FROM THE FLOOR OF THE SINDH ASSEMBLY – ‘5 firms working on different blocks of Thar coalfield’ | Pakistan Today

FROM THE FLOOR OF THE SINDH ASSEMBLY – ‘5 firms working on different blocks of Thar coalfield’

KARACHI – The Sindh government informed the provincial assembly on Friday that five companies are working on different blocks of the Thar coalfield, whereas the Coal and Energy Development Department is making efforts to offer three more developed blocks for investment. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, who personally looks after the coal energy sector in the province, stated this in his written replies to questions asked by different members of the assembly. Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro responded to the supplementary questions in the house on behalf of the chief minister.
Responding to a question asked by Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Heer Ismail Sohu, the chief minister informed the house that there are nine developed blocks in the Thar coalfield comprising 763 square kilometres. The government has allocated one block each to the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company; the Cougar Energy (UK) Limited; the Bindaen Group, UAE; the Planning Commission of Pakistan; and the Oracle Coalfields PLC, UK.
The assembly was told that the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company is making efforts to establish a 1200-2400MW power plant at a cost of $3,500 million, the Oracle Coalfields would set up a 300-1100MW power plant costing $450 million, the Cougar Energy is working on a 400MW power plant at a cost of $600 million, whereas UCG Projects is working on a 100MW power plant costing $150 million. All the companies have been given four to five years for completing their projects. In a written question asked by Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s Nusrat Saher Abbasi, the chief minister informed the house that there are no mine training centres in the province for training the currently working mine workers.
However, progress has been made in establishing such institutes by the Coal and Energy Development Department as well as Mines and Minerals Development Department.
To another question asked by Pakistan People’s Party’s Humera Alwani, the chief minister said that renowned scientist Dr Samar Mubarak-led Coal Gasification Project comprises three phases – underground coal gasification, gas handling and purification, and power generation. To another question, the chief minister said that five leases have been granted to different parties in Karoonjhar where granite is found.
An amount of Rs 20 per acre per annum is charged as rent, whereas Rs 70 per tonne is charged as royalty on production of granite. In another written reply, the chief minister confirmed that china clay has been found in Tharparkar district, and some 18 washing plants of china clay have been established in the area. The chief minister said that four minerals – fuller’s earth, limestone, trona, and gravel – are available in Khairpur district.
There are huge reserves of these minerals; however, no study has been conducted yet to assess their exact quantity. To another question, the chief minister said that no Central Rescue Stations presently exist in the province; however, the Mines and Minerals Department was establishing a station in Thario Halepota near Islamkot in Tharparkar district under the Annul Development Programme, besides a Mines Rescue Station and Occupational Disease Detection Centre in Lakhra, Jamshoro district.



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