July 24, 2019: Steady drilling activities are in progress to assess massive coal reserves identified by Geological Survey of Pakistan in the Badin field and its adjoining areas of southern Sindh almost a decade ago, which according to the surveyor’s estimate stands at one billion tones.
“The coal is of good quality and high heating value,” an official source privy to petroleum sector developments told APP.
He said the government had spent Rs 13.736 million for appraisal of the deposits in the last fiscal year, while it allocated another Rs 3.655 million in the Public Sector Development Programme 2019-20 for advancement of the project.
During the last year, he said, drilling of 9 bore holes 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 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, Besides, the experts initiated the process of digitalization of the borehole log data and compilation of the project report.
He said two newly purchased multipurpose drilling rigs had been deployed at the site to speed up the drilling activities. They said drilling crew including engineers and other technical staff were busy for the expeditious operation.
Answering a question, the official said efforts were being made for exploration of tertiary coal in Central Salt Range, Punjab aimed at meeting the growing domestic energy demand.
According to a report, recent geological investigations have shown that 186 billion tones 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 tones deposits are located in Sindh province, with Thar coal field 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 content of coal is its carbon content which supplies most of its heating value.