Government is utilizing maximum resources to correct energy mix through coal-fired and solar power projects.

This was stated by Provincial Minister for Mines Chaudhry Sher Ali Khan while speaking at a national experts’ conference on “Coal and Alternative Energy Resources” here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Saturday.

LCCI President Ijaz A Mumtaz, Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi, Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Coal & Alternate Fuels Fazal Ahmad, Vice Chancellor of UET Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Director Technical & Operations DG Khan Cement Dr. Muhammad Kashif and Lecturer of GCU Fatima Akram were the key speakers.

The minister said that the government is spending sufficient amount of energy and resources for the promotion of alternate energy resources. He said that a 100-MW solar power project is already operational in Punjab while a number of coal-fired power projects - 300MW in Pind Dadan Khan and 1320MW project in Sahiwal - are in the pipeline, which will help overcome energy challenges.

Provincial minister said that Punjab government is restructuring the mining sector as lack of modern technology is coming in the way of fully exploitation of coal mining. He urged the private sector to come forward and invest in mining sector that would be a great service to the country. He said that to equip mineral sector with up-to-date technology is one of the top priorities of the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif. He said that modern technology would help in full utilization of domestic coal reserves which have more quantity of sulphur and ash.

Provincial Minister said that energy conservation is also need of the hour therefore business community should supplement the government efforts in this regard.  LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Pakistan is currently facing energy crisis. The impact of this crisis is seriously hampering our economic growth. It is high time that all the possible solutions are explored and most viable options are put into operation.

Ijaz A Mumtaz said that some three decades ago, Pakistan used to generate electricity from hydel and non hydel resources with a proportion of 70:30. Now the situation has totally reversed. It means that we have to rely too much on gas, oil and other sources to generate electricity. It has resulted in costlier electricity which has wiped out our competitive edge in international market. LCCI President said that presently almost 40% electricity is generated through coal all over the world.

 In case of Pakistan, less than 1% electricity is being generated from coal. He said that countries like South Africa, Australia, China, Russia, Poland and Czech Republic generate 80,000 megawatts of electricity through underground coal gasification.