First Layer Of Thar Coal Uncovered By Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company
First Layer Of Thar Coal Uncovered By Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company: Pakistan generates 37% of its electricity using oil which is the most expensive source of power generation, while there is negligible reliance on its available coal reserves.
Thar, with 175 billion tons of coal, is home to the 7th largest coal reserves in the world and is foreseeable as the only viable and sustainable solution to the country’s energy shortfall.
The abundance of these reserves can be equated in energy terms to the combined oil reserves of Iran and Saudi Arabia and are capable of producing 100,000 MW of electricity for the next 200 years. SECMC will execute the EPTL’s power generation projects in three phases.
The first phase of the project is underway, in which, two 330MW sub-critical plants will be established. In the second phase, the mine will be further expanded to 7.6 million tons per annum (MTPA) and additional two plants of 330MW each will be added.
Subsequently, the mine will be taken to its potential of 33MTPA, capable of generating 3,960MW, in the third phase.
Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) has unearthed the first layer of indigenous coal from its open-pit coal mine in Thar block-II, months ahead of the schedule, a senior executive said on Monday, rekindling hopes of power generation soon from enormous local resources.
Shamsuddin Shaikh, chief executive officer of SECMC told that all coal supplies will go to Engro Powergen Thar Limited (EPTL) in the first phase of the mining.
SECMC plans to supply blended coal to EPTL by October this year. He said the first seam of the coal was found at a depth of 140 metres, and there would be a couple of more layers as the mine would go 15 metres deeper to reach main deposits. There will be four mining phases and buyers of coal have already been finalised.
“We (will) supply coal to Hubco and TharNova in the second phase; Lucky Energy and Siddiqsons Energy in the third phase while Liberty Power and Arif Habib will be supplied with Thar’s indigenous coal in the fourth phase,” Shaikh added.
Full-fledged coal supply will start from third quarter of 2018 and the first electron will be generated from the power plant in December this year.
“Coal extracted from the early layers would be blended with the commodity extracted from main deposits, as the power plants require blended coal,” Shaikh said.
“The successful extraction of the first coal seam not only proves that Thar’s indigenous coal is exploitable but can produce thousands of megawatts of cheap electricity for many decades,” he was quoted as saying, in a statement, after witnessing the recent coal unearthing at the bottom of the mine pit in Thar.
Coal in Thar is called lignite which is ideally suited for producing electricity. With a cumulative thickness of around 26 meters, there are enough coal reserves in block-II to produce 5,000 megawatts of electricity for the next 50 years.
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