LAHORE - Shortage of oil and gas at power plants and increasing temperature has widened the gap between demand and supply of electricity, forcing the power distribution companies to conduct 10 to 12 hours loadshedding.
The official sources say if the supply situation is not improved, the loadshedding would increase to 14 hours in April and become more horrible in peak summer.
Had the NTDC’s (National Transmission and Dispatch Company) claim of 2,100MW shortfall been true, the domestic sector must have been facing not more than eight hours power cut. But, the consumers of urban and rural areas are facing up to 12 hours outages, with consecutive cuts of three to four hours in some areas.
“The supply of fuel to Gencos (power generation companies) and IPPs (independent power producers) is short and many of their production units are not functioning,” the sources said, adding had they been provided proper fuel, the duration of loadshedding would come down to average six hours.
The sources say the Hesco (Hyderabad Electric Supply Company) and Sepco (Sukkar Electric Power Company) are conducting more than 10 hours shutdown in interior Sindh while the consumers of southern Punjab are facing as much loadshedding in limits of Mepco (Multan Electric Power Company).
The situation is even worse in Balochistan, KPK and Fata, where loadshedding is more than 12 hours a day, resulting in water shortage and other problems. The Lesco (in Lahore), Fesco (Faisalabad), Gepco (Gujranwala), and Iesco (Islamabad) are getting half of the electricity than required from national grid and therefore are forced to conduct average 10 hours loadshedding in their limits.
The hydel generation is low because of less outflow of water from major dams and it is standing at 3,250MW against the capacity of around 6,000MW. The IPPs are contributing 5,100MW in energy basket, around 60 to 70 percent of their capacity. The government owned thermal power plants are sharing 850MW with the national grid – around 40 percent of their total capacity.
The total generation, as per the National Transmission and Dispatch Company, is hovering around 9,200MW against the countrywide demand of more than 13,000MW and the gap is touching 4,000MW. From the available 9,200MW, more than 2,000MW is fixed from strategic instalment, KESC and VVIP grids and the rest 7,000MW is being divided among the 10 power distribution companies of the country.
The planners are expecting 15,000MW demand in April and near 18,000MW in peak summer while the generation from all sources may not increase from 12,000MW which would result in 14-hour loadshedding in coming months. Presently, Lesco alone needs around 4,000MW to meet the demand of its industrial, commercial and domestic consumers.