The federal and Sindh government pledged fund for the project, but the long delays in the release of fund may jeopardize the project. Sindh government has yet to release Rs 200 million, while federal government is to release Rs 5 billion. When the infrastructure placement is 90 percent completed, the suspension of funds further aggravates the situation.
Pakistan is facing acute energy crisis and the economic cost of this crisis is Rs.230 billion ever year. Millions of people have been rendered jobless in the wake of energy crisis. A number of industrial units have been closed down due to power shortage during last couple of years. Gas is one of the basic raw materials of the industries.
According to the data, gas consumption by Industry is 26 percent or 1040 mmcft; fertilizer sector, 17 percent or 680 mmcft; Household, 17 percent or 680 mmcft; Transport, 7 percent or 280 mmcft; and use of gas for power Generation is 28 percent or 1120 mmcft.
The country is blessed with 175 billion tons of coal reserves located in the Thar. Total reserve is equivalent to 50 billion tone of oil which is more than combine oil reserves of Iran and Saudi Arabia or over 2000 TCF of Gas, 42 times greater than total gas reserves discovered in Pakistan so far.
The government needs to take immediate steps to speedup work on the project to start power generation. Many foreign investors have shown interest in the project and they should be facilitated in the larger interest of country as the project has the potential to meet long term, 30 to 35 years, energy demands of the country.
It is pertinent to note that this project is not unique in its nature; many countries in the world are producing gas through UCG process by utilizing “black gold”.