Rs 900 million pledged for Thar Coal Project

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs on Thursday pledged Rs 900 million for the Thar Coal Gasification Project which would generate 100 MW power through conversion of coal into gas.The decision was taken at a meeting, which was chaired by Federal Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim Hussain also attended the meeting.The two ministers were briefed in detail on the Thar Coal Project by Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, Member Science and Technology Planning Commission, and other officials of the project.

“The success story in Thar Coal Project will encourage the international leading companies dealing with the development of underground coal, to invest in it and many have approached us for the very purpose”, Dr. Mubarak told the meeting.The first phase of the project requires $ 105 million so that a letter of credit may be opened for the import of machinery and equipment, he added.The eminent scientist said by the second week of September, he would be able to open the lid of the project.The projects “Creation of new processing facilities (for production of Coal Gas by Underground Coal Gasification)” and “Creation of new  processing facilities (for handling and purification of Coal Gas produced by Underground Coal Gasification)” were approved by CDWP on April 30, 2009 at  cost of Rs 494.45 million and Rs 490.48 million respectively.

“The work on the projects is in full swing. The first 50 MW gasifier for producing underground coal gas (UCG) has been completed”, Dr. Mubarak said and added that the project “2×50 MW Power Plant from Syngas (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC-2009)” was approved by ECNEC on December 9, 2010 at a cost of Rs.8,898.7 million including FEC of Rs.5,847.3 million.No funds were allocated for the project in PSDP 2010-11 due to  economic crunch. Rs 5 million were, however, allocated in the PSDP 2011-12 against the demand of Rs. 5,703 million.Keeping in view the importance and financial viability of the project, the Finance Minister agreed to the demand of Rs 900 million for the import of machinery and equipment. – APP