LAHORE - The transmission lines of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) has been upgraded with new investment of Rs13 billion, as 274km long new transmission lines have been laid down, which would be capable of transmitting 2,310MVA additional electricity.

Moreover, 29 new grid stations have been set up in Lesco jurisdiction while 65 grid stations were upgraded from 66kv to 100kv. This was stated by Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali while talking to the media after holding a meeting with Lesco officials to discuss electricity theft, line losses and over-billing here at Alhamra Hall.

He said that there would be zero loadshedding across Pakistan by March 2018, except for those areas where people did not pay their electricity bills and power theft ratio is high. He said that with fast completion of energy projects, initiated by the incumbent government, loadshedding duration had substantially been reduced from 12 hours in 2013 to four hours in cities and six hours in rural areas currently.

He said that three RLNG-based power projects of accumulative capacity of 3,600MW at Bhikhi, Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah would be on their full capacity by end of this year. The Nandipur power project, being converted on gas fuel, will soon be adding 525MW into the system, while 1,320MW Sahiwal Coal Power Plant will be operational by May or June 2017.

Chashma Nuclear Power Plant will start adding 350MW into the power system within next two months, he added. In order to transmit the generated power from new projects, he said, the government was also focusing on improving transmission lines and grid stations across Pakistan.

He explained that there are 124,000 defective meters in the Lesco areas, adding that he had directed the Lesco authorities to replace 120,000 defective meters during the current month. He said that 50 percent of the power feeders in Sindh were running in loss and the departments concerned, as per policy, are ensuring loadshedding duration according to feeder losses.