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

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LAHORE, Mar 28 (APP): Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali said on Tuesday that there would be zero load-shedding across Pakistan except for the areas where people do not pay their electricity bills and the power theft ratio is high.
He was briefing the media about power transmission and generation
projects here at WAPDA House, where National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) Managing Director Dr Fiaz Ahmad Chaudhry and GM (GSC-Grid System Construction) Wajahat Saeed Rana were also present.
Abid Sher said that with swift completion of energy projects, initiated
by the incumbent government, load-shedding duration has substantially been reduced from 18 hours in 2013 to three hours only currently. This summer, he added, there would be three-hour power outages in urban and four hours in rural areas daily, and the government is striving to ensure zero or shortest duration of load-shedding in the upcoming Ramadan.
Abid Sher said that the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) government is all committed to enhancing overall electricity generation capacity by 13000MW in its five-year term and so far it has added 4100MW to the system.
The minister of state said that the previous governments had neither
produced even a single unit of electricity nor laid new transmission lines. He said that in the 70 years history of Pakistan till 2013, the country’s total peak-hour generation was recorded at 13600MW, but the incumbent government would add 13000MW to the system, thus doubling the total generation to 26500MW.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is fulfilling his promise of
providing inexpensive and affordable electricity to the consumers of all categories by completing energy generation projects speedily through utilisation of all resources, hydel, gas, coal, wind, solar and biomass etc.
Three re-gassified lequified natural gas (RLNG) based power projects of
accumulative capacity of 3600MW at Bhikki, Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah would be producing electricity with full capacity by April 2018, while Nandipur power project being converted on gas fuel would also be adding 525MW to the system till that date. 969MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP) and 1320MW Sahiwal Coal Power Plant will also start adding electricity to the system, the state minister added.
Abid Sher said that work on Dasu Dam, Munda Dam and Diamer-Bhasha Dam will be started by the year-end.
He said that the government is also focussing on improving transmission lines and grid stations across Pakistan. Till 2018, the NTDC would complete installation of five new grid stations of 500kV and stretching its transmission lines of 2000-kilometre which would carry extra load of 7000MVA, he added. The company, he said, would also complete installation of 13 new 220kV grid stations and stretching of its transmission line of 1600-kilometre carrying 11000MVA load.
In April 2017, the prime minister would lay foundation stone of
Mutyari-Lahore (Phase-I) Transmission Line project, to be completed within two years, he said, adding that in the Phase-II, Mutyari-Faisalabad line would be stretched. With improved transmission system, the problems of tripping and low voltage would be resolved, he added.
Abid Sher said that up to 70 per cent system constraints have been
removed and remaining 30pc would be eliminted by the authorities concerned till May this year to avoid any tripping or blackouts.
He said that circular debt had been reduced and contained to Rs 320
billion at present from Rs 550 billion in 2013, when the PML-N took over the government. He said that the Sindh government had to pay outstanding dues of Rs 60-70 billion to power companies, AJK Rs 62 billion, Balochistan Rs 146 billion and FATA Rs 42 billion. The current amount of circular debt could be abolished if these dues are paid to the power companies, he said.
Abid Sher Ali said that the government had also managed to ensure bills recovery up to 93pc and mobile metre-reading up to 90pc, while reducing the line losses to 17pc from 19pc.
“We have not only controlled Rs 7-8 billion oil theft in Gencos (Generation Companies) but also turned it into profit by earning Rs 5.7 billion on this count,” he added.
“In our tenure, no power plant (independent power plant or IPP) was
closed due to non-payment of dues, as we are paying them on regular basis,” he said and added that NEPRA should assess efficiency of the IPPs.