Power outages: Dark hours likely to increase in September

Supply to industry to be suspended during Eid to ensure full domestic supply.

Shahram Haq August 24, 2011


The city is likely to suffer increased load-shedding in the first two weeks of September as gas supply to four independent power producers near Lahore will be suspended from August 29 to September 17.

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines managing director Arif Hameed said that the suspension of gas to the IPPs was unavoidable because the company’s supply could fall by 400 Mmcfd due to closure of Qadirpur gas field for maintenance.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) director general Ijaz Rafiq Qureshi said no power outages would be carried out in residential areas during the three Eid holidays. He said if needed, supply to industry would be suspended. Pepco would request the industries to close their plants during the Eid holidays.

Qureshi said one reason for the general power shortage was around the clock electricity supply to the ‘continuous supply industries’. He said as much as 580 megawatts of electricity was needed to ensure supply to these industries (including cement). Another 400 MW was needed for the textile industry.

Qureshi said the ‘continuous supply industries’ and textile industry had been requested to reduce their production by 40 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, but they had refused.

So far, he said, Pepco had received information about suspension of gas supply only to the Engro Plant.

He said in case of suspension, the IPPs would use furnace oil to produce electricity. These plants are currently getting 24,000 metric tons of furnace oil per day – two third of their demand of 32,000 metric tons.

Four IPPs are operating on gas near Lahore – Safair, Orient, Saif and Halmor. These produce 225 megawatts each. Another 225 MW is produced by Atlas power plant but it uses furnace oil.

(Read: Gas outages to triple in winter, says SNGPL)

The current demand of electricity in Lahore is around 3,400 MW and the shortfall is between 1,000 and 1,500 MWs.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2011.

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