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Submitted To: Sir Raza Irfan

Submitted By: Muhammad Usman
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Thar Coal Project

The Thar coalfield is located in Thar Desert, Tharparkar

District of Sindh province in Pakistan. The deposits - 134th
largest coal reserves in the world were discovered in 1991
by Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) and the United
State Agency for International Development.
As Oil reserves deplete and price shoot up; the discovery of
175 billion ton coal reserves in Tharparkar is exciting news.
Its proper utilization will solve the power shortage problem
of Pakistan for the next 300 years. It will also make
Pakistan a power exporting country to the tune of 70,000
MW which will become a major foreign exchange earner for
Pakistan. The huge economic activity generated by this
industry is likely to change the fate of Sindh in general and
Tharparkar in particular
According to reports, 80,000 megawatts is being produced
through underground coal gasification in different countries
of the world, including South Africa, Australia, China,
Russia, Poland, Czech Republic and Uzbekistan.
Coal gasification is the process of producing coal gas, a
type of syngasa mixture of carbon monoxide (CO),
hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor
(H2O)from coal. Coal gas, which is a combustible gas, was
traditionally used as a source of energy for municipal
lighting and heat before the advent of industrial-scale
production of natural gas, while the hydrogen obtained
from gasification can be used for various purposes such as
making ammonia, powering a hydrogen economy, or
upgrading fossil fuels.
Pakistan has huge deposits of low rank, good quality lignite
(coal), suitable for power generation, gasification and other
purposes. The availability of coal can contribute
substantially to the growth of industrial development of the
nation. The coal resources of Pakistan are larger than the
combine resources of petroleum, natural gas and oil shale.
Total coal resources of Sindh province have been estimated
to 185 billion tons whereas the coal deposits of Thar alone
are estimated at 175.5 billion tons, which can ideally be
utilized for power generation. In addition to Thar, the other
coalfields of Sindh are at Lakhra, Sonda, Jherruck and Indus
East. The Lakhra coalfield is fully developed, and contains
mineable coal reserves of 146 million tons. Sindh coal is
classified as Lignite with calorific value ranging from
5,219 to 13,555 Btu/lb. Thar coal has low sulphur and low
ash content but high moisture, whereas Lakhra coal
contains high sulfur. The feasibility study conducted by
John T. Boyd & Co. of USA has confirmed mineability and
suitability of Lakhra coal for power generation.
Dr. Samar Mubarak Mand:

Dr. Samar Mubarak Mand is a Pakistani nuclear physicist,

who served as the founding chairman of National
Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) from
2001 until 2007. Samar Mubarak Mand launched the Missile
Integration Programme in 1987 which was successfully
completed in 2005. A pioneer of Fluid and Aerodynamics in
Pakistan, Samar Mubarak Mand
earned renowned internationally in
May 1998, when he headed the team
of academic scientists which carried
out the country's first and successful
nuclear tests, Codename Chagai-I on
May 28 and Codename Chagai-II on
May 30 in Balochistan Province of
Pakistan. Of 2010, currently, Dr.
Samar Mubarak Mand is supervising
coal mining practiced on scientific
lines, for the Thar Coal Power Project.
Requirements of the Project

Pakistan invites investors from all over the World to help

exploit these resources. The amount required for this is
huge and can only be provided by foreign investors.
Current Government of Pakistan in general and Sindh in
particular are assigning top priority to this project. The
recent formation of Thar Coal Board headed by Chief
Minister of Sindh and representative of all relevant Central
Government departments is meant to provide one
window operation for investors.
With open pit design the coal may be taken out and
transported to nearby electricity generating plant. The
output may be fed to the National grid and international
buyer grid. Each plant will cost nearly USD 2 billion thus the
total investment required in stages would be around USD
40 billion. Such large sums can only be provided by
international Banks and Operating Cos. Locally we do not
have resource for such investment.
The best course to go about is creation of mega
Syndication involving Major Banks, Coal exploitation Cos,
Power production Cos, Government of Sindh and Pakistan
as well as Overseas Pakistan. If Government of Sindh and
Pakistan along with Overseas Pakistani can commit 40% of
the required funds rest can be easily raised from the Banks,
Coal exploration and power generation Cos. Given the size
of the find and strong economic viability this would be
possible with the proper structuring of the deal.
The requirements are starting to be fulfilled as foreign
investors like companies in china are expressing their
interest in the project also our own government is starting
to allocate funds for this project. The Sindh government has
earmarked Rs 13.585 billion in the fiscal budget 2012-13
for the development of Thar Coal projects with a view to
overcome energy crisis in the country.
Conflict on its feasibility

Dr Samars view:
Underground gasification (UGC) technology is the cheapest
solution to produce electricity, natural gas and diesel in the
present scenario of sky rocketing oil prices.
He said that 80,000 megawatts of electricity is being
produced through underground coal gasification in different
countries of the world including South Africa, Australia,
China, Russia, Poland, Czech and Uzbekistan.
Similarly, South Africa is producing 160,000 barrels per day
from UGC technology while China is providing 1,550 mmcf
per day from UGC project to Beijing and adjacent cities as
town gas, he added.
Dr.Samar Mubarak pointed out that Australia is
commissioning 8,000 MW through underground coal
He said that 20,000 barrels of diesel per day can be
produced at a cost of $650 million from Thar coal under
UGC project. We can directly supply gas to fertilizer
industry as feedstock from Thar coal under UGC, he opined.
He was of the opinion that commissioning of UGC project
will serve as a game changer for Pakistans economy. We
have successfully commissioned the first phase of UGC
pilot project by burning the gas flame at Thar coal field and
now we need money equivalent to $ 116 million to
generate 100 MW of electricity.
Dr Samar said several foreign companies from China,
United Kingdom and Czech
Republic and Australia are interested to start UGC projects
in Thar, but that will increase the cost of power generation
like IPPs or RPPs.
He said new technology is always being opposed in
Pakistan and this is the reason why the money is not being
released for the project.
Executive director Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA)
Muhammad Yasin said that gas demand in the country was
rising exponentially while its supply was shrinking. The
current gas demand is 5.6 billion cubic feet per day while
the supply is 3.8 bcf per day, leaving a gap of 1.8 bcf per
day, he added.
He said that gas demand would rise to 6.2 bcf per day
during 2015-16 while the availability would be 4.5 bcf per
day. The demand for natural gas would reach 7.7 bcf per
day while its availability would fall to 1.2 bcf per day due to
depleting gas reserves and decline in new recoveries, he
Yasin said the supply of 500 mmcf per day of liquefied
natural gas (LNG) is expected in 2013-14 while import of
gas from Iran (first 263 mmcfd) is expected in 2015-16.
Programme leader SAARC Energy Centre, Dr Muhammad
Pervez said that energy trade can be initiated with SAARC
under the South Asia energy ring and added that various
action plans are underway to promote cheaper energy
within this block.
Chief operating officer SSGC LPG Pvt Ltd, Malik Usman
Hasan said his company has floated tender for the start of
two projects to supply 50 mmcf per day, one for the supply
of gas to KESC and the second for other industrial units.
DGM operations National Gas Company Oman, Sanjeev
Kumar Sinha said that synthetic natural gas (SNG) is the
solution to energy crisis.
Sales Expert Ultra flux, France, Vincent Raimbaud said that
oil and gas production can be enhanced by using new
Meanwhile, a large number of senior business executives
visited the 10th oil and gas exhibition POGEE, 7th Safe &
Secure Pakistan and 1st INTERTRANS Pakistan on the
concluding day at Karachi Expo Centre.
According to organizers, the exhibitors have negotiated
deals worth millions of dollars during the three-day event
while scores of inquiries were received by the companies.
Government officials:

Sources told that certain bureaucratic lobbies are using all

their forces to shrink the allocation for the coal gasification
project in the upcoming financial year 2013. The Planning
Commission Secretary is also not fond of the project, the
source added.
Planning Commission Member Energy Shahid Sattar has
also taken a firm stand against the Thar coal gasification
The Coal Gasification Pilot project run by scientist Dr.
Samar Mubarak Mand in Sindh has not yielded results, he
said while addressing the 4th Oil and Gas Pakistan 2012
Forum on Saturday. He maintained that the pilot project
was not sustainable as it shut down after running for four
The audit team that visited the site revealed that no work
has been done on Thar coal gasification project, Shahid
Sattar told The Express Tribune. He added the project has
Shahid Sattar, the Planning Commission (PC) Member
(Energy), on Saturday told an international energy
conference said the commission had conducted the audit of
Thar Coal Pilot Project and stopped release of funds
because it was thought to be impracticable. Its not
possible to produce 10 megawatt of electricity from the
Thar Coal Project, he said, adding Dr Samar Mubarak
Mand had failed in producing gas through the Thar Coal
field. Dr Samars coal gasification is a failure as the gas
flamed only for four hours and then dropped off, Shahid
said, adding that the release of more funds for the pilot
project would be risky.

During gasification, the coal is blown through with oxygen

and steam (water vapor) while also being heated (and in
some cases pressurized). If the coal is heated by external
heat sources the process is called "allothermal", while
"autothermal" process assumes heating of the coal via
exothermal chemical reactions occurring inside the gasifier
itself. It is essential that the oxidizer supplied is insufficient
for complete oxidizing (combustion) of the fuel. During the
reactions mentioned, oxygen and water molecules oxidize
the coal and produce a gaseous mixture of carbon dioxide
(CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), water vapour (H2O), and
molecular hydrogen (H2). (Some by-products like tar,
phenols, etc. are also possible end products, depending on
the specific gasification technology utilized.) This process
has been conducted in-situ within natural coal seams
(referred to as underground coal gasification) and in coal
refineries. The desired end product is usually syngas (i.e., a
combination of H2 + CO), but the produced coal gas may
also be further refined to produce additional quantities of
3C (i.e., coal) + O2 + H2O H2 + 3CO
If the refiner wants to produce alkanes (i.e., hydrocarbons
present in natural gas, gasoline, and diesel fuel), the coal
gas is collected at this state and routed to a Fischer-Tropsch
reactor. If, however, hydrogen is the desired end-product,
the coal gas (primarily the CO product) undergoes
the water gas shift reaction where more hydrogen is
produced by additional reaction with water vapor:
CO + H2O CO2 + H2
Although other technologies for coal gasification currently
exist, all employ, in general, the same chemical processes.
For low-grade coals (i.e., "brown coals") which contain
significant amounts of water, there are technologies in
which no steam is required during the reaction, with coal
(carbon) and oxygen being the only reactants. As well,
some coal gasification technologies do not require high
pressures. Some utilize pulverized coal as fuel while others
work with relatively large fractions of coal. Gasification
technologies also vary in the way the blowing is supplied.
"Direct blowing" assumes the coal and the oxidizer being
supplied towards each other from the opposite sides of the
reactor channel. In this case the oxidizer passes through
coke and (more likely) ashes to the reaction zone where it
interacts with coal. The hot gas produced then passes fresh
fuel and heats it while absorbing some products of thermal
destruction of the fuel, such as tars and phenols. Thus, the
gas requires significant refining before being used in the
Fischer-Tropsch reaction. Products of the refinement are
highly toxic and require special facilities for their utilization.
As a result, the plant utilizing the described technologies
has to be very large to be economically efficient. One of
such plants called SASOL is situated in the Republic of
South Africa (RSA). It was built due to embargo applied to
the country preventing it from importing oil and natural
gas. RSA is rich in Bituminous coal and Anthracite and was
able to arrange the use of the well known high pressure
"Lurgi" gasification process developed in Germany in the
first half of 20-th century.
"Reversed blowing" (as compared to the previous type
described which was invented first) assumes the coal and
the oxidizer being supplied from the same side of the
reactor. In this case there is no chemical interaction
between coal and oxidizer before the reaction zone. The
gas produced in the reaction zone passes solid products of
gasification (coke and ashes), and CO2 and H2O contained
in the gas are additionally chemically restored to CO and
H2. As compared to the "direct blowing" technology, no
toxic by-products are present in the gas: those are disabled
in the reaction zone. This type of gasification has been
developed in the first half of 20-th century, along with the
"direct blowing", but the rate of gas production in it is
significantly lower than that in "direct blowing" and there
were no further efforts of developing the "reversed
blowing" processes until 1980-s when a Soviet research
facility R&D Institute for developing Kansk-Achinsk coal
field began R&D activities to produce the technology now
known as "TERMOKOKS-S"process. The reason for reviving
the interest to this type of gasification process is that it is
ecologically clean and able to produce two types of useful
products (simultaneously or separately): gas (either
combustible or syngas) and middle-temperature coke. The
former may be used as a fuel for gas boilers and diesel-
generators or as syngas for producing gasoline, etc., the
latter as a technological fuel in metallurgy, as a chemical
absorbent or as raw material for household fuel briquettes.
Combustion of the product gas in gas boilers is ecologically
cleaner than combustion of initial coal. Thus, a plant
utilizing gasification technology with the "reversed
blowing" is able to produce two valuable products of which
one has relatively zero production cost since the latter is
covered by competitive market price of the other. As the
Soviet Union and its R&D Institute ceased to exist, the
technology was adopted by the individual scientists who
originally developed it and is now being further researched
in Russia and commercially distributed worldwide.
Industrial plants utilizing it are now known to function in
Ulaan-Baatar (Mongolia) and Krasnoyarsk (Russia).

The by-products of coal gas manufacture

included coke, coal tar, sulfur and ammonia; all useful
products. Dyes, medicines, including sulfa
drugs, saccharin and many organic compounds are
therefore derived from coal gas.
Coke is used as a smokeless fuel and for the manufacture
of water gas and producer gas. Coal tar was subjected
to fractional distillation to recover various products,

tar, for roads

benzole, a motor fuel

creosote, a wood preservative

phenol, used in the manufacture of plastics

cresols, disinfectants
Sulfur is used in the manufacture of sulfuric acid and
ammonia is used in the manufacture of fertilizers.
Steps by the Government

During budget speech in Sindh Assembly, provincial

Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah hoped development
of Thar Coal projects would help overcome energy shortage
in the country.
He said the lack of infrastructure was the biggest challenge
to the government to execute Thar Coal projects. He said
the government, therefore, undertook mega-infrastructure
projects to facilitate the investors, besides creating
conducive environment for large-scale developments.
"Thar Coal projects are at various stages of feasibilities and
financial close, which will lead to installation of over 4000
MW by 2015-16," he informed the house.
He said Government of Sindh and Global Mining Company
(GMC) of China had signed a MoU in September 2011 for
development of Thar Coal projects. "GMC intends to invest
$1.5 billion on key infrastructure projects in Thar coalfield,"
said the Minister.
He pointed out that a test burn at Underground Coal
Gasification (UCG) project in one of the blocks of Thar coal
filed had been successful in December 2011, which Dr.
Samar Mubarak Mand had executed.
Major schemes and infrastructure projects proposed in the
next financial year include: Rs 654 million for Construction
of Islam kot Airstrip, Development of GIS for Thar Coalfield
Installation of Reverse Osmosis Plants across District
Tharparkar, Mithi and Islamkot, he said.
Murad Ali Shah said improvement and widening of road
network from Karachi seaport to Thar, road from Wango
More to Thar coalfield and Water Carrier from Nabisar to
Thar coalfield with a capital outlay of Rs. 5 billion has been
In the budget, he said, the government has proposed to
provide Rs one billion for village electrification programme,
Rs 1.5 billion for provision of Sui Gas to towns and villages
across Sindh and Rs 100 million allocated for solar powered
water supply system.
He said in 2011-12, the government had provided
electricity to 642 villages in Sindh at a cost of Rs one