ISLAMABAD: The newly elected Prime Minsiter Raja Pervez Ashraf stuck true to his promise, and to directives President Asif Ali Zardari, that of tackling the energy crisis at top priority, holding an emergency meeting to resolve the energy crisis within 24 hours of being voted into office, ordering Ministry of Petroleum to ensure supply of 28,000 tonnes of fuel to power plants to immediately add 1200 mega watts to the national grid.
The meeting decided that the Ministry of Petroleum will ensure the supply of 28000 tones fuel oil supply daily to power to add 1200 MW in the national grid system. Earlier 2000 tones of fuel oil were being supplied to the power plants for energy production.
However, some of the quick redress measures also has its trade offs with the industrial and CNG sectors to suffer with directives to divert gas supply to power plants in Punjab and Sindh.
It was decided to provide 15mmcfd to GTPS, Faisalabad which would add an additional 65 mw to the national grid, aimed at giving some relief to the industries facing severe power outages.
Ashraf also requested a viability report detailing ways to provide an additional 100 Millions of Cubic Feet Per Day (mmcfd) of gas to the Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation, allowing the company to reduce its off take of 300 MW from the national grid.
It was decided that the gas would be made available to the power sector on priority basis by suspending supply for an additional day to the industrial and the captive power sectors in Punjab. The move would aim to make available 66 mmcfd of gas for power plants.
Petroleum minister Dr Asim Husain suggested cutting supply to the industries and CNG sector in Sindh to save 150mmcfd gas. This gas could then be used by KESC for power generation. The proposal was approved by the prime minister for further discussion at the cabinet meeting to be held next week.
Ashraf also chose not to bring any changes into the strategy formulated by his predecessor Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani saying he was going in the right direction to bring the power crises in the country under control. Albeit Gilani’s strategy dealt more with a long term solution, formulated after a detailed consultation with the experts in the field.
Premier added that “I do not feel, there should be any change in the policies given by Gillani but the special committee on the energy constituted by the federal cabinet would keep monitoring the situation and their ideas and suggestions would be implemented thoroughly.”
Two committees to talk to Sindh, Punjab
Prime minister at the end of the meeting approved the forming two special committees.
The first committee consists Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain and Minister for Kashmir Affairs Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo to hold negotiations with the representative of the Punjab industry and take the CNG sector onboard the proposals, convince them to agree on reduction in the gas supply for one additional day to meet the acute requirement of gas.
The other committee comprising of Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Religious Affairs, Khurshid Shah and Dr Asim Hussain would hold talks with Governor of Sindh, Dr.Ishratul Ibad and with the Chief Minister Sindh to hold talks with the stakeholders for reduction of gas supply in Sindh.