Pakistan’s ministry of finance will provide $10m to the Thar Coal Gasification Project, a pilot project to generate 100 MW from gasifying underground coal in the Thar desert, said Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Pakistan’s finance minister.
The ministry had previously allocated only $500,000 to this project.
Tenders for the project will be floated by December 2011, unless the disbursement of the funds is delayed, and the plant is expected to be fully operational by July 2013.
Companies from Australia and the UK are likely to invest in Thar coal power generation, said Dr Samar Mubarakmand, a Science and Technology Planning Commission member who is seen as Pakistan’s leading expert on the project.
Pakistan, which currently has an electricity shortfall of 6 GW, needs to exploit the potential of its Thar coal reserves, he added.
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