Lack of improvement of the electricity system: lack of financial resources cited as a major obstacle

ISLAMABAD: The electricity division on Monday cited the lack of financial resources as a major obstacle to improving the electricity system.

This was stated by Power Secretary Ali Raza Bhutta during a briefing to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Power, chaired by Deputy Lal Chand in the absence of the Chairman of the Chaudhry Committee. Sali Hussain, who was in a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In a discussion on the problems of the electricity sector, MP Riaz Hussain Pirzada said that a “simple answer” is that the country’s financial problems cannot be managed “without seeking handouts”.

His words were endorsed by Secretary Power, who gave a presentation on the problems in the electricity sector, as committee members expressed their displeasure at the long hours of load-shedding in their constituencies.

“Pirzada sahib almost anticipated my answer. The real problem is the scarcity of resources. Our prize pool is unfortunately too small. The governance system is not ideal. said, adding that if he recovers Rs 70 out of 100, Rs 30 goes into debt circularly and he cannot pay the full amount to power producers. He said that four or five nightclubs are facing system constraints due to less investment in the system due to their recovery being below target.

He said a plan is being prepared for Hesco, Pesco and Mepco, which will make improvements to their electricity distribution systems.

The secretary of the Electricity Division argued that the government needs to find a balance in the power system, because in summer demand reaches 25,000 MW while in winter 10,000 MW is enough. He said a six-month capacity payment is made to IPPs throughout the year.

Responding to a question about losses, he said revenue-based load shedding continues in nightclubs, adding that 20 percent loss distributors are exempt from forced load shedding while the 16-hour load shedding is performed in nightclubs. areas where losses are 60 to 80 percent.

MP Zahid Khan Durrani said nightclubs were not implementing the announced load shedding plan. He said some areas are facing a 20-hour power cut and suggested the government take strict action against electricity thieves so that he is not embarrassed in parliament.

MP Sher Akbar Khan said the forced load shedding is “on” in different districts of KPK. He said that even in areas where recovery is 100%, “the electricity is cut every five minutes.”

Energy Minister Hammad Azhar, who was seen smiling at Sher Akbar Khan’s statement, assured him that if there was no theft from feeders in his constituency, he would there would be no load shedding.

The minister and secretary agreed to hire local people up to BS 16 so they could perform in their areas.

The Committee postponed all bills due to the absence of the Chairman of the Committee agreeing to discuss them at the next meeting.

The secretary of the Energy Division admitted that there were problems with Hesco, Sepco, Mepco and Pesco, adding that the recovery of these nightclubs was not comparable to the supply of electricity.

At the Committee’s briefing, the Minister of Energy indicated that the power cuts at the end of June and the beginning of July were due to the dry-docking of the LNG terminal, “which took a few days”. He said other steps had been taken to fill the deficit.

The Minister further noted that during the dry docking, hydel production was also reduced by 80%, adding that Tarbela production is still 50% below the country’s capacity due to the decrease in production. water supplies.

The minister said the country’s transmission system is so outdated that it cannot transmit more than 24,000 MW of electricity.

He said overheated transformers and other faults are being identified and will be removed by next June.

In response to a question, he said the “most expensive” work is being done at a network station in Swabi and then in Haripur and only one other network is being installed elsewhere in the country.

Managing Director Mepco told the meeting that the company is facing problems installing agricultural tube wells.

MP Riaz Pirzada appreciated Mepco’s performance in its fight against electricity theft but stressed the need to install agricultural meters.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

Louis R. Hancock

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