National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) Chairman Khawaja Muhammad Naeem has categorically stated that all the private investors that intend to initiate private power plants will be granted licence and tariff-line within 10 days.
The Nepra chairman was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari presented the business community’s point of view while Vice President Kashif Anwar, Executive Committee Members Mian Maqsood Ahmad Butt, Mian Zahid Javaid Ahmad, Talha Tayyab Butt and MNA Pervez Malik also spoke on the occasion.
Naeem said that the power industry carried huge investment potential and therefore, the private sector should come forward to avail the opportunity. He said that Nepra had completed its homework and would not delay the issuance of licence to investors. He informed that this is the only sector that offers “unbelievable” profit margins.
He said that along with the government, the private sector should also play its role to fulfill the energy requirements of the country. He said that the sugar industry had got a new tariff from Nepra and they were being allowed to act as Independent Power Producers. He added that 26 megawatt power generation from sugar industry will start this month, while another 26 MW would be available from June this year.
He informed that all the legal and regulatory requirements for private-to-private sale of electricity had already been put in place by Nepra. He said that the authority was in the process of giving a three-year tariff to power distribution companies and this means that the industrial sector would be able to book its orders well in advance without any fear of a tariff hike.
He said that there was a wrong impression that Nepra was delaying issuance of licences when, in fact, the regulator was providing a level-playing field for all investors. He said that whatever issues were raised by the private sector last year had been resolved and there was no pendency with Nepra.
He said that the body has already announced tariff for wind and coal energy to encourage investment in this area.
Speaking on the occasion, Lashari called for immediate segregation of industrial and domestic feeders. He said that the unavailability of dedicated feeders in some of the areas has had immense impact on manufacturing.
The LCCI President also urged the Nepra chief to ensure continuous supply of electricity to the industry as repeated breakdowns disrupt the manufacturing process.
Lashari suggested that the tariff for the industrial sector should be based on its cost of service. He said that the higher tariff of the industrial sector as compared to the domestic sector means that industrial sector is cross subsidising the higher cost of service of domestic and other sectors.
The LCCI president said that tariff may be fixed at least 6 months before so that the rates are stable to calculate production costs for procuring and delivering supplies and orders.
He said that Nepra must realise that the industrial sector is affected most adversely by sudden tariff increases as orders are booked 3-6 months in advance at certain prices which cannot be changed. “An untimely tariff hike increases the cost of production significantly, making many industries uncompetitive,” Lashari concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2014.
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We were told the same good news in 2005. I doubt this will ever happen. Only a 'complete' file will get tariff in 10 days and in the eyes of our bureaucrats, no file is ever 'complete'.