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ISLAMABAD: Thar Coal to generate 100MW electricity from next year

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By Hanif Khalid (The News Report)

The nation is likely to hear a historic good news before June next year. Pakistani will start getting electricity from Thar Coal for the first time in the history by the end of the current financial year 2012-2013, disclosed Dr Shabbir, the Managing Director of Planning Division’s Thar Coal Power Project, while talking to this correspondent.

 This electricity will be generated by using gas produced by Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), MD further stated.

For this revolution, the remaining amount of Rs900 million must be released by the Government of Pakistan in the beginning of second quarter of fiscal year 2012-2013. Ministry of Finance has released the first installment of Rs900 million on 27th August, 2012. This amount was allocated for the financial year 2011-2012. Due to the stubborn attitude of former Federal Secretary Planning, the amount of Rs900 million could not be released till the end of last financial year.

As announced by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in the presence of renowned nuclear scientist and the chairman of the government owned Thar Coal Power Project, there would be no scarcity of funds for this premium project of the nation. With Rs1, 800 million, the power produced will be 8 megawatts. For the generation of 100 megawatts, the amount required is around 9 billion Rupees. This amount must be released as per present schedule of PC-I within three consecutive years.

The delay in the releases will result in delay of project and increase in installation cost. It is also learnt that it will take about three years starting from the release of funds to complete the 100 megawatts power generation project. Experts are of the opinion that Rs9 billion is much less as compared to the cost for the conventional fuel power plants. For the establishment of 100 megawatt diesel/furnace oil based power generation plants it will need Rs13-15 billion for installation only.

The conventional plants will require billions of rupees annually for the import of fuel such as furnace oil/diesel oil. This is a misconception that the Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) has a gas fire for 18 wells only. In fact there are 36 wells ready to be fired and produce SYN Gas for the generation of electric power or conversion to diesel.

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