Utilizing local coal for power generation instead of importing it from abroad can save the government $6Mn per day. The Chairman Lakhra Coal Management Sindh Abdul Samad Raeesani urged the government through media talks to look into the issue.
At present utilization of local coal in the power sector and other industries is very low because the coal excavated from Pakistan is of the lignite type. It is the lowest grade of coal containing the highest amount of water and Sulphur. The power project currently being developed use bituminous coal which will be imported.
Experts emphasize that installation of coal washing plants in coalmines can provide the same quality of coal as the one being imported from other countries.13 million tons of coal worth $1.4 Billion was imported last year. And this year 14 Million tons worth $1.5 Billion is being imported. This can also be helpful in reducing the export bill and will save foreign exchange. It is pertinent to note that the previous govt. has worked out many power plants which are being run through imported coal.
Raisani also talked about the ban on coal based Brick kilns in Punjab which will be imposed from 14-10-18. He said that not only would this bring financial crisis to Kiln owners but also affect coalmine owners. Describing the issues of Lakhra Coalmines he said that more than 40 thousand people are living in the area of which 25 to 30 thousand are workers. These people are living without the basic amenities like communication, health, education and clean drinking water.