Should Coal be Imported , inspite of Thar Coal ?
Coal is being imported in
Hard coal of good quality is also being mined in Balochistan, KP and
In this section, we are concerned with a specific question. Should we import coal for power sector? There is advantage in coal. In
Coal is being much despised and opposed these days by the generally environmentally sensitive world of today. Pollution and Green-house gases are the two principal factors responsible for the opposition and resistance against coal. On the other hand, this is also true that most electricity in the world today comes from coal. In the
Why import, when one is exporting; and why export when one is importing. Trade is done for many reasons seasonal factors, location issues, transportation costs, business linkage etc. In the case of coal, imported coal may be cheaper than domestically produced due to shear logistics reasons. Coastal towns and markets may prefer imported coal for convenience and cost reasons , if domestically produced coal is far off in the inner regions. That is the reason behind energy trade in the
Am I making a case for importing coal for establishing power plants, as some foreign companies have proposed? Why have they done so? For almost the same reasons as we have discussed earlier. However, the primary concern is that people are generally skeptical if Thar coal resource would come on line at all? Our provincial government of Sindh and its relevant departments may not like this kind of skepticism. Every now and then they do announce their actions, projects and approvals. Engro has completed its feasibility study, which gives some credibility and optimism. However, it is still a low key affair, not befitting of a gigantic project of this nature, being largely operated and handled from a single room in Sindh Secretariat. Visibility and profile gives credibility to vendors, technology suppliers, investors etc. Unfortunately, its absence does not appear to be very reassuring. If projects are progressing, these are to be planned, monitored and co-ordinated .It requires qualified managers and manpower, training activity etc. No credible international party is yet on board. The sole public demonstration of such an association is indicted by a trip to
However, I do not think that going for the imported coal option for new power plants would be a good idea at all. First and foremost, such a project would crowd out the investment in domestic coal, after there is a limited supply of foreign capital willing to come to