Islamabad- The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has increased the electricity tariff by Rs1.35/unit on account of monthly fuel price adjustment.

NEPRA hearing was held over the request of Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) under its vice chairman Khwaja Muhammad Naeem in the premises of the regulatory authority. During the hearing, the CPPA was of the stand that during the month of March not a single unit of electricity was generated with coal while electricity generation with gas fuel also remained at very low level.

To bridge the demand and supply gap owing to increased power shortfall across the country, the electricity was generated at a high cost with expansive fuels of high speed diesel (HSD) and furnace oil that had contributed hike in the per unit electricity price. 

The regulatory authority (Nepra) has expressed its concerns over increased line/transmission losses worth 16 crore and 50 lac rupees. Fuel cost during the whole month of March remained at Rs 54 billion and 99 crores. However, domestic consumers using 50units in a month along with power consumers of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) will enjoy immunity from this recent per unit price hike.

While raising serious apprehensions over 650MW electricity supply to the KESC, Khwaja Muhammad Naeem and member Habib Ullah Khilji said, “Due to provision of 650MW electricity to the KESC, power situation across the country is getting worse with each passing day.” 

Khwaja Muhammad Naeem was of the view that northern and southern parts of the country are being affected very badly due to power situation. The Council of Common Interests (CCI) in the month of November 2012 approved the demand of then Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to withdraw 300MW from the KESC’s share of 650MW and put it back into the national grid. The council agreed to distribute the 300MW among the provinces equitably.

Vice chairman also ordered the National Power Control Centre (NPCC), National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC) and Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) to supply only 350MW electricity to the KESC instead of 650MW. Under the NEPRA order, reduced power supply to KESC has been approved. Khwaja Muhammad Naeem also asked the water & power ministry and concerned power companies to respect the orders of Sindh High Court as it is necessary for all to give regard to the decision of the CCI in this regard.

On the other hand, NEPRA has also advised the NPCC to file an intra court appeal against the stay order of the Sindh High Court. Similarly, General Manger NPCC was also instructed to ensure the limit of 350MW electricity supply to KESC and it should also be maintained at this level while to maintain this limit even in future a mechanism should also be devised so that the KESC does not get a single unit above the defined limit. Interestingly, the KESC had been getting up to 840MW instead of even 650MW.

During the course of hearing, General Manager NPCC also admitted that there would be no let up in the loadshedding even if required oil and gas is provided to the power plants. He was of the view that Rs4billion on daily basis are required to limit power outages up to three hours while generation capacity of the power plants is 17,000MW and at present power generation is 9,000MW.