Active circular debt of Pakistan's power sector hits Rs860b

Official tells Senate panel installed capacity stands at over 35,000MW

​ Our Correspondent October 08, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Power was informed on Tuesday that the energy sector’s active circular debt had surged to Rs860 billion and efforts were being made to curtail it.

The Senate panel held a meeting presided over by Senator Fida Muhammad.

Power Division Secretary Irfan Ali informed the participants of the meeting that earlier the circular debt flow was Rs40 billion which had been curtailed to Rs20 billion per month.

He said the issue of circular debt would be completely overcome by December 2020.

The secretary said the installed capacity stood at over 35,000MW with an addition of 1,800MW from Thar coal and Hub Power Company (Hubco) and a mechanism was being devised to utilise the unused power.

On the supply of surplus electricity from the Sanjwal Solar Plant through wheeling to Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF) Wah, the secretary said that it was conditionally allowed until the finalisation of rules by the power regulator.

They were allowed on the condition that the POF would fully act on the regulations framed by the regulator

The secretary further said there would be ample electricity supply this winter as 1,100MW from K-3, a unit of the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant, was likely to start generation.

About the Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco), he said power theft had been curtailed at 100 feeders and 50 more feeders would be cleared by December.

“Aerial bundle cables are being laid to control power theft in areas where more losses are incurred,” he added.

In Peshawar, ordinary cables are also being replaced with aerial bundle cables to eliminate power theft.

The secretary said Rs330 million had been provided to the Peshawar Electric Supply Company for procuring the new cables.

He added applications had been sought for board members in Hesco, Tribal Areas Electric Supply Company (Tesco), Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) and the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) to induct professional people.

The secretary said it was decided that the net hydel profit would be paid to Azad Jammu and Kashmir under a similar formula for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

He added that the net hydel profit was regularly being paid to K-P and Punjab under an agreement signed in 2016.

The secretary said there were about 29,000 registered agri tube wells which were being switched to solar energy.

He added that Nespak and a German company were jointly working on a feasibility study for this purpose and it would be ready by December.

Besides, he said a Saudi company was setting up a 200MW plant in Quetta and a 50MW each for Mastung and Qila Saifullah districts.