People left high and dry with 18-hour power outages

NEPRA says power firms seek recovery of more than Rs41.98b


Our Correspondent April 29, 2022
Officials say the total power generation capacity in the country is 36,016MW, which could not be fully restored. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD:

The people across the country were left high and dry on Thursday as electricity played hide and seek for up to 18 hours with them in some areas while in others up to 12 hours.

According to sources, the power generation capacity of the country stood at 18,700 megawatts against the demand of 27, 200MW, reflecting a shortfall of 8,500MW.

They said that 14,000MW is being generated from private sector power plants, 3,800MW from hydropower sources, and 900MW from thermal power plants.

Officials at the Power Division said that the total power generation capacity in the country was 36,016MW, which could not be fully restored.

The Tarbela Dam has been generating only 600MW of electricity for the last two months due to extremely low water level. The sources maintained that the same could be said for Mangla Dam where power generation stood at 500MW.

Also read: Power cuts in scorching heat leave people exasperated

Meanwhile, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) conducted a hearing on the quarterly adjustment application of power distribution companies.

Nepra chairman and Sindh member heard the case while Peshawar Electric Supply Company and others were in attendance.

Nepra officials said the power companies had filed applications for recovery of more than Rs41.98 billion.

“Six of them have filed review petitions, while four have not yet applied for review.”

At the start of the hearing, Nepra chairman told the officials of power companies to always come prepared according to their statistics.

Nepra Sindh member inquired if the power company did not buy its quota of electricity, who is burdened?

Also read: Power cuts return as shortfall tops 7,000MW

The power company officials failed to satisfy Nepra on the capacity purchase price.

The Sindh member sought the power purchase agreement with the power companies, saying it would be reviewed in detail.

Pesco officials apprised the Nepra chairman that they were increasing revolving credit by Rs32 billion every year, saying that disadvantages of debt collection were different.

Nepra officials said that power companies were increasing their revolving credit from Rs130 billion to Rs150 billion annually. “This amount is increasing due to the reduction in receivables of companies,” the officials said.

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