The GSP has discovered over 175 billion tons of Ignite coal in Thar desert in 1992. The development of Thar coal reserves has been included in the priority list of projects which are likely to be launched during the current financial year. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan has underlined the need for expediting Thar Coal Gasification by removing the bottlenecks and holding regular review of the progress. While talking to Chairman Board of Governors of Thar Coal Gasification Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, the President assured the difficulties in the way of the utilization of Thar Coal would be removed to accomplish the task within stipulated time. The project “Creation of New Processing Facilities for handling and purification of Coal Gas (HPCG) produced by underground coal gasification” was approved in the CDWP meeting held on April 30, 2009. The aim of the project was to create new processing facility for handling and purification of coal gas by underground coal gasification in Tharparkar.
Underground Coal Gasification
In this connection after a series of meetings between Dr. Samar Mubarakmand , Member, Science & Technology , Planning commission and Dr. imran Khan, Director General, geological Survey Of Pakistan to carry out drilling project of “Underground Coal Gasification”(UCG) at Thar, Sindh, the agreement was signed on June 23, 2010 with the approval of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. As per agreement, GSP has deployed two of its rigs along with drilling engineers and trained staff for the Project. Dr. Imran , Director General also visited the Thar Coal field in Decmber 2010 and further motivated the GSP crew this great national cause. All costs involved for the execution of the project were carried out under PSDP funded project at Thar Parker. As per the agreement, total holes will be drilled per gasifier containing 16 coring drill holes for gasification of 18 inches diameter and 4 drill holes for water drainage
Availability Of Proven Technology For Coal Gasification
For energy starved Pakistan, Thar Coal play a vital role in overcoming the energy crisis, both in long and short-term. Thar Lignite Coal reserves, spreads over 9,600 square – kilometres, are 175 billion tonnes with power generation potential of 100, 000 MW consuming 536 million tonnes a year. So the development of the Thar Coal is the only viable long-term solution for meeting energy demands of the country. The way out of the present dismal scenario is to convert the existing power generation units from oil to coal gas , which is produced through surface coal gasification plants. Proven technology is available for coal gasification and several thousand megawatts energy is being derived in Russia, Central Asian States, Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China, and Southern Africa from underground coal gasification (UCG). At a recently held meeting of Thar Coal Energy Board, Dr. Samad Mubarakmand shared the progress on UCG project in Thar BLOCK V and stated that by March , 2011, Production of gas from the field would start. Gasification, infact maybe one of the best ways to produce clean burning methane for tomorrow’s automobiles and power-generating fuel cells. Once successfully experienced, the scope of the project could be broadened to cover coal deposits in Punjab, KPK, Balochistan, FATA, GB and AJK.