International Coal Conference: Gilani believes Thar can solve energy crisis

Published: October 23, 2011
Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani giving away shields to foreign participants of International Coal Conference in Karachi. PHOTO: NNI

Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani giving away shields to foreign participants of International Coal Conference in Karachi. PHOTO: NNI


Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Saturday vowed to solve Pakistan’s energy crisis through full exploitation of the Thar coal reserves.

The PM was addressing the International Coal Conference 2011, which was organized by the Sindh Government and attended by international investors and industrialists.

Gilani traced the history of the Thar coalfield back to its inauguration by Benazir Bhutto in 1993. The plan to extract coal was shelved by the subsequent government, but Gilani said the current PPP-led government was finally transforming Bhutto’s vision into reality.

With full utilisation of the coal reserves, 100,000 MW could be produced over the next 300 years, the PM claimed. He even looked forward to a future in which surplus electricity could be exported.

The PM said various institutions have been joined under the umbrella of the Thar Coal Board Energy Board, led by the Sindh chief minister, and are working together to maximise coal resources in Thar which have been estimated at 175 billion tons. He added that the government would encourage foreign investment in the project.

Gilani also mentioned the Diamer-Bhasha Dam, which will generate over 4500 MW electricity after completion. This was another example of using indigenous sources of power generation – a necessary process in order to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and thus eliminating the menace of circular debt, according to the PM.

Gilani called for a balanced energy mix, gradually increasing coal-based power generation and bringing it at a par with the world average of 40% coal-based power generation.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Organization of Pure Profit
    Oct 23, 2011 - 10:34AM

    Coal and Water, when you see them, you think, it’s just Coal and Water, but when you think of how much we have, i.e. the quantity, you think “Oh Nice! I like it very very much!”. You then think who is going to invest in it, and who’ll make proper use of these resources. You think, It’s probably the NEXT generation of individuals who are right now in their 20’s and 15’s.

    So this goes out to the Future Gen, is there any RICH Pakistani Entrepreneur among You? Is there any Scientific minded expert who can design the excavation and conversion into energy? Is there any Politician who’ll enable Teams of Entrepreneurs and the Scientists/Engineers to work for the benefit of a 180 Million + population of hot Pakistani men and women?

    The answer is YOU. YOU will MAKE IT HAPPEN. The LR benefits outweigh the SR cost!


  • Oct 23, 2011 - 12:51PM

    what do you exactly want me to do?


  • Oct 23, 2011 - 1:14PM

    who were the foreign participants, where from? People should also be taken in to confidence to clap.


  • Mohid
    Oct 23, 2011 - 5:06PM

    Wake up people. Kalabagh Dam is there and it can solve much of energy crisis.


  • Cautious
    Oct 23, 2011 - 7:21PM

    The Thar Coalfield is under a layer of water which is 40-90 meters deep – this makes the cost of extraction soar which is why underground coal gasification is usually discussed when the subject of Thar Coal is brought up. Unfortunately to my knowledge there is no production facility operating which generates electricity using this technology – the Australians were considered on the cutting edge and they closed down there test projects. As such Thar Coal remains a theoretical project and is unlikely to be of any significant benefit to Pakistan for for a long time – maybe never.


  • Ammad
    Oct 23, 2011 - 8:05PM


    Most of what you write is acquired from popular media (who really don’t know jack). I myself am no expert of mining, but having attended the conference and analyzed some of the data and geology, it seems conventional methods are very feasible on most of the blocks.

    The underground gasification project however, is probably more experimental than practical at this stage.


  • antanu g
    Oct 23, 2011 - 11:20PM

    please mr.gilani…proceed it may also solve acute power shortage in for we indians also.we are facing more crisis than pak and welcome import of electricity to india


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:31AM

    Pakistan must explore to generate electricity from Thar Coal so that short-fall of electricity should be curtailed.

    In the present scenario, neither the country has enough electricity or the gas supply due to which right from a common man up to industrialists are suffering a lot.

    The government must pursue the Thar Coal Project very closely so that enough electricity should be generated to cater the needs of growing population.

    Once Pakistan will start generating the electricity, the tariff of power companies will also fall down which will relief overly burdened common man.


  • Adeel759
    Oct 24, 2011 - 9:11AM

    listening this sloganeering, why cant one govt, finally take it too next level. Every givt cones and tells us how much codsall abs gas reserves we have bla bla bla but country and its industry if dying, I wonder all of our politician wants to end up like qaddafi, he was one qaddafi, wegot hundreds of small qaddafis . Work it out for people before people go crazy.Recommend

  • Nov 4, 2011 - 11:43AM

    @ Cautious
    You should visit the website, and download the presentations. You will get a clear idea from there. Just click on Link “International Coal Conference”. We published openly in leading news papers for registration. and I am much sure Mr. Ammad sent his registration form. It was open registration with No FEE, and first come first get basis.
    You may visit Sindh Coal website also.


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