Thar coal project to be operational in late 2013

Published: September 27, 2011
Thar contains 175 billion ton reserves of coal, out of which 1000 megawatts (MW) electric power may be generated for the next 30 years. PHOTO: FILE

Thar contains 175 billion ton reserves of coal, out of which 1000 megawatts (MW) electric power may be generated for the next 30 years. PHOTO: FILE


Member of the Science and Technology Planning Commission Dr Samar Mubarakmand on Monday said that the Thar coal project will become operational in December 2013 and will bring prosperity into the country.   

Talking to a news channel, he further said that at least $115 billion is required to materialise this project. He added that Thar contains 175 billion ton reserves of coal, out of which 1000 megawatts (MW) electric power may be generated for the next 30 years.

“Pakistan has enough coal reserves that can provide electricity to the country for more than 500 years,” he said.

He said that development work was in progress and the first 50 MW gasified project had almost been completed. He said that the project was to cost Rs8.99 billion with a foreign exchange component of Rs5.85 billion that was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council last year.

To another question, Dr Mubarakmand said that the success of the Thar coal project would lead to investment from leading international companies. He said that several foreign companies wanted to participate in the project and had shown interest.

He said that these companies are just waiting for the results of the maiden 50 MW pilot project, adding that if the pilot project was successful, a barrage of investment would automatically follow. He said that the coal in Thar mines could not be extricated but used to manufacture electric power, diesel and fertiliser.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2011.


Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (7)

  • Khalid Ahmed
    Sep 27, 2011 - 2:32AM

    1000MW for 30 years? How is this going to bring ‘prosperity’ when Pakistan usually faces electricity shortage of about 4000-5000MW most of the year?


  • Sheikh Ali Tariq
    Sep 27, 2011 - 12:56PM

    Please note that there is numerical error in this blog. It can not be $115 billion. It must be $115 million. And secondly 1000 MW for 30 years is in contradiction with electricity for 500 years as reported here.

    I read ET regularly because of their transparent coverage though these mistakes reduce credibility.

    The solution is that for reports involving numbers a third person should verify and vet the data. This procedure is followed at leading financial institutions of the country as well.


  • Khalid Ahmed
    Sep 27, 2011 - 11:21PM

    @Sheikh Ali Tariq

    If I understand correctly, “electricity for 500 years” is the total potential that Mr. Mubarakmand has been talking often. Whereas “1000MW for 30 years” is what Pakistan is planning to produce.

    And I wonder why. Just today it has been reported that the electricity shortage has reached 6500MW, the highest in Pakistani history:


  • Santosh
    Sep 28, 2011 - 1:32AM

    Why is Pak using coal-gasification at all? The technology is detrimental to the environment, particularly in its affect on ground water. It is also a needlessly complex technology. It is suitable only when fuel needs to be distributed to various consumption points, like in gas for industrial/utility use. For power generation, most countries use the simpler and cheaper boilers to burn the coal, and capture the soot and ash to prevent pollution. If Pak is really facing such a crisis, why pursue technology that takes years to materialize for just a 50MW pilot plant. Comparatively, India and China have been building 1000MW thermal power plants in less time.Recommend

  • M.A.S
    Sep 28, 2011 - 1:37AM

    big big numerical errors in this article what friend has already pointed out.
    secondly the current project can produce 1k mv electricity for 30 years. hmmm not good figure at all


  • Cautious
    Sep 28, 2011 - 2:10AM

    Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Dawn reports that Australia and USA have closed down their UCG projects and the neither China or Uzbeks are generating electricity with their UCG projects. You may end up spending 115 million – get zero electricity and end up polluting your underground water table.


  • Observer
    Sep 28, 2011 - 5:32AM


    I agree that it makes no sense to build a gasification plant if electricity is the need of the country.

    Realistically, the Pakistani establishment has been playing a game with Thar-coal fired thermal plants. They have no intention of building these plants in numbers to help the electricity shortage. The reason is that they feel once the electricity needs are thus met by coal, they can’t use power shortage as the excuse to demand nuclear power plants. They want the nuke plants to help them make more bombs and not electricity.

    In summary, the Pak establishment is more concerned about nuke bombs and the dream of being a preeminent Islamic power than help the economy grow.

    That is also the reason, they are not really serious about wanter conservation or building more hydroelectric plants.


More in Business