Planning Commission’s Member Science and Technology Dr Samar Mubarakmand on Tuesday informed the National Assembly’s Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources that the first test burn of the underground coal gasification (UCG) at Thar was likely to be conducted in September.
The committee, which met here under the chairmanship of Sardar Talib Hussain Nakai, was told that the UCG project would cost $115.6 million and generate 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
Mubarakmand said that $9.22 million had been released so far for the project, adding that $8.1 million was allocated under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2011-12.
“The current energy crisis is causing a loss of Rs230 billion every year with the loss of 400,000 jobs,” he said.
He said that the Thar coal project could play a pivotal role in ending the energy crisis in short and long terms.
He said that Thar lignite coal reserves were 175 billion tons and were spread over 9,600 square-kilometres.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2011.