Wapda supply to KESC to be suspended: Plan to ‘re-rent’ 185MW from RPPs
ISLAMABAD: With power sector’s payables touching a record Rs477 billion, the government is expecting to bring into use about 1,745MW of power generation capacity before Ramazan by suspending 650MW supply to the Karachi Electric Supply Company and re-renting 185MW from defunct rental power plants (RPP).
An emergency meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy headed by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh held on the directives of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf discussed various measures to ensure continuous power supply between Iftar and Taraweeh.
The meeting was informed that with improved river flows and the onset of monsoon season, about 1,000MW of additional hydropower generation would be available while 650MW currently being provided by Wapda to the KESC would also be diverted to the former’s own system.
An official said the KESC was facing severe criticism for keeping its two plants shut and instead using cheaper supplies from Wapda on the premise that it was not getting adequate gas supplies.
The meeting decided to provide furnace oil to the KESC to bring into production its two closed plants and suspend Wapda supplies to Karachi.
It also decided in principle to utilise about 185MW from RPPs whose contracts had been cancelled by the Supreme Court. The court had also ordered an inquiry against all people involved in the process of hiring RPPs.
With these additions, the government estimates the total generation would reach 15,745MW. The meeting was informed that the power generation on Thursday stood at about 12,940MW and demand at 18,713MW, a shortfall of about 5,773MW.
As some members of the cabinet committee were in a hurry, it decided to meet again on Monday and give a final shape to the plan, including release of subsidy by the finance ministry. In the meanwhile, the water and power ministry has been asked to reconcile its figures on receivables, payables and subsidy requirements.
The meeting was informed that a commitment about supplying 207mmcfd of gas made by the petroleum ministry a few days ago had not materialised. However, furnace oil supply which averaged 14,300 tons in June was being increased to 28,000 tons which would help increase total generation to 14,000MW by next week.
A key question about the recovery of receivables, however, remained unanswered. The finance ministry was critical of inability of the power sector to recover its bills. The meeting agreed to release about Rs20 billion to the Pakistan State Oil to ensure uninterrupted fuel supplies.