900MW would cost proportionately more and take the same time, if not more, for commissioning.”

“PAEC has existed for more than 50 years and employs almost 20,000 people, but has not been able to make a single power reactor… This is despite the fact that the technology itself is half a century old…”

“If Pakistan tries to tackle important projects like those mentioned above on its own, they will turn into more ‘PIAs’ and ‘Pakistan Steel Mills’.

Khan is not alone in nursing doubts. PC Member Energy Shahid Sattar reportedly raised questions of TUCGP’s feasibility.

“The coal gasification pilot project run by Dr Mubarakmand has not yielded results… the gas flamed for four hours and then dropped off… the audit team that visited the site revealed no work has been done on TUCGP either,” were some of his previous comments to The Express Tribune.

Mubarakmand, meanwhile, rebutted all criticism and claimed technical work on the project had already been completed. Avoiding to make a direct reply to Dr Khan’s comments, he asked those doubting the project to visit the site and claimed the gas flame had persisted for the last four months.

“We successfully operated the project for four months and then shut it to avoid any coal wastage,” Mubarakmand maintained. He added that all technical work on Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) had been completed and they only required the infrastructure for producing gas and electricity now.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Mubarakmand’s close associates claimed Sattar sided with independent power producers and rental power projects, and did not want the coal industry to prosper.

While experts consider UCG a promising technology which is not being commercially produced anywhere in the world, some of them believe Mubarakmand should not steer the project since his area of expertise is electronics, rather than natural resources.

According to the Thar Coal Energy Board (TCEB), all the 18 holes dug up by Mubarakmand’s team were hit by water. Similarly, the eight-foot well dug earlier by a contractor was also hit by water at an early stage.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (62)

  • A J Khan
    Aug 27, 2012 - 10:49AM

    Most of our energy sector has been based on expensive and unreliable imported oil. Oil sector is extremely volatile and the ever increasing and fluctuating prices has already destroyed our industry. Hundreds of thousand people have been unemployed and there is a flight of capital and brain drain.
    Oil Lobby in Pakistan does not want that indigenous coal should be utilised for energy production. It is the only reliable way forward along side run of the river projects in energy sector.
    We must support coal based projects and move forward.

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  • Cautious
    Aug 27, 2012 - 10:51AM

    I don’t suppose anyone in Pakistan has asked the obvious question — why does anyone assume a nuclear scientist should know anything about coal mining or coal gasification? Kinda like assuming your dentist is qualified to build your home.

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  • asad
    Aug 27, 2012 - 11:10AM

    Finally something sensible coming from Dr. AQ Khan…

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  • M.Aswad Mehtab
    Aug 27, 2012 - 11:21AM

    A 300MW reactor costs around $1 billion and requires eight to 10 years for commissioning; a 900MW would cost proportionately more and take the same time, if not more, for commissioning.”

    wth…people doing miracles in days time and a 300 mw plants takes 10 years …insanse…
    or simply state we do not want to go this route …

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  • External Hand
    Aug 27, 2012 - 11:24AM

    “PAEC has existed for more than 50 years and employs almost 20,000 people, but has not been able to make a single power reactor… This is despite the fact that the technology itself is half a century old…”

    Is it any surprise? Pakistanis can only engineer their own progress when they are free of obsessing over other nations’ territories.

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  • Wellwisher
    Aug 27, 2012 - 11:32AM

    Just to mention sumer mubarak has changed his stance now again ,these days he has said the now he will produce diesel rather than Power . . .

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  • Nasir Ali
    Aug 27, 2012 - 11:35AM

    Let Dr. Mubarakmand complete his task by providing him necessary funds, then criticize.

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  • Visibly Invisible
    Aug 27, 2012 - 11:39AM

    Here is a thought, why dont these “nuclear scientists” work on generating electricity from nuclear power plant and leave mining to its respective experts. Plus i dont see why we need to burn this much coal just to produce electricity when cleaner and more efficient alternatives are available.

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  • Aug 27, 2012 - 11:39AM

    Vienna,August 27,2012
    Pakistan should support Dr.Mubaraqamand in underground coal
    gas project.That will promote science among the Pakistanis. The
    byproduct would be Pakistan society going contemporary instead
    of racing backward in human history against the global march
    towards progress defeating the mullah raj.I wish Dr.Mubarakamand
    success.He should succeed and collect the deserved Nobel Peace
    Prize no less.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • Imran Ahsan Mirza
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:02PM

    Our nation does not have self confidence. I will side with Mubarakmand on this. Living in Australia, and myself associated with several large coal powered Power Station projects as a Project Manager, I deeply respect him to lead this. Yes, it is true that the discovered coal is of far inferior quality. It is the job of Mubarakmand and his colleagues to produce and set a framework of the project with a mud map. Once he and other engineers identify to engage foreign companies, they should give them a controlled portion of work managed by him and other Pakistani engineers. Otherwise when a full turnkey project is awarded to foreign companies in Pakistan, the government functioneries, Ministers and everyone in the chain gets rich due to corrupt practices at the cost of the strategic benfit from such technology transfers. It does not generate an environment of self confidence and belief where Pakistani engineers can learn and develop their skills at much lower cost to the government and Pakistani nation. Give Mubarakmand a chance and forget about the traitor, who sold the design to Korea and Libya. In his own words ‘no one from Bhopal was ever a traitor’ until now.

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  • Falcon
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:04PM

    Keeping aside political wrangling, I think the issue has been highlighted by some other scientists as well (such as Dr. Farid Malik – who has deep expertise in this area and is PTI’s spokesperson for technology). It seems that with the best of intentions, Dr. Samar Mubarak is trying to experiment with a technology of under land coal gasification that has not been commercialized yet and limited experiments have been conducted worldwide to prove its viability on large scale. Taking into consideration the timing and capital constraints we have, it might be a better idea to re-evaluate the strategy (may be moving to less environmentally costly extraction process?). However, we have limited choices available since renewal energy is not scalable and hydel energy projects have high political & investment costs (based on our experience so far) and continuing to rely heavily on furnace oil based energy will be an economic suicide.

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  • Muhammad Khan
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:15PM

    As a chemical engineer myself, I fully understand that importance of distinguishing between the different branches of engineering and science, let alone people whose expertise lies in very specific things. Both our nuclear scientists have their expertise nuclear technology (more so nuclear weapons) and asking them to lead Thar Coal is tantamount to asking an Investment Bank Director to run a large consumer goods company. The government should stop trying to placate the public by appointing ‘heros’ for handling projects they aren’t supposed to and appoint people who have expertise and vast experience in the energy sector, more so in coal technology.

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  • Sophist
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:25PM

    What is the aim of this article, to politicize this issue ??. It is very normal that in a huge projects like this experts have different point of view.

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  • Sophist
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:26PM

    @asad
    and you think you are the one to judge when it is not sensible ??

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  • I.Ahmed
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:27PM

    After being in agreement with the invention of ‘HHO’ car wonder how can anyone take these two gentlemen seriously on any project related to science particularly energy!!!!

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  • SSPanzer
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:28PM

    PAEC began work on Pakistan’s first indigenous heavy water nuclear reactor for production of weapon-grade plutonium at Khushab in 1986. This 50 MW reactor was completed using Pakistan manpower and materials and was commissioned in 1998. Since then, PAEC has built two additional reactors at Khushab and is completing a fourth.It also mastered the nuclear fuel cycle (from uranium mining, refining, conversion, fuel fabrication to reprocessing) during the 1970s and 80s and made indigenous fuel for KANUPP when Canada cut off supplies in 1976.

    PAEC also built the weapons design, development and testing infrastructure, trained thousands of scientists and engineers at CNS/PIEAS and is working on a third power reactor at Chashma. Even India, with a much larger industrial base and resources could not complete a half completed power reactor RAPS-2 when the Canadians cut off supplies after its 1974 test. Even China is dependent on French and American reactor manufacturers for latest power reactors such as Avera and Westinghouse. South Korea also took almost a decade to make its own power reactor after several imported power reactors were set up with complete transfer of technology.

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:43PM

    “Where there is will, there is always a way”. Wasn’t this true for the nuclear program. I don’t know why Dr. AQ Khan forgot these words of wisdom. While he didn’t rejected the ‘Water Kit’ on the basis of possibility, it is strange he is not giving this benefit to Dr. Samar. Is this some kind of professional jealousy? By the way, why this 3 months old issue is again in the ET’s headlines?

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:47PM

    Would Indians listen and follow what Pakistanis say is good for them. I guess I made my point,so no further explanation needed.

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 27, 2012 - 1:01PM

    @Cautious:

    “I don’t suppose anyone in Pakistan has asked the obvious question — why does anyone assume a nuclear scientist should know anything about coal mining or coal gasification? Kinda like assuming your dentist is qualified to build your home.”

    I guess you’ve heard the word “Project Manager”, a person having certain skill sets to successfully complete a project. All the large scale projects need expertise from perhaps more than 100 distinct disciplines. Do you think the Project Manager would alone be an expert of all these areas starting from accounts to exploration, drilling to gasification, powerhouse design to transmission, and the engineering disciplines of electrical, electronics, mechanical, geotechnical, and structural engineering etc. It has more to with the leadership and visionary qualities of a person than the expertise in a single technical field.

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  • Raza Khan
    Aug 27, 2012 - 1:14PM

    Both endorsed that cars can run on water! I do not take them seriously.

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  • Vinayak
    Aug 27, 2012 - 1:31PM

    Why are these people still considering energy from coal, when a ‘brilliant engineer’ has discovered how to turn water into energy. I wonder why that guy is no longer in the news.

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  • Expatriate
    Aug 27, 2012 - 1:37PM

    Please spare the immensely exploited and near failed state from further financial losses.Try your luck with untested technology in some other country.

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  • A Pakistani
    Aug 27, 2012 - 1:40PM

    I would like to point out that both these gentlemen were taken in by the “water car” fraud – which violated one of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. They do not seem to have the knowledge of a sophomore college student

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/416542/the-water-car-fraud/
    Pakistan’s most celebrated scientists were not far behind. Asked by Anchor Sharif whether a car could run only on water, nuclear hero Dr Samar Mubarakmand replied without hesitation: “jee haan, bilkul ho sakta hai” (yes, absolutely possible). For his part, Hamid Mir asked Dr AQ Khan if there was any chance of this being a fraud. The response was clear: “Main nay apnay level per investigate kiya hai aur koi fraud waraud nahi kiya hai” (I have investigated the matter and there is no fraud involved).

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  • Saad Siddiqui
    Aug 27, 2012 - 2:02PM

    AQKHan is the person who has professional issues with Mubarakmand, he has never appreciated the contributions made by others, he always takes all the credit for himself, and he thinks that without him nothing is possible

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Aug 27, 2012 - 2:06PM

    Is A Q Khan even qualified in basic science?

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  • Aug 27, 2012 - 2:22PM

    @Cautious:
    Dr.Samar basically is a Physicist (Physics Scincetist), which is one of the major component of neuclear technology too. Coal Gasification is a type of Energy Conversion from one type to another, and falls within his specialisation. Recent example is claim by another engineer to power a car with water – converting hydro-power to mechanical power. Dr. Smar and Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman, both Physicists were invited to verify the claims. (Their findings is a separate story).

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  • wahab
    Aug 27, 2012 - 2:24PM

    As a Geotechnical engineer I am surprised why someone with expertise in electronics is heading this project? This is pure Civil engineering work (Geotechnical engineer to be exact) and as we dont have many trained geotech engineers in Pak, we have to call international companies and ask them to design it for us. Once feasibilty and design work is done, then we can see if our engineers are capable of executing the contractor’s work

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  • Lancelot
    Aug 27, 2012 - 3:21PM

    Hmmm….who to believe? Both claimed the viability of water car…

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  • Neutral
    Aug 27, 2012 - 3:23PM

    Dear All…while Dr A Q Khan has not disputed the importance of coal based project, his only contention is that, it shud be handled by experience company in the field alongwith with our own team, since this kind of project is new to us.Meanwhile, Dr Samar is claiming success already without any technical audit from an independent agency experience in such field…that is the difference between the two.In both case we shud pray for its success as both are sincere,hardworking & honest assests of our country….Recommend

  • hamid
    Aug 27, 2012 - 3:39PM

    Dr Aq khan statements are sometimes bitter but he is right most of the times and in this case he is absolutely right… but in my opinion coal to liquid i.e. coal diesel should be made..and for that we should ask the help of South Africa and China.We must take the services of Dr AQ khan becuase he is a realist and good executioner.Dr Samar comes very early to the conclusion ..but atleast he should understand that producing Gold from Reko Diq and producing coal Gas from Thar Coal is not a laboratory experiment, even a mechanic can make a car but brands that are producing cars like toyota, benz, Nissan etc have state of the art technologies that are commercially viable and people will buy these cars only, not the one that is made by a mechanic.

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  • Khalq e Khuda
    Aug 27, 2012 - 3:41PM

    Samar Mubarakmand might have done great of the country but after his stance on water powered car project I think he has clearly lost his marbles. Hire someone else, or the Thar coal would remain buried forever.

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  • Ali
    Aug 27, 2012 - 4:00PM

    Dr AQ Khan is not a Nuclear scientist but a Metallurgist. Please correct the article.

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  • SaneVoice
    Aug 27, 2012 - 4:00PM

    I doubt the credibility of both scientists in the Water Car and I doubt Mr. Khan more for his statement about Bhopal and Qadyanis. I would like the opinion of Mr. Atta or Hoodbhai for in this matter.

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  • kanwal
    Aug 27, 2012 - 4:51PM

    When you want to destroy a country, just do one thing: put incapable and incompetent people in places of long-term planning. The rhttp://tribune.com.pk/application/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=moderated&paged=2#comments-formest will happen automatically. Sokmebody save the Thar coal as its Pakistan’s treasure. God help us. Recommend

  • hamid
    Aug 27, 2012 - 5:22PM

    @ sanevoice…dear brother bhopal is known for Barelvi and deobandi muslims and not for Qadyanis.Though Qadyanis are there but they have a very scant population, any way in my Opinion even somebody is non muslim , no muslim is allowed to call an innocent non muslim under any circumstance.
    Dr Aq Khan meant that muslims of bhopal even they might be shia and suunis , they live peacefully and there is not a single incident in whick there has been a sectarian violence. So, what is wrong with this statement ? he meant that muslims of pakistan should unite like them and peacefully coexist .Islam is for peace and brotherhood not for violence against weaker side if they have not done anything to harm a muslim.

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  • joy
    Aug 27, 2012 - 6:11PM

    Dr A.Q.Khan forgot to mention Soorma Bhopali ( remember sholay) :)

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  • Topak Khan
    Aug 27, 2012 - 6:15PM

    He shut down the well to avoid wastage of coal? wow and we still believe this man? since when does a test flame need to be put off because it waste negligible amount of coal

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  • Aslam
    Aug 27, 2012 - 6:39PM

    If India is producing electricity through coal projects then why not Pakistan. All technical brain should be invited and visit the site and then give their recommendations and solve out the problem instead of slamming and writing articles.

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  • mohammed ali jawaid
    Aug 27, 2012 - 6:40PM

    lobbies infected with vested interests are not allowing coal to be considered by Pakistan as an alternate energy for ages, and they never will. it certainly is viable option and it is wrong to suggest that its not proven viable world wide @falcon. First time it is done by South Africa in their days under sanctions and now the coal gasification is initiated by China also. South Africa is even producing crude oil from coal and several chemicals as its by product. Dr. Samar may be given a chance to prove his project, is there any harm? nobody objects about country’s spending of more than a billion dollars on politically motivated feasibility of notorious Kala Bagh Dam but objections are abound on coal project! billions of rupees are subjected to corruption but the funds are blocked for this project? self reliance is the only answer to our economic woes if we want to survive as a nation. cheapest is the nuclear energy, but foreigners have problems with it. Dams we can’t build as donors have problems, solar energy we can’t obtain because it is cheap. so the option we are told are the IPPs and RPPs. after spending so much on Bhasha Dam it ran into snags why? because hydel power is another cheap option!! people should now know is happening to us and why?

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  • Sir King Kong Bunty
    Aug 27, 2012 - 7:31PM

    Why does Pakistan need coal or nuclear now? Just feed the water to the “water car kit” and couple it to generators to produce electricity. Simples!

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  • Mirza
    Aug 27, 2012 - 7:40PM

    There egos for sure are bigger than the coal deposits. BTW, why do we need coal or oil, we could use water instead!

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  • nay sayer
    Aug 27, 2012 - 8:58PM

    gr8 topic … ppl at same loggerhead like in KALABAGH topic once few years ago …. juz start the project … take out gas if u can … otherwise tay in darkness and on the wishes of OIL LOBBY

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  • Fahad Zia
    Aug 27, 2012 - 9:02PM

    Qadeer khan has lost it.. People spotted it with Agha Waqar.. He was a nuclear scientist for god’s sake.. it should be in his blood to respond no to anything thats against law of conservation of energy but he did’nt.. Recommend

  • sid
    Aug 27, 2012 - 9:35PM

    @Aslam:
    The coal at thar is wet coal……………india produces electricity by burning coal not gastification……….

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 27, 2012 - 9:54PM

    @wahab:

    “This is pure Civil engineering work (Geotechnical engineer to be exact) and as we dont have many trained geotech engineers in Pak, we have to call international companies and ask them to design it for us.”

    I am amazed by your claim that we don’t have trained geotech engineers. Being yourself a geotechnical engineer you must have heard the name of NESPAK and many other engineering consultants of Pakistan who have dozens of highly skilled geotechnical engineers. Even if they do not have an expert of a very specialized field, they can always hire the required person or collaborate with a suitable foreign consultant. Moreover, your assertion that it is only a geotechnical job is also not true. In the exploration phase geotech may be more pertinent but later on it would be only as important as any other dozens of engineering discipline involved in this project. Any person capable of handling a large complex technical project like Dr. Samar could be the Project Manager irrespective of his own engineering expertise.

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  • Ali Syedain
    Aug 27, 2012 - 11:05PM

    I am sure many more experts will be required to validate Dr Samarkand’s experiment. The project would then require financing. This project would then require financing of more than USD 1 billion for the first phase alone (assuming a project of at least 300 MW). Where would that come from. Surely any bank financing or Asian Development financing will not come through as this is not a technology proven in other plants. So the government will have to put in the whole USD 1 billion. That is as much as the government will have to put in for the USD 12 billion Kalabagh dam or what it would have to put in for constructing another Tarbela dam today. The last two are rated at 4,000 MW as against the 300 MW Thar project. Makes sense?

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  • Moosa Khan
    Aug 28, 2012 - 12:00AM

    Here goes another Kalabagh Dam style controversy. Just do something to at least create some jobs. First, Get In. Take example of Kemal Pasha to accomplish the road network in Karachi despite of many negative comments. Think positive. Follow examples instead of doing sitcoms.

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  • Truth Detector
    Aug 28, 2012 - 12:10AM

    I support Dr. Mubarakmand. Dr AQ Khan has become very biased and bitter individual whose assertions don’t carry much meaning any more. Though, I respect his contribution to Pakistan’s nucleus program. Dr AQ Khan was found publishing plagiarized article in recent years, what credibility does this guy has anymore?

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  • Abdul Rasheed
    Aug 28, 2012 - 1:20AM

    The headline is Deceptive. Scientists are only at odds over thar coal gasification of dr mubarak. There are no doubts about power generation potential of thar coal through conventional coal based mine mouth (at site) thermal power generation.

    Power plant cost will not be more than 1.5-2.0mn dollars per mw at max with a 1000 mw project costing no more than 1.5-2.0 billion dollar. 1000 mw thar coal power plant will save upto 2bn dollars in annual imports (payback investment in project in one year) and will reduce fiscal deficit by upto 100 billion per year. Develop 5000 mw power plant and Pakistan may have current account surplus, increasing PKR and sufficient funds to double development budget of the government.

    Being realistic thar coal may require at least 7-10 years to materialize. In the meantime, around 4000 mw of existing furnace oil based pips must be converted to imported coal. This will require 1/3 rd investment and only 2 years time. Also we must setup coal power plants on imported coal which has declined by 30% plus in price in the last 6 months.

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  • Irtaza M. Awan
    Aug 28, 2012 - 7:32AM

    Dr. Samar is a weapons expert (remember Hatf, Shaheen, Ghauri). He has no expertise in minerals or coal. He has no expertise in power generation. Our Nation makes heros and worships them and makes them sort of demi-Gods who are capable of any achieving any feat that there is in the World. Our slogans of “Patriotism” will land both Thar Coal and Riko Diq in dump! We do not have expertise in large scale mining. And combined that with our Governmental inefficiency and bureaucracy will result in both projects being run like “Pak-Steel.” Just last month NY-Times carried a story of Mineral boom in Mongolia and how a Canadian company has spent over US$ 4 billion in developing a large Copper and Gold project in Mongolia for the last four years and the production is not slated to start before another two years! Guys this is the kind of investment in monetary terms alone that is required to undertake such projects not to mention the technical expertise and large scale mobilization of resources both men and equipment that we simply do not have. So my point is as far as Riko Diq is concerned, we have to give benefits to overseas people with expertise and money to come and develop this for us and in the meanwhile the 25% we get (without a single rupee of investment) along with taxes, employment, royalties and import duties the project will create is more than good terms for us. But our beloved Supreme Court and national-slogan chanting Mr. Samar believes they can do all this with a zero technological base, in-efficient bureaucracy and a bankrupt state! Lets remember one thig, Mr. Samar has never been audited for the billions he has spent during his time in weapons program. he is used to a free hand and unlimited resources.

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  • Uzair Javaid
    Aug 28, 2012 - 9:13AM

    Dr. AQ Khan has something going on with Dr. SamarMubarakmand since a long time now. Its either a clash of competence or ego, though I respect both. Recently Dr.AQ Khan has been giving his views without giving anything a basic background check like when he supported that clown, self-proclaimed engineer Agha Waqar. Dr.Mubarakmand is a very competent person and should produce results and invite a congress of scientists from across the world to endorse the project.Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist
    Aug 28, 2012 - 9:54AM

    Dr A Q Khan is right.

    There is no need for coal projects.

    You can generate electricity from water.

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  • Jibran
    Aug 28, 2012 - 11:08AM

    @Uzair Javaid:
    First, Samar Mubarakmand was not far behind AQ Khan in praising Agha Waqar.

    Second, regarding your comment about the conflict between the two scientists [quacks] “Its either a clash of competence or ego. It seems like it is more of the clash of incompetencies.

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  • Jibran
    Aug 28, 2012 - 11:23AM

    “We successfully operated the project for four months and then shut it to avoid any coal wastage,” Mubarakmand maintained.

    You told us earlier that the reserves will last for 500 years and will fulfill all of our energy needs. Please come up with a better excuse if you really want to lie. Don’t sell us Agha Waqar like arguments. We will worry about the energy needs of the 500th year then. Prove the soundness of your project now, before wasting national resources on something worthless.

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  • MastMaula
    Aug 28, 2012 - 11:57AM

    Let Pakistan Army do it. LoL

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  • JS
    Aug 28, 2012 - 12:17PM

    Dr. Mubarakmand is the same man who endorsed the WATER CAR!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • claude
    Aug 28, 2012 - 2:19PM

    Scientists known for defence, redirecting their effort is a welcome change. There is a long way to go in making S. Asia energy independent. R&D investment in coal energy is absolutely required for both India and Pakistan. Instead of importing australian coal, India has scientists and ressources in taking out suphur and ash from fluidized coal as well as CO2 embedding in coal seams.

    It may be the break in technology, as well as political, Indo-pak collaboration. There seem to be many pakistani engineers on this site working in coal mining and oter realted technology. Me and my firm work on technology improvement by CFD modelling. We have worked in past on CO2 super-critical transport and fluidized combustion. Will be happy to contribute if some kind of groupuscule of Indo-pakistan emerges from tjhis discussion. If any +response, I’ll give my email and phone. Let us put our heads together.

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  • vasan
    Aug 28, 2012 - 5:18PM

    AQ Khan with his support for water car and Mubarakmand with his quote “shut it down to save coal”. Good jokes.Recommend

  • Aug 28, 2012 - 10:55PM

    One is (nuclear?) metallurgist and the other is electronics engineer. Are there no geologists or chemical/propulsion engineers in Pakistan to look after these coal fields?

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  • Observer
    Aug 29, 2012 - 9:41AM

    @Lala Gee:

    ““Where there is will, there is always a way”. Wasn’t this true for the nuclear program. I don’t know why Dr. AQ Khan forgot these words of wisdom. “

    Yes that was true of the nuke program if you mean there was the will to steal enrichment technology from the Dutch and get China to supply the nuke bomb design. A. Q. Khan has the wisdom and memory to remember that is what happened- or that is what he did.

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  • trrao
    Sep 1, 2012 - 9:52AM

    @Cautious:

    I wish to add, “What does an electronic engineer knows about the basic research and technology of Coal gassification that too low grade coal deposits” which no one found financially viable else where?

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  • trrao
    Sep 1, 2012 - 11:08AM

    @Aslam:

    Thar Coal deposits are really a kind of peat which can not be mined and used to fire thermal plants like in India. So, one has to burn them underground with limited oxygen to generate gas which can be burnt.

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