KARACHI - The coal reserves of Sindh in Thar are the most feasible fuel for power plants being converted from expensive furnace to coal and long term energy solution of the country.

This would be the crux of Sindh government’s official position in Council of Common Interests (CCI) which will meet under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Tuesday to discuss the energy policy of the country. Sources said that Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah would press Sindh government’s official viewpoint in the energy conference, suggesting the centre and provincial governments to use the coal reserves of the Thar for solution of energy crisis.

They while highlighting the potential of Thar coal for power generation said that the Thar coal was the most feasible fuel for the power plants which are being converted on coal and also for new coal-based power plants at Jamshoro and elsewhere.

However, the Sindh chief minister in its official paper, to be presented today in the CCI meeting, said it would be a great tragedy if despite availability of huge coal resources in the country new power plants are based on imported coal. This will be a huge drain of foreign exchange and the price of coal will always be subjected to international market fluctuation.

The Sindh government official said that the Thar equivalent coal for upcoming coal-based power plants particularly at Jamshoro would boost the mining activity at Thar. However, the government of Pakistan has set its priorities for using imported coal similar to Thar coal specification, as it may increase the cost.

Sindh government officials said that only Thar coal, being the indigenous resource, could provide long-term cost effective solution to the energy problem and ensure much needed energy security to the country. It may cost more initially but will have long-term positive impact on the economy.

However, Sindh government has also opposed the proposal of federal government to import the electricity, emphasising on investing on the Thar Coal and other alternatives, including wind and solar sources.

Meanwhile, talking to the media at the CM house during his Iftar in honour of journalists, Qaim said, “The current situation of law and order does not suit holding of local government elections in the province.”

He said that whenever the situation allows, hopefully within six months, the Sindh government would hold the local government elections. He said that authority of giving date of local government elections was lies with the provincial government.