LAHORE The country is all set to face the worst power crisis as the water level will be going down in a few weeks, reducing electricity generation from hydel power plants by 2,000-3,000MW. And the second option, the GENCOs, will fail to fill the gap because they are not even capable of meeting their current output targets efficiently due to low average efficiency rate of 22 per cent. According to sources in power sector, the decreased water outflow from Tarbela and Mangla dams last year during the same period reduced hydel power production by 2,300MW as at least 30,000 cusecs outflow had been cut from Tarbela and 18,000 cusecs from Mangla. Against the electricity demand of over 15,000 MW, the country is already producing around 10,000 MW only which will further reduce to 7,000-8,000 MW only leading to 12-18 hours loadshedding in the big and small cities of the country from next month. All eyes in that situation will be on the Independent Power Plants (IPPs) that have been generating power well above the targets so far but no gas supply by the government to gas based IPPs and extreme shortage of funds due to non-payment of billions of rupees by the government will leave them with zero output as they will not have the money to buy furnace oil, they added. The input cost will also be a concern for government as cost of hydel electricity is almost Rs1/kwh, gas fuel costs almost Rs4/kwh, Furnace Oil fuel cost is about Rs12/kwh and the diesel based around Rs16/kwh. So, the unit cost will skyrocket in the months to come which will be backbreaking for the already inflation hit public. They said that the fuel mix for power sector has been 70 percent hydel and 30 percent thermal in the past when demand and supply gap was not as wide as now which also kept the cost of electricity at the lowest level. Over the year unfortunately this equation has reversed and presently almost 70 percent electricity is through the thermal system and 30 percent from Hydel. Experts said that the government also needs to rethink allocation of gas to the power sector on priority over others as the efficiency of the IPPs is the highest at 51 percent as compared to a range of 16 to 35 percent of GENCOs. Due to the present curtailment of gas to these IPPs the annual additional cost on running on HSD is estimated around Rs120 billion. The four gas based plants having a capacity of almost 900 MW and an efficiency of 51 percent may end up calling for termination of their contract, they added. However, they said that it will be another temporary solution only as depending heavily on thermal energy will not curtail energy crisis in the country as it is very expensive and developed countries are also reducing their dependence on thermal energy and exploring new sources of power production. They said that the government must seriously explore the new sources of power generation which is inevitable for the country to overcome the escalating energy crisis in Pakistan otherwise the crisis would last long and the economy of Pakistan cannot withstand this.