ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has accepted a water and power ministry appeal for urgent aid to repair the power generation and supply system affected by the floods. Subsequently, a task force headed by the water and power secretary has been set up to conduct a detailed survey of the losses suffered.
This was said by the Water and Power Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf at a news conference in Islamabad. He said according to an estimate made by the ministry the power supply and generation system has suffered a loss of four billion rupees. He said the system has been affected by a shortage of 1,500 megawatts in electricity generation.
Painting a bleak picture, Ashraf said that the Kot Addu power plant and other plants in the affected areas have been shut down while the gas supply to power plants from the Qadirpur gasfields has also been suspended.
He said there will be a further power shortage as the fuel supply to various power plants has also been suspended due to floods. He added that various ongoing dams and hydel power generation projects have also been affected.
Ashraf said that in Gilgit-Baltistan 150 hydel power generation projects of 5, 10 and 15 MW have been affected. He added that 70 per cent of the power supply system in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has been restored.
Meanwhile, a high level meeting was held at the Wapda house under the chairmanship of Tahir Basharat Cheema, Managing Director Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) to review the present power situation, assess the safety and status of various installations including power houses and chalk out a strategy to rehabilitate the thermal and gas power stations recently shut down.
Cheema said that the entire staff of AES Lalpir and Pak Gen were safe and had been evacuated well in time.
The meeting also decided that in view of the fact that the PSO depot is inundated, alternate arrangements need to be made to ensure the supply of oil to the power houses.
Currently, Pepco has a storage facility with a capacity of 232,000 tons in Muzaffargarh, which should be utilised as a reservoir for uninterrupted supply of oil to power installations and power houses of Pepco till the water recedes from the PSO depot at Mehmood Kot, Muzaffargarh.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2010.
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