January 15, 2020: The government has so far released Rs 1.462 million to continue drilling activities for appraisal of massive coal reserves identified by Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) in the Badin field and its adjoining areas of southern Sindh on May 16, 2014.
Funds amounting to Rs 3.655 had been allocated under the Public Sector Development Programme 2019-20 for the advancement of the project.
“As per the initial assessment, the coal is of good quality and high heating value,” a senior official privy to petroleum sector developments said on Wednesday.
According to the surveyor’s estimate the reserve stands at one billion tons, he said adding, during the last year drilling of nine boreholes with a cumulative depth of 3,660 meters had been completed in Pingrio, Jhudo, Tando Bagho and Nando Town, Badin Bypass and Kingri areas in district Badin and surrounding areas, where coal seams encountered in all holes in various depths.
Besides, drilling of BMS-10 borehole in the south of Pingrio had been started.
The official said experts had collected core samples, completed their chemical analysis and geological logging of the exploratory boreholes.
He said newly purchased multipurpose drilling rigs had been deployed at the site to speed up the drilling activities.
Answering a question, the official said efforts were being made for the exploration of tertiary coal in Central Salt Range Punjab, aimed at meeting the growing domestic energy demand.
He said the exploration of oil, gas, minerals and coal resources was undertaken on a regular basis which contributed significant discoveries, especially in the oil and gas sector.
Recent geological investigations have shown that 186 billion tonnes of coal reserves exist in different parts of the country, which could be used as a primary and inexpensive source for power generation.
“More than 184 billion tonnes of deposits are located in Sindh province, with Thar coalfield being the largest followed by Thatta-Sonda, Lakhra, and Jhimpir. The coal is lignite to lignite-A to sub-bituminous B&C in character with an average heating value of 6000 BTU/lb.”
Coal is primarily classified into four major categories, or 'ranks' like lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite. One of the most valuable contents of coal is its carbon content which supplies most of its heating value.
He informed that further investigations were being carried out to explore and evaluate coal deposits in Musakhel, Kingri and Toisar Basin, Balochistan.