Lahore: Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt said precious resource of Thar coal is lying almost unexploited due to want of coordinated efforts therefore government should consider establishing a coal ministry to explore its potential.
The 175 billion tonnes of coal, sixth largest in the world, was discovered 23 years back that could not be put to work so far despite the fact that it can to meet the country’s and neighbouring nations fuel requirements for centuries, he said.
Speaking to the business community, he said that Pakistan has emerged as one of the leading countries, seventh in the list of top 20 countries of the world after the discovery of huge lignite coal resources which must be exploited.
Many countries have lesser coal reserves than Pakistan have coal ministries which ensure smooth flow of things. Different federal and provincial departments, warring over petty matters, have only wasted time and funds to make the situation worst casting a dark shadow on the future of the country, he added.
He noted that despite decades of efforts, Pakistan is yet to claim any success on coal front therefore it should find an alternative solution to find support of other countries.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that coal has met nearly half of the rise in global energy demand over the last decade, growing faster even than total renewables while there are 1004 billion tonnes of coal reserves left which is equivalent to 130 years of global output.
Coal use in India continues to rise and by 2025 it will overtake the United States as the world’s second-largest user meaning that it will need to import more coal while Thar coal may be most economical for her.
Currently India imports coal from Indonesia, South Africa and Australia to satisfy annual deficit of 204 million tonnes. According to World Coal Association, presently India is producing around 585 million tonnes of coal while importing 105 million tonnes and exporting nothing.
Converting captive power plants on coal may settle gas crisis while conversion of state-run power plants can resolve issue of budget deficit. Pakistan’s economy’s steady drift towards collapse can be averted if a powerful coal ministry or a regulatory authority is established, she said.