Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that the underground coal gasification project in Thar is the first experiment in Pakistan to produce energy at cheaper rates.
During a visit to the Thar coal area on Friday, Shah said: “The world is watching the programme which will help the country meet its power needs.”
He added that the first experiment for producing 50 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the gasification plant was planned for March this year, but it was deferred due to the earthquake in Japan from where compressors had to be imported. He said he was optimistic that by May 15, the plant would start producing five megawatts of energy through gasification, adding that power generation would gradually be increased to 50MW.
According to Shah, the gasification of coal was the first experiment of its kind in Asia under nuclear scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand. He informed that tenders for four blocks of Thar coal had been issued and local and foreign companies would be invited to bid for the projects.
Later, Shah accompanied by provincial ministers, senators and other officials working in Thar visited Block-V of the Thar coal project in village Banbhro Bheel. He also visited a gasification plant, which produces gas from coal.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2011.