Natural resources and power project developer Oracle Power said on Friday that its consortium partner, China National Coal Development Company (CNCDC), has started preliminary feasibility work relating to the potential gasification of coal at the company’s Thar Block VI project in Pakistan.
The AIM-traded firm explained that in light of the Pakistan government’s recent public declarations of its support for developing the country’s indigenous coal reserves, prioritising and initiating the development of coal to gas and coal to liquid projects, CNCDC had begun feasibility work to advance Thar Block VI. It said CNCDC was guiding the feasibility study workstreams, including market analyses, type of product and scale, process technology evaluation, public engineering of auxiliary facilities required, investment estimation and financial evaluations. In addition, Oracle, alongside CNCDC, was preparing coal-to-gas and coal-to-liquid policy requirements to be proposed to the government of Pakistan, with the intent that the “optimal regulatory framework” and government policy was established.
“Drawing on the extensive experience of China Coal as a world leader in coal development and integrated industries, we at Oracle are positioning ourselves to become a first mover in the development of coal-to-gas for urea, coal-to-liquids and for other applications in Pakistan,” said chief executive officer Naheed Memon.
“Alongside the development of our proposed mine mouth power plant, coal-to-gas and coal-to-liquids are expected to play an extremely important role in the growth of our company and we expect this work by CNCDC to establish the viability of, and a development model for, coal gasification at Thar Block VI.”
Memon said the company was “encouraged” to see that the Pakistan government had endorsed the requirement for conversion of Thar coal to gas, in view of the “acute natural gas shortage” in the country, with concerns that the shortage could lead to food security problems in the primarily agricultural economy. “Further, the government has also demonstrated an appetite for the possibility of using syngas as a replacement for RNLG or natural gas in an appropriate form. “We intend to work very closely with CNCDC, the government of Pakistan and the government of Sindh to expedite this dimension of our development.”