QUETTA: The head of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) has said that Iran and China have refused to set up rental power plants (RPPs) in Quetta due to the fluid security situation in Balochistan.
“Most RPP experts and technicians are foreigners, belonging to China, Europe and the United States, and they are not willing to come to Balochistan due to security concerns,” Pepco’s Managing Director Tahir Basharat Cheema told a news conference in Quetta on Saturday. However, he said Pepco would take initiatives to overcome the power shortfall in the province.
Cheema said the Iran has offered 1000 megawatts of electricity to Quetta through its reliable transmission lines. However, Tehran is reluctant to provide rental power plants for Quetta.
Cheema said he had a meeting with the Balochistan chief secretary and other senior officials over Pepco’s development schemes viz-a-viz the volatile law and order situation in the province.
“We asked the government to provide adequate security to the Pepco staff as they are busy in repairing transmission lines which were recently blown up in the Chattar area,” he said.
The Pepco chief said it was also decided in the meeting that Pepco would soon devise a strategy according to which Qesco (Quetta Electric Supply Company), NTDC and relevant government departments would carry out repairs after any subversive act.
Cheema said the government also agreed to beef up security in certain areas where sabotage activities were being carried out almost on a daily basis. He conceded that Balochistan’s agriculture sector had been badly affected because of massive power cuts. However, he added that the NTDC staff were making all-out efforts to repair the damaged transmission lines as soon as possible.
“Pepco has suffered financial losses to the tune of Rs700 million in 18 sabotage incidents in the last two months in Balochistan,” he said, adding that repairs would take eight to 10 days. Responding to a question, the Pepco chief said Balochistan has a huge potential to produce wind energy. But he added that it was expensive because producing one megawatt cost US$2.5 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2010.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ