Muzaffar Ali

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 – Lahore—Provincial Minister for Mines and Minerals Sher Ali Khan has said that coal is the best solution for resolving energy crisis and Punjab government will complete 300MW coal power project at Salt Range by 2018. He said that there were 600 million tons reservoirs of coal at Salt Range and there is need to adopt clean coal technology to protect environment from negative effects of producing energy. He was addressing a seminar on “Role of Indigenous Coal in Solving Energy Crisis” organized by Centre for Coal Technology at Al Raazi Hall here on Monday. PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran, Director Centre for Coal Technology Prof Dr Shahid Munir, MPAs Dr Farzana Nazir, Ghazala, faculty members and a large number of students were present on the occasion.

Addressing the seminar, Mr Sher Ali said that mining was a difficult task and Punjab government was benefiting from expertise of Chinese companies. He stressed the need to conserve energy, saying UPS was involved in “electricity theft” because it consumed extra electricity for re-charging batteries and it used 2000MW electricity as per estimates. He advised the consumers to unplug UPS during winter. He said that Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif was working day and night for removing energy crises from Pakistan.

He lauded PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran for raising standard of university and promoting research culture in PU. Giving a detailed technical briefing, Director CCT Prof Dr Shahid Munir said that indigenous coal was the only solution to resolve energy crises as Thar had 175 billion tons coal reservoirs worth Rs 30 trillion. He said that Pakistan could produce 100,000 (one hundred thousand megawatt) electricity every year for the next five hundred years using Thar coal. He said that Allah has blessed us with the coal at Thar, which was technically ideal for electricity production, and there was no need for its upgradation.

He said that South Africa was producing 93per cent, China 81per cent, India 71per cent and Australia 69per cent of its electricity from coal but unfortunately, Pakistan, despite having abundance of coal reservoirs, was producing only .6 (point six) percent electricity from coal. He called upon Punjab government for getting some blocks of Thar coal on lease to meet energy demands of the province using open-pit mining method. He said that Thar coal project of Dr Samar Mubarak Mand was technically flawed which could have caused loss to the government. He said that only 67 percent population of Pakistan had access to electricity. He said that according to International Energy Agency, Pakistan’s energy demand would increase by 49 thousand megawatt by 2025. But, he said, that all the on-going projects of dams would have produced only 15000MW electricity by 2025.

He said that mining of coal was the most important factor to meet the target of producing 49 thousand megawatt electricity by 2025. He said that Pakistan was spending 12 billion dollars per year on purchasing furnace oil for producing electricity. He stressed the need to adopt environment friendly techniques to produce energy from coal. He said that coal would remain the major source of energy production for the next 100 years. He said that PU’s Centre for Coal Technology had also technically audited various coal power projects. Later, PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran presented a souvenir to the minister. Members of Punjab Assembly Dr Farzana Nazir, Ghazala and other officials visited PU Centre for Coal Technology.