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November 14, 2016

Ban on coal

Newspost

 
November 14, 2016

This refers to the news report, ‘Ban on imported coal power generation likely to shelve projects’ (Nov 11). The government has taken a right decision to encourage the utilisation of local coal which is available in the Thar desert of Sindh. Due to this decision, a number of coal-fired power projects may be shelved. But, keeping the long-term benefits in view, this decision will go a long way in mitigating the sufferings of the general public due to the shortage of electricity as power generated from local coal will be much cheaper than the imported commodity. To one’s surprise, one of the independent power producers (IPPs) of the country says that Thar coal was unfeasible for plants which will be established on mine-mouth. This power producer maintains that Thar lignite has heating values lower than the imported coal and that this will raise the transportation cost by $25 per tonne.

But, the power generated at the mine-mouth will be much cheaper as compared to the imported coal as it will involve no transportation of coal at all. In this plant, coal is excavated from the dig site, placed on a conveyor belt, and run directly into the plant where the coal is burned and power is generated using a steam turbine. The generated power is taken to the other parts of the country through power lines on poles which will be installed for the purpose. But, the installation of these lines and poles will be a one-time phenomenon only.

Air-Cdre (r) Azfar A Khan

Rawalpindi