ISLAMABAD: In an interesting claim that may spark excitement among load-shedding-weary consumers across the country, the Ministry of Water and Power has declared that Pakistan will have surplus electricity of 1,224 megawatts in June 2018 – around the time when next general elections will be held.
Water and Power Secretary Younus Dagha said this in a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy on September 15, chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Alternative energy: Solar Park generates power worth Rs4b in 17 months
He pointed out that the historical record showed that annual increase in electricity demand had not exceeded 4%. However, the current production estimate was based on an annual 5% increase in demand.
The prime minister gave directives that the production requirement should be reviewed as consumption was likely to rise due to increase in industrial growth and economic activities.
Dagha told the cabinet body that keeping in view the realistic power demand and generation, the surplus would be 1,224MW in June 2018 and in case of high demand, the surplus would be 502MW.
He suggested that the growth in demand could be managed by increasing the duration of load-shedding in areas where theft incidents were high and bill recoveries low.
However, the prime minister considered it an inappropriate solution and told the Ministry of Water and Power to take necessary measures to bring such areas into the mainstream system and improve the bill recovery rate.
Earlier, the cabinet committee in its meeting on August 30 had decided to cut power outages by half from November 2016 under a new supply management plan for the consumers paying their electricity bills regularly.
However, the consumers of areas where the recovery of power bills was low or electricity theft was high would not be able to enjoy the supply management plan.
Earlier, K-Electric, which serves the consumers of Karachi, had introduced the formula and it is now being adopted for the consumers of state-owned power distribution companies across the country.
World Bank approves $390m loan for Tarbela fifth extension
The Ministry of Water and Power also asked the prime minister to declare 23 big cities free of load-shedding from November 2016, but it has not been approved so far. Already, the industrial feeders were facing no outages across the country
Under the new supply management plan for 2016-18 approved by the cabinet committee on August 30, electricity outages would be brought down in urban areas from an average of six hours to three hours per day and in rural areas from eight hours to four hours per day from November.
When the current government came to power in mid-2013, power outages were the worst as consumers were enduring 13 to 14 hours of blackouts daily, which have now come down to 6-8 hours with further reduction planned for November this year.
Courtesy : Express Tribune