PESHAWAR: Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (Smeda) and Fata Development Authority (FDA) have signed an agreement to conduct a feasibility study for establishing a briquetting plant for coal mines in the tribal areas.
Briquetting is a process through which coal is washed and poisonous gases removed to give the fossil fuel uniform shape and increase its burning time to up to seven hours, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s chief of Smeda, Javed Iqbal Khattak told The Express Tribune.
“If you take out poisonous gases out from the coal, it can be used in houses as an alternative to firewood, which will help preserve our dwindling forest reserves. It could also be used in electricity generating plants in the area.”
The agreement is aimed at value addition in the field of coal mining, and to help promote investment and create more employment opportunities.
Under the agreement, Smeda will conduct the feasibility study, which will begin in a month and expected to be completed within a maximum of nine months.
FDA will assist Smeda in recruiting consultants, professionals, and other employees, along with providing security and infrastructure.
Coal reserve estimates and market research will also be taken care of by FDA.
The study on reserve estimates includes identification of coal bearing areas, number of total coal mines, total coal production, labour force, prospective coal reserves and reasons for loss of coal mines.
Under the market study, Smeda will judge the response from consumers, review current prices of various fuels available in Fata and work out a competitive price.
The feasibility study will cover information regarding selection and evaluation of suitable sites for establishing such a plant.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2013.
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