ISLAMABAD - The private sector may finally see light at the end of the tunnel as National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has proposed a mechanism that would ensure uninterrupted electric power supply to industrial units.

Under this newly devised mechanism, private sector industrial units would find no power loadshedding, as incessant power supply would be ensured through direct contracting with any of the power plant situated in any part of the country. Similarly, installation of 50 to 100mw of power plants would be promoted, viewing the widening hours long power outages being faced by industrial units in various parts of the country.

According to available copy of a draft of Energy Wheeling Agreement, private sector (industries) would be able to sign direct agreement with power plant and ensure non-stop power supply to the industries as per demand. And, the private sector after getting demanded supply of power from the plant would pay wheeling charges around Rs1.50/unit to the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) over using the transmission line and concerned power distributing company (Disco) over using its system besides paying the price of power to the power plant.

“All costs and expenses associated with the repair, testing, commissioning, calibration and recalibration of (i) the Entry Point Check Meter shall be borne by all the BPCs (bulk power consumers), (ii) the Exit Points Check Meters shall be borne by the relevant BPC, and (iii) for the Wheeling Meters, by the Supplier,” said draft of Energy Wheeling Agreement.

The draft of Energy Wheeling Agreement also put forwarded that in the event a dispute arises between the parties, the parties shall attempt in good faith to settle such dispute by mutual discussions within thirty (30) days from the date that the party arising the dispute delivers written notice of the dispute to the other party. “If the dispute is not resolved within the aforesaid thirty (30) day period, the dispute shall be referred to Nepra for its resolution,” said the draft agreement.

Officials at Nepra said that draft of Energy Wheeling Agreement has been dispatched to the stakeholders for their input prior to formal execution of this agreement. And, little changes are expected in the energy wheeling agreement after getting the comments of stakeholders. They also said that industries would find no power outages while promotion of installing more and more power plants to meet the burgeoning energy needs would be made with effect to this new mechanism/policy.

Anis-ul-Haq, Secretary (Punjab Region) All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) when contacted, he said that country’s industry and economy with this new policy would grow up.  He said this is first ever initiative to boost industrial production of the country and economy as a result would be strengthened and more foreign reserves would be made.

“A similar policy/model is effective in various countries of the globe to promote local industry,” he said. About the draft of Energy Wheeling Agreement, he said, “Yes, we have received the draft and are looking the ups and downs of the proposed agreement sent to us for input and soon we would soon respond to Nepra. More, we hope that Nepra would entertain APTMA’s input on the draft of the agreement.

The draft of proposed Nepra’s agreement also suggested that within five (5) business days of receiving the Invoice Dispute Notice, the parties shall meet to resolve the disputes relating to payment disputes. Similarly, the parties shall, within 30 days of the signing date, constitute the Coordination Committee by designating one (1) member to represent it on the Coordination Committee and within 30 days of its constitution, the Coordination Committee shall finalise the Connectivity Protocol. “Any party may remove or replace its designee from the Coordination Committee upon notice to the other party.”

It has also been suggested that late payments by either party of amounts due or payable under this agreement shall bear interest at a rate per annum equal to the Delayed Payment Rate. No default by either party in the performance of or compliance with any provision of this agreement shall be waived or discharged except with the express written consent of the other party.  “No waiver by either party of any default by the other in the performance of or compliance with any of the provisions of this agreement (including payment due for liquidated damages) shall operate or be construed as a waiver of any other or further default whether of a like or different character,” reads Nepra’s draft on Energy Wheeling Agreement.