LAHORE (PR): Joint ventures with Indonesia in terms of importing eco-friendly coal could prove to be prolific in overcoming the energy crisis in Pakistan.

This was stated by Shah Faisal Afridi, President Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while addressing an Indonesian delegation from prosperity Indonesia Holdings Company. The prominent members of the delegation were Wu Xin Qiang, general manager prosperity Indonesia, Ching Wenchang, Director Pakistan office, and Tian li, Quality manager, Prosperity Company.

General Manager of company said that coal from Indonesia is preferred all over the world due to the utilization of clean coal technologies employed in mining. These clean coal technologies are focused on the reduction of emissions produced by coal-fired power generation, he added.

Shah Faisal Afridi highlighted the need for Pakistan to redefine the energy mix on the pattern of developed countries that are utilizing coal as major source of power generation and for this he regarded Indonesian collaboration a positive development. He said that coal should be given the highest national priority to meet energy needs.

He informed that coal is cheap and plentiful. He said that it will cost less than 1.5 rupees per unit (1 US cent) while the power generated by burning furnace oil costs around 13 rupees per unit and power from burning gas costs 5.5 rupees per unit.

Afridi said that conversion of power generation towards coal will halve the cost of electricity production and will boost industrial development. He observed that importing coal from Indonesia can be immensely beneficial for Pakistan and conversion of power plants to coal seems the only viable solution. He said that power projects can initially be set up on imported coal as a medium-term solution.

He proposed to seek assistance from Chinese mining experts in this regard that would not only be cost effective but also easy to be installed. He mentioned that China is still producing more than 75% electricity from coal and we can learn a lot from them.