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The Potential for Coal Use in Pakistan

AUTHOR: Gordon Couch
DATE: April 2004

The discovery during the 1990s of a substantial coalfield under the Thar desert in Pakistan has prompted a reassessment of the potential role of coal as a fuel. The coal is a lignite, with more than 45% water content, but mostly with an ash content of less than 10%. It could provide a fuel for coal-fired power generation, and possibly for other applications. In this report, the use of lignite worldwide is discussed, including its mining and upgrading. The possible use of coal as a fuel source is put in the context of the overall energy situation in Pakistan. Suggestions are made about the actions needed to facilitate the use of the Thar coal.