Consortium claims $10b interest in Thar coal

Published: January 15, 2012
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Representatives of the TharPak Consortium met with government officials at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC on January 5 to introduce their consortium and announce their intention to explore and invest in the coalfields in Thar. PHOTO: FILE

Representatives of the TharPak Consortium met with government officials at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC on January 5 to introduce their consortium and announce their intention to explore and invest in the coalfields in Thar. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

A group of firms based in the United States claims to have formed a consortium that will look to raise up to $10 billion to invest in coal mining, electricity generation, and fertiliser manufacturing in the Thar desert in Sindh.

Representatives of the TharPak Consortium met with government officials at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC on January 5 to introduce their consortium and announce their intention to explore and invest in the coalfields in Thar.

The consortium’s plans for Thar sound ambitious. TharPak wants to set up a “mega energy complex” in Sindh that would mine about 100 million tons of coal per day to feed a Direct Coal-to-Liquids plant that could replace up to 80,000 barrels per day of oil imports.

In addition, the complex would include power generation capacity of up to 6,000 megawatts as well as a fertiliser manufacturing facility that would have an as yet unspecified capacity to produce urea. The consortium claims that these industrial processes will be supported by a carbon capture and storage program, and a liquefied carbon dioxide production and transportation system for sale to enhanced oil recovery projects.

“With Pakistan’s energy deficit in mind, we believe that with the combination of our deep mining and engineering expertise and the use of commercially proven clean coal combustion technologies, TharPak will deliver a solution to what is holding Pakistan back from competing on a level playing field in the global economy; dependable, abundant and affordable energy,” said Steve Carpenter, business development director for the consortium. TharPak officials seem aware of the scale of their proposal. “When fully built out, the cumulative capital investment for the lignite mining operations alone will likely exceed $10 billion,” said Hans Naumann, TharPak’s chief engineer.

Addressing some of the scepticism about the willingness of foreign investors to put up that much money in Pakistan, an official close to the development of the consortium – who asked not to be identified – said that TharPak had the credentials to make the investment.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • You Said It
    Jan 15, 2012 - 7:06AM

    Mistake above: 100 million tons of coal per day should have read 100 million tons of coal per year

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  • Vigilant
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:22AM

    Pakistan must consider this opportunity……as America is largest consumer of Coal……Their expertise & experience will help us to meet techonological constriants……..

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  • Cautious
    Jan 15, 2012 - 7:35PM

    Anyone seriously believe that investors from the USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, Korea etc are really going to invest major money in Pakistan given the current strained relations with the USA — all these recent articles indicating interest in investing in Thar Coal, hydro, steel etc. are nothing but the USA showing the “carrot” – the “stick” is going to be more subtle – it’s called no investing and no loans from anyone.

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  • Optimist
    Jan 16, 2012 - 12:17AM

    @ Cautious

    It is not carrot. These are investors and for them ‘current strained relations’ is nothing. They have been investing in China in the 80s and 90s when the US govenement strictly asked them not to.
    .
    When I was predicting billions coming to Pakistan in next two years, people like you made fun of that. I can tell you that overall investment will be well above $150 Billion.. Watch this space! Its only a matter of two years (I have attended such meetings but can’t exactly tell about everything)

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  • Imran
    Jan 17, 2012 - 8:23AM

    Dr Samar Mubarakmand is the hero of our nation. He kicked out Barrik Gold and TTC, setup Thar project. Sir you are what we all Pakistanis aim to be.

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  • Haris Farooq
    Jan 18, 2012 - 10:54AM

    I have no doubts about the energy estimates produced by the American experts, but I see another problem. Like happened in Balochistan, at this initial stage once the pros and cons of this mega mining project are not known to the public, it will go smoothly and the contract can be awarded to a foreign company, but once the media coverage will increase with mentioning the $ amount that the foreigners are going to pocket from this. We will see several opponents emerging and the final fate will be litigation and Barrick Gold & TTC episodes repeated again.
    In my view let the Pakistani firms or Dr. Mubarak do the same not Multinational Companies.

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  • Jan 19, 2012 - 4:11AM

    Dear Sir,

    Never ever trust American. their 6th Fleet is yet to reach our former East Pakistan to help Pakistan. They spoiled our beatiful country because it was in their interest. they occupied Afghanistan for the sole reason to utilise their natural resources. they entered Iraq on the false pretext solely for ensuring smooth flow of oil against Dollar which again is controlled by them. See what happened in Libya they over threw the Goovernment ceased the libyan assets , they have eaten up the oil and today are not ready to pay for it. Iran refiused to accept Dollar gor their oil thery are now after Iran. If we accept their investment it should be abolute in Pakistan interest only.

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  • JSM
    Jan 23, 2012 - 8:10PM

    US$10billion should get Pakistan a capacity of almost 10,000megawatts. Why not avail of the opprtunty.

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  • Mehmood
    Jan 31, 2012 - 11:35AM

    I fully agree with IMr. Haris Farooq comments and we should let Pakistani companues and Dr. Samar Mubarak and his team to handle this project with the less investment and more benefits to the Country. If Amercian will invest 10 Bollion on this project but at the end of the day they will be taking billions of dollars out from this country by providing the expensive electiricty to Pakistanies.. The team of Mr. Samar is equally qualified and competent and we all should be proud os them.

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