Zero load-shedding across Pakistan by March 2018: Abid Sher

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LAHORE, April 11 (APP): Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali said on Tuesday that there would be zero load-shedding across Pakistan by March 2018, except for those areas where people did not pay their electricity bills and power theft ratio is high.
He was talking to the media after having a detailed meeting with officers of Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) to discuss various issues including electricity theft, line losses, system constraints, over-billing and overloading here at Alhamra Hall.
The minister of state said that with fast completion of energy projects, initiated by the incumbent government, load-shedding duration
had substantially been reduced from 18 hours in 2013 to four hours in cities and six hours in rural areas currently. The government is making every effort to further minimise duration of load-shedding in upcoming Ramadan, he added.
Abid Sher said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was
fulfilling his promise of providing inexpensive and continuous supply of electricity to consumers of all categories by completing energy
generation projects speedily through utilisation of all resources: hydel, gas, coal, wind, solar and biomass, etc.
Three RLNG-based power projects of accumulative capacity of 3600MW at Bhikhi, Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah would be on their full capacity by end of this year. The Nandipur power project, being converted on gas fuel, will soon be adding 525MW into the system, while 1320MW Sahiwal Coal Power Plant will be operational by May or June 2017.
Chashma Nuclear Power Plant will start adding 350MW into the power system within next two months, he added.
In order to transmit the generated power from new projects, he said, the government was also focusing on improving transmission lines and grid stations across Pakistan.
Abid Sher Ali mentioned that 4,000 transformers short-circuited in LESCO domain due to system overload during April-June 2016. Taking this problem seriously, the company replaced 16 transformers of 26MVA, while replacement of 35 others of 40MVA are in the pipeline, besides installation of 29 new grid stations and up-gradation of 65 others from 66kV to 100kV. So far, 274 kilometres of transmission lines have been stretched in the LESCO region, which can carry extra load of 2310MVA, he explained.
Abid Sher added that up to 70 per cent system constraints had been removed and remaining 30 per cent would be eliminated till May this
year to avoid any tripping or blackout.
To a question, Abid Sher explained that there are 124,000 defective meters in the LESCO areas, adding that he had directed LESCO authorities to replace 120,000 defective meters during the current month.
To another question, he clarified that there was no ‘No-go area’ in FESCO (Faisalabad) domain and there is no concept of electricity theft as mobile meter reading process has been completed up to 90 per cent. He told reporters that work was being done on revival of ‘Magistrate Power’ of WAPDA to control electricity theft.
Reacting to Maula Bakhsh Chandio’s statement, he criticized that Chandio for commeting on power sector issues .
He said that 40 to 50 per cent of the power feeders in Sindh were running in loss and the departments concerned, as per policy, are ensuring load-shedding duration according to feeder losses.
About Asif Zardari’s statement, he said that it did not suit Mr Zardari to utter the word of ‘Commission’ or point fingers at anyone in this regard.
To a query, he also criticized Imran Khan, adding that Panama Papers case decision would come forth in accordance with the rules and the Constitution.