According to a Business Recorder news item, “K-Electric (KE) has submitted a business case of conversion of unit-1 of Jamshoro Power Company Limited (JPCL) to 100 percent on Thar-coal, which projects economic benefit of $ 2.254 billion to national economy and affordable power to the regulated consumers of Karachi”.
In my view, KE, despite its shortcomings, deserves praise and appreciation for taking this initiative. The implementation of this plan will certainly result in lowering pressure on foreign exchange reserves. This will also help power regulator to reduce power tariffs.
Needless to say, high powers rates have hit the industrial and domestic consumers alike. Switching to coal will certainly cause a positive cost effect insofar as power generation is concerned. Of all the fossil-fuel sources, coal is the least expensive for its energy content.
Thar coal is capable to generate enough power to light up homes across the country. Extensive use of coal has become imperative mainly in view of scarcity of foreign exchange. It is important to note that coal is the most important and abundant fossil fuel in India.
It accounts for 55 percent of the country’s energy need. It is heartening to note that finally Pakistan’s policymakers have appreciated the utility of indigenous coal; better late than never. In my view, coal is the solution as far as country’s energy needs are concerned.
Wasim Haider Abbas (Karachi)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023