A variety of funding initiatives to start exploiting the Thar coal deposits in a meaningful way have, for one reason or another, not moved forward. As an example, after committing funds to Thar for feasibility and engineering purposes, the World Bank withdrew its financial support in late 2010. Similarly, other foreign aid agencies have not pushed forward. Some of this lack of support can be attributed to a growing bias in Western countries against the use of coal which has a reputation of being a “dirty” fuel. And, during most of the 200 years that Western nations exploited coal as a “cheap, abundant and reliable” fuel, it indeed was a dirty fuel.
Clean Coal Technologies
Following expenditures of billions of dollars in research and development, technologies to mitigate the environmental impact of coal have come a long way. In the United States alone, it is estimated over $100 billion has been spent on Clean Coal technologies. These advances in technology have allowed coal to continue to fuel nearly 50% of electricity production in developed economies. TharPak is committed to applying these technologies to its initiative. Today, with the application of these technologies, modern coal fired power plants can retain an economic advantage while matching and in some cases, exceeding environmental standards of gas fired power plants.
A Mining Stategy Based in Technology
Given the unproven nature of the mine-ability of Thar coal and an absence of mechanized mining history in Pakistan, it is essential to mitigate and reduce investment risk. TharPak aims to deploy a mining strategy which leverages the vast mining and technical expertise of its team to achieve fast track results leading to large-scale mining. It is expected that TharPak’s credentials and methodical approach, will ultimately provide confidence to financial institutions in the economic viability of a large project at Thar.
In addition to the direct benefits to Pakistan’s national economy, the proper exploitation of Thar will result in helping establish a mechanized mining sector and spur broader resource development. It will also help Pakistanis gain expertise in the many support functions that are needed to sustain an ongoing mining operation. These functional jobs are in increasing demand all over the world as the demand for mineral resources continues to grow rapidly.
TharPak is Dedicated to Environmental Best Practices
TharPak is dedicated to maximizing the potential of Thar coal for the people of Pakistan while respecting the environmental concerns of the world at large. To that end, the consortium will pursue all economically viable and technically proven methods to mitigate the environmental impact of its activities including a goal of carbon capture, storage and re-use. The leading nonprofit energy environmental group Clean Air Task Force has endorsed the consortium’s approach.
Avoiding exploitation of Thar coal is not an option for Pakistan. Therefore, based on a comprehensive vision of an integrated approach, we have proposed the development of a Clean Coal Energy Complex at Thar.