Load-shedding intensifies as shortfall hits 5,053MW

Govt says fuel crisis has been resolved as ‘we have bought all the LNG we need’

Our Correspondent May 20, 2022


As people desperately await an end to load-shedding amid the sweltering summer heat, the electricity shortfall has increased to 5,053 megawatts (MW), sources informed The Express Tribune on Thursday.

Pakistan is currently producing 21,447MW against demand of over 26,500MW. Power generation from hydropower sources amounted to 4,858MW while governmental thermal plants were producing 1,10MW.

About 1,260MW was being generated from solar power plants while electricity production from wind was zero. Bogas-powered plants were generating 153MW while power generation from nuclear fuel was 2,251MW. Private sector power plants were the major producers of electricity, producing 11,695MW.

Pakistan’s total power generation capacity was 36,039MW while the shortfall had led to frequent load-shedding, with power cuts of 10-12 hours recorded in different parts of the country.

According to an Islamabad Electric Supply Company spokesperson, the demand for electricity in their region was 2,147MW, and as soon as the supply normalised, uninterrupted electricity would resume in the areas. The spokesperson also apologised for inconvenience during the “temporary crisis”.

On Thursday, as the shortfall continued to increase, Federal Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir and Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik held a news conference to address the issue.

Dastgir said that Pakistan was experiencing more load-shedding than expected. He attributed the current situation to the delay in procurement of coal, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and furnace oil by the previous government.

He said that the country was suffering the consequences of the “tsunami of mismanagement”.

He also said that the incumbent government ensured good recovery and zero load-shedding on low-deficit feeders from May 1 to May 12.

He mentioned that some power plants had to be shut down due to 300 per cent increase in the price of coal.
The federal minister also alleged that former prime minister Imran Khan’s government did not make payments to independent power producers (IPPs).

He also said that the government had started preparations for July and August and the Petroleum Division signed agreements for four gas cargoes. He claimed that the fuel crisis had been solved.

Commenting on the shortfall, he said that it had increased due to the closure of Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plant, which had to been closed for repairs.

Highlighting that they had to control electricity prices, Dastgir said, “The deficit is rising due to price controls. Our government wants to move towards balance and continuity.

Malik told the media that in November, 400 units of gas were required, and an additional 500 units were required in January, February and March, but half of it was purchased.
“We have brought all the LNG we need,” he said.


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