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March 29, 2018

Energy security linked to Thar coal deposits


March 29, 2018

KARACHI: Thar coal deposits will be key to future energy requirements in the country, a provincial government official said on Wednesday.

“Pakistan’s energy security is based on Thar coal deposits,” Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said at the Sindh Development Forum, 2018, organised by the Sindh Planning and Development Department.

The forum was also supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other development partners.

Shah said that 75 percent of the mining work at the Thar coal deposits has been completed. “Formal announcement of completion of 75 percent work will be announced at a ceremony next month,” he added.

The Sindh CM said utilising huge coal deposits in Thar were initially approved by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto during mid-90’s.

The CM said although there are concerns of international partners over generating electricity through coal-based power projects, but global energy requirements have been met through coal-based power generation.

The chief minister said the provincial government is also working on other alternative energy resources, adding that the province is establishing wind energy projects also.

China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a mega project for Pakistan and Sindh would benefit from its implementations, he said.

“Today, we talk about poverty, but in the past, the province was facing different challenges such as poor law and order situation,” he said.

The province witnessed capital flight due to poor law and order situation. Not only this, but this situation has also hurt the local and foreign investment in the province, Shah added.

“The security situation has improved now. Foreign investors and buyers are coming to Pakistan.”

John Warner, acting consul general of the US, said that his country wants to see better and bright future of Sindh.

The Sindh Development Forum would help achieve these objectives, he said, and assured the US government would assist the provincial government in achieving these goals.

Warner said that good governance would be the key to unlock the benefits for the future.

Melinda Good, operations manager of the World Bank in Pakistan, said that good steps have been taken in implementing Sindh Growth Strategy.

She also praised the government for taking initiative in ease of doing business during the next three years.

The World Bank is working on various projects in Sindh for job creation and poverty alleviation, she added. Representatives of the European Union and USAID were also present on the occasion.

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