Power ministry insists load shedding in Karachi not Centre's fault

Denies K-Electric's claims of fuel shortage

Zaigham Naqvi July 12, 2020


The power ministry has vehemently denied claims by K-Electric that loadshedding in Karachi is due to fuel shortage in the country.

In a statement issued on Sunday, a spokesperson of the ministry referred to the recent meeting of government officials and the power utility company at the Sindh Governor House, and stated that during the meeting it was decided that KE will now get a total of 290 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) - an additional 100 mmcfd from formerly 190 mmcfd.

Therefore, to link loadshedding with lack of fuel supply from the federal government would be the same as depriving citizens of Karachi from facts, claimed the spokesperson.

The power ministry has earlier refuted claims of fuel shortage by KE as well. However, the decision to provide excess fuel was announced yesterday.

According to the spokesperson, KE conceded during the meeting that despite availability of 800MW of power, KE's system is unable to carry more than 750MW. The spokesperson reiterated that KE has not upgraded its system.

The spokesperson claimed that the Centre has offered to supply 1,000MW of electricity to KE but for that the power utility would have to invest in its system and build the required 500KV grid.

Besides, the spokesperson added, work is ongoing to provide around 500MW of electricity to KE, this includes provision of additional 500 tonnes of furnace oil and upgrading of existing NTDC lines. According to the spokesperson, this work will take upto 10 months and summary is being prepared for the cabinet energy committee.

Briefing on the meeting yesterday, Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar had announced that from Sunday (today) Karachi will not experience unannounced loadshedding.

The minister further said that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) would fix responsibility for the prolonged power outages currently occurring in the metropolis, adding that increasing the supply of oil did not mean the petroleum ministry was responsible for the load-shedding.

According to Umar, the federal government had recently decided to give an additional 550 megawatts of power to the city by summer next year, followed by increases of 800MW each in the next two years. “Karachi will be given a total of 2,150MW of additional energy by the summer of 2023,” he added, claiming that power generation would be boosted by nearly 70 per cent.

He stated that they had told KE that the Centre wanted to help KE resolve the issues for Karachiites. “However, if this is still not done, we will use the full force of the law to make sure the people are not deprived of electricity. The federal government can take over KE if it does not improve its services," he went on to warn, stating that the government was responsible for resolving people’s grievances. “Previous governments privatised KE, but Karachi has not been privatised.”

“The required quantity of oil and gas is not provided to the KE, which results in low production of electricity. The federal government also did not allow us to install the projects which were approved in 2016,” KE CEO Moonis Alvi had stated on Friday.


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