KARACHI: The Sindh government is set to add 100 megawatts to ease Karachi’s power deficit at the end of May and provide some relief to city dwellers in the fasting month of Ramazan.
“We are set to start supplying 100MW to K-Electric from the Nooriabad power station from May 27,” Sindh Chief Minister’s Media Consultant A Rasheed Channa told The Express Tribune on Friday.
Sindh Nooriabad Power Company, a project of the provincial government, has successfully tested power production from one of the two units of 50MW each. “Test production and transmission from the second unit is to begin tomorrow [Saturday] or the day after tomorrow,” he said.
The successful testing of the second unit will pave the way for commercial production and transmission to the K-Electric system.
“We are making all efforts to add electricity to the K-Electric system by the [fasting] month of Ramazan, which begins either on May 27 or 28, so that citizens could feel relieved,” he said.
He revealed Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) had started supplying gas to the Nooriabad power station in the wake of signing of a sale and purchase agreement between the public utility and the power company.
“We gave a pay order of Rs1 billion to SSGC following the gas sale and purchase agreement,” he said.
Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah threatened to cut SSGC’s gas supply across Sindh and Balochistan after the utility kept delaying supplies to the newly constructed Nooriabad power station.
Sindh Nooriabad Power Company has established the power plant at a cost of Rs13 billion. Work on the project began in August 2014.
For electricity supply, the Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company has laid a 95km-long transmission line from Nooriabad to Karachi at a cost of Rs2 billion.
The company would generate power at a cost of Rs9 per unit and sell it to K-Electric for Rs15.50 per unit, it was learnt.
The addition to the system will not overcome the overall power shortfall which stands at 300-400MW these days. However, it will provide some respite to the people from prolonged power outages as demand for electricity has gone up with the arrival of hot weather.
Channa said the number of complaints against power outages had increased these days. “The chief minister’s office has received 900 complaints over the past two days…the authorities concerned have replied that the increase in outages is the result of ongoing overhaul of K-Electric’s power producing units.”
Welcoming the upcoming addition to the system, E-Electric spokesperson said the company would try its best to provide relief for citizens in Ramazan. “We will ensure that load-shedding is not carried out during Sehr and Iftar timings,” she said.
She insisted that all the three power producing units of the company were fully functional these days and their maintenance and overhaul were of routine nature.
Last year, peak demand touched 3,200MW in Karachi. The demand varied between 2,700 and 2,900MW with deficit of 300-400MW these days, she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2017.