‘KESC will not cut more power despite quota slash’

Adil Jawad/fawad Ali Shah April 22, 2010

KARACHI: The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) does not intend to lengthen the rolling blackouts even though the government has announced it is slashing Karachi’s power quota, said KESC spokesman Amir Abbasi. However, he said he has no clue as to how KESC will produce the extra power. Abbasi maintained that hospitals and industries will continue to be exempted from power cuts. But other decisions taken at the Energy Summit, such as two-day weekends and market closures at 8 pm would help conserve some electricty, Abbasi told The Express Tribune.

Federal Minister of Power and Water Raja Pervez Ashraf announced during the Energy Summit in Islamabad on Thursday that the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) would reduce the power supply to KESC by 350 megawatts. PEPCO was earlier providing KESC 600MW to 650MW. PEPCO officials believed that if KESC generated and distributed power from its own and other private and rental powerhouses, it would no longer need PEPCO’s supply.

The power minister has justified the decision by saying, “The decision has been taken because of the relatively stable power situation in Karachi and this will help other major cities of the country tackle the power crisis.” The KESC spokesman said the utility will continue the scheduled power outages lasting for three hours. The city is being supplied electricity by 51 per cent of its feeders. At present, KESC is providing 2,150MW of electricity to the metropolis but demand has crossed the 2,400MW mark. So the shortage is already 350MW and PEPCO’s decision to cut Karachi’s supply will double the shortage.

KESC will have to increase power outages by three to four hours, doubling their duration, if the gap between demand and supply crosses 500MW, said one senior engineer. “If the weather were pleasant and demand decreased, then only would load shedding last for one hour,” he explained. If the supply to Karachi is further reduced, power tariffs would increase, adding to the woes of the people, he said. “Decreasing the city’s power quota will not affect the prolonged power outages in the rest of the country. It might reduce the power cuts by a mere 30 minutes,” the official added. Officials also revealed that the utility has no alternative sources of power generation.

Currently, KESC is getting its supply from the Korangi thermal power station, Bin Qasim power station, Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP), Tapal Energy Limited, Gul Ahmed Industries Limited and around 50MW from rental power projects. Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has condemned the decision and demanded President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani withdraw it. Speaking at an emergency press conference at the press club on Thursday, Nasreen Jalil, former city naib nazim, called the decision “anti-Karachi”, saying that it would severely affect the industries and trade in the city, which contribute over 70 per cent to the national exchequer.


Karachiite | 13 years ago | Reply Karachi is very angry about this unfair adjustment, to relieve Punjab they think it is ok to punish Karachi?
Arsalan | 13 years ago | Reply ONCE again, Karachi is forced to put up with inefficiencies of 'other' areas. I remember times from years gone when Karachi had more power outages compared to other urban centers; not once was their quota reduced to assist Karachi. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and almost all high ranking officials in the concerned ministry are compromised individuals who are misleading the MEDIA and the country. They are using 'sympathy' for the people of affected areas to cover up the personal gains they have made from EACH of the RPPs and IPPs. For the first time in YEARS, KESC has justified itself by continually providing power to the City with minimum and scheduled outages. Any reduction in power for Karachi would be seen by the masses of Karachi as a performance derailment of KESC and not PEPCO. The concerned ministry knows and understands this fact. ANY inefficiency in Karachi WILL translate into inefficiency of the country. This is a REALITY which people outside Karachi do not understand. The sad part is that NO efforts are made from the government to establish THIS as a matter of FACT. Actually, its the other way around, otherwise PEPCO would never had halved its suppy of Power to the most important city in the country.
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