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Power outages expected to persist: NEPRA report

KARACHI: Pakistanis and the country’s economy will continue to suffer from longer power outages, as it has failed to connect most of the new power generation houses with end-users. Meanwhile, further delays in completion of transmission lining projects have not been ruled out either.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) reported that “most of the development works of National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) are delayed.”

The transmission constraints are causing power generation losses worth billions from the plants that have already started electricity generation.

“The total financial loss incurred due to transmission and transformation constraints at Guddu during FY 2014-15 was Rs10.682 billion,” Nepra reported.

Similarly, the Uch-II power plant incurred a loss of Rs6.47 billion during FY15 due to the transmission system constraints, it added.

“At times, Uch-II power plant has to be shut down or operated below rated capacity due to system constraints of NTDC. Closure causes loss of Rs1.5 million per hour,” it said.

It took Nepra over a year to make the report public from the time its officials conducted surveys at projects-sites and incorporated NTDC comments and responses on the delays.

By December 2016, almost 1,500 MW of wind power is expected into the network. Most of the wind power plants at Jhimpir and Gharo, Sindh were set to be commissioned by July 2016. Around 10 wind power plants (ie 480 MW) were expected to be commissioned by July 2016 but “completion of power evacuation arrangements for these power plants is delayed by almost six months,” said the power regulatory authority.

NTDC would, however, provide interim arrangement for power evacuation of these projects from Jhimpir to Tando Muhammad Khan D/C transmission line (82 kilometres) by March 2016, it said.

The other huge power generation projects, which would get delayed coming online are Guddu Power Plant of 747 MW, Chashma (C3 and C4) power plants of 680 MW, Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park of 1,000 MW, Port Qasim Power Project of 1,320 MW, Coal Power Plant at Jamshoro of 1,320 MW, Patrind Hydro Power Project of 147 MW, Neelum Jhelum Hydro Power Project and Thar Coal Power Project.

Nepra said, “NTDC’s performance in respect of execution of development projects has been poor. Due to delay in completion of projects commitment charges are being paid to donor agencies resulting in loss of public exchequer.”

“A total of $3.385 million (Rs355.425 million) has been paid by NTDC in respect of commitment charges. This is a drain on public exchequer,” it said.

The World Bank has committed $350 million for transmission lining projects in general and another $120 million for CASA 1,000 project. Similarly, JICA has committed $30 million for 500kV Faisalabad project, the report said.

NTDC must stop granting extensions in dates for completion of projects, the regulator said. Despite grant of extension in dates for completion of projects, NTDC would fail to complete development work at 11 grid stations out of total 13 in its hands at this time.

Similarly, it would require additional extensions to get complete laying of transmission lines for nine projects out of total 10 in its hands.

In the next five years almost 23,000 MW is expected into the national grid, “if the power generation projects are not delayed,” it said.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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