ISLAMABAD  -  NEPRA has imposed a fine of Rs 2 million on K-Electric. This penalty has been imposed on K-Electric for non-compliance of performance standards, particularly failure to restore the power supply within the prescribed time frame and to ensure the safety of public in Karachi.

“Weak and fragile distribution network was the major reason for unscheduled power cuts which could not withstand few millimeters rain and K-Electric failed to resume the power supply within prescribed time period,” said spokesman NEPRA here.

According to the media reports, large area of Karachi remained without electricity due to tripping of almost 700 feeders during rainy weather on 28.06.2017 and onwards, which resulted in long power supply outage ranging from 24 hours to 48 hours in almost 50% of Karachi. Further, fatal injuries to public were also reported due to electrocution, said the spokesman.

The Authority took notice of above situation in Karachi and directed the K-Electric to immediately provide a detailed report on feeder tripping and electrocution incidents which occurred during abovementioned time period along with preventive and corrective steps taken by K-Electric. The report submitted by K-Electric revealed that almost 600 feeders on 28.06.2018 and 400 feeders on 29.06.2018 were tripped for longer duration due to 30mm rain.

The spokesman said that in view of the poor state of affairs on part of K-Electric, the Authority decided to initiate legal proceedings and after due process of law, the Authority passed the final order on 30-10-2018.

The Authority has observed that Karachi has suffered prolonged unscheduled electricity outages for more than twenty four (24) hours in different areas of Karachi on 28.06.2017 and onwards. Weak and fragile distribution network was the major reason for such unscheduled power cuts which could not withstand few millimeters rain and K-Electric failed to resume the power supply within prescribed time period.

The Authority has further observed with concern that people were electrocuted and died due to poor maintenance of distribution network by the K-Electric. This indicates that KE’s network is full of safety hazards and there is no mechanism to develop safety culture and rectify safety hazards so that public lives can be saved during such emergency situations.

Keeping in view the non-compliance of Performance Standards, the Authority decided to impose a fine of Rs. 2 million on K-Electric under NEPRA Fine Rules.

It is pertinent to mention here that on September 27, 2018, also National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had imposed a fine of Rs5 million on K-Electric due to its failure to provide reliable power supply to consumers on a non-discriminatory basis.

Meanwhile, spokesman K-Electric said that the company is a law-abiding and responsible organization which ensures compliance with all respective regulations and guidelines and is committed to provide sustainable power supply to its consumers. Regarding NEPRA’s recent decision, the power utility will approach the regulatory authority for review.

Since 2009, K-Electric has invested over $2 billion to improve Karachi’s power infrastructure and enhance the quality of services for its customers. Major initiatives include exempting over 70% of Karachi from loadshedding, including all industrial consumers and strategic installations.

Further, T&D losses have been brought down from 36% to 20%, along with capacity addition of 1,057 MW to K-Electric’s own generation. In addition, through continued investments, transmission & distribution capacity has been enhanced by around 29% and 63% respectively since 2009. This all has been achieved without distributing any dividends to shareholders from declared profits and, instead, routing this towards developing infrastructure.

Further, to accommodate the growing power demand of the city, KE has planned investments across the value chain. Ongoing projects include the $450 million TP-1000 Transmission Project, which will add over 1,000 MVAs into the transmission system. The power utility is also working to diversify its fuel mix towards clean energy and in this regard, two 25-year EPAs with IPPs have already been signed which will add 100 MW of renewable energy to KE’s system by 2019. Additionally, KE is also evaluating another 250MWs of renewable projects to further increase the share of renewable energy based on solar, wind and biogas, in its system.