First shovel in Block One of Thar Coal Field
Editor's note: The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
Pakistan, like other developing countries, has been facing the problem that it needs abundant and affordable energy for its economic growth and its steady growth at a certain pace. In this regard, Pakistan has energy reserves but for a long time no steps had been taken to utilize these abundant energy reserves. In this regard, the Thar Desert of Sindh Province of Pakistan has a special significance where nature has preserved the immense reserves of coal.
Recently, an extraordinary breakthrough has been achieved in this natural resource-rich desert. After this success, it is hoped that by taking advantage of these reserves, the goal of economic prosperity will be achieved in the beloved homeland and this time is not far away but near. The first shovel has been successfully used to extract lignite coal in Block One of Thar Coal Field located in Islamkot town of Thar desert in Sindh province. The credit for this success goes to Sino Sindh Resources Limited and its major partner Shanghai Electric Group. Due to their day and night efforts and hard work, we are fortunate to see this day.
With their success, Pak-China friendship has taken another feather. Sino Sindh Resources Limited was given formal permission to mine on 24 May 2012 when the project was included in the Joint Energy Working Group of the Government of Pakistan and the Government of China.
That was the time when the two brotherly countries were looking for new dimensions of economic relations. Shortly afterwards, talks on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor began. When the two brotherly countries reached the goal of signing CPEC, both countries were also agreed to include this in CPEC, keeping in mind the importance and usefulness of the project. Not only was this part of CPEC's plan, but it was also incorporated with the idea that it would be a project that would be treated as an early harvest project.
The support of Thar Coal Energy Board was also received step by step in this regard. This is not a small project, but where the first shovel was used, there is currently three billion tons of coal. This is a huge reserve, the equivalent of five billion barrels of crude oil. The presence of this number of coal shows the importance of the success of this project. Experts estimate that 7.8 million tons of coal could be produced annually from here, which would be a big success in terms of utilization of Pakistan's energy resources.
It should be kept in mind that in order to meet energy requirements through this project, Sino Sindh Resources Limited and Shanghai Electric Group have already signed an agreement to supply coal for two Mine-mouth Power Plants. Thus, a total of 1320 megawatts of electricity will be generated from these two power plants. The most important thing is that it will be cheap electricity which will have a positive effect on the economy. The power plant of Shanghai Electric Group will achieve the target of financial closure this year. When such projects of Pakistan are successful, then in this case the milestone of energy security can also be achieved through these successes. And energy security will lead to economic sovereignty, which will be a key factor in freeing Pakistan from global economic pressures.