ISLAMABAD: Choosing not to blame the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government for prolonged power outages, Caretaker Minister for Energy Ali Zafar has said apart from other factors, it is also the weak power transmission and distribution system that is causing load-shedding.
“The electricity generation is higher but the transmission and distribution system is not able to pick it,” said Zafar while addressing a press conference in the federal capital on Tuesday.
The PML-N government says it has ended load-shedding – a claim belied by the continued power outages across the country since the start of hot weather. Later, former premier Nawaz Sharif and PML-N chief Shehbaz Sharif had held caretaker government responsible for power load-shedding.
Responding to a question during the press conference regarding a statement issued by PML-N leaders, the minister for energy said he would not engage in blame game. “It is our responsibility to provide electricity. We will not conceal facts. But it is not our mandate to engage in blame game,” he added.
He said power outages had started from May 28 due to drop in hydel generation and technical faults in two power plants.
“Water inflows in dams are less compared to what was in the previous years and hydel generation has dropped to 3,000MW which stood at 6,000MW last year,” he added.
He said two units of Port Qasim plant with 1,300MW generation capacity had suspended power supply due to technical fault. “Balloki power plant with 1,000MW generation capacity has been operational for two days on test run but it was shut down in the first week of June,” he added.
Zafar said water inflows in dams had improved now and hydel generation has jumped up to 5,000MW from 3,000MW, and 1,300MW electricity is also available from Port Qasim power plant. “The situation will improve from June 15 to 30. The demand would further reduce in August and September,” he said.
He said mentioned some major issues in the power sector which led to load-shedding. He pointed out that transmission and distribution system was not capable enough to pick the load of electricity.
According to Zafar, the country has installed capacity of 28,000MW. However this electricity could not be produced due to closure of power plants in the wake of faults and less water inflows in dams.
“The power plants can generate 21000MW to 22000MW at present and maximum demand of electricity in June and July was 23000MW to 24,000MW registering a gap of around 2,000MW,” he added.
“The conventional methods of use of water in the agriculture sector are being implemented and no conservation policy in the agriculture sector has been formulated to conserve water so far,” he added.
The caretaker minister said the PML-N government had formulated a policy not to provide electricity to the areas where the power theft and losses were high. No new dams had been built during the last 40 years, he added.
“It is the right of the public to know the facts,” he said, adding that in order to bring improvement in power sector, the caretaker government would leave some guidance for the next government to follow.
“The caretaker government has formulated a presentation on power generation that will be given to every political party for guidance,” he added.