Karachi: Through underground gasification technology, electricity can be generated at Rs3 to 4 per unit while diesel can be produced at $40 per barrel”, said nuclear scientist and Member Science and Technology, Planning Commission Dr Samar Mubarakmand while speaking at oil and gas exhibition and conference POGEE-2012 at Karachi Expo Centre Thursday.
Underground gasification (UGC) technology is the cheapest solution to produce electricity, natural gas and diesel in the present scenario of sky rocketing oil prices.
He said that 80,000 megawatts of electricity is being produced through underground coal gasification in different countries of the world including South Africa, Australia, China, Russia, Poland, Czech and Uzbekistan.
Similarly, South Africa is producing 160,000 barrels per day from UGC technology while China is providing 1,550 mmcf per day from UGC project to Beijing and adjacent cities as town gas, he added.
Dr Samar pointed out that Australia is commissioning 8,000 MW through underground coal gasification.
He said that 20,000 barrels of diesel per day can be produced at a cost of $650 million from Thar coal under UGC project. We can directly supply gas to fertilizer industry as feedstock from Thar coal under UGC, he opined.
He was of the opinion that commissioning of UGC project will serve as a game changer for Pakistan’s economy. We have successfully commissioned the first phase of UGC pilot project by burning the gas flame at Thar coal field and now we need money equivalent to $ 116 million to generate 100 MW of electricity.
Dr Samar said several foreign companies from China, United Kingdom, Czech
Republic and Australia are interested to start UGC projects in Thar, but that will increase the cost of power generation like IPPs or RPPs.
He said new technology is always being opposed in Pakistan and this is the reason why the money is not being released for the project.
Executive director Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Muhammad Yasin said that gas demand in the country was rising exponentially while its supply was shrinking. The current gas demand is 5.6 billion cubic feet per day while the supply is 3.8 bcf per day, leaving a gap of 1.8 bcf per day, he added.
He said that gas demand would rise to 6.2 bcf per day during 2015-16 while the availability would be 4.5 bcf per day. The demand for natural gas would reach 7.7 bcf per day while its availability would fall to 1.2 bcf per day due to depleting gas reserves and decline in new recoveries.
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