KARACHI - The reliance of K-Electric on national grid will end in next three years as the company hopes to become self sufficient in power generation by 2021.

"KE aspires to be self sufficient in power generation by 2021 with upcoming projects including 900MW RLNG based bin Qasim power station III, 700MW coal fired power project, 50MW solar project and few other IPPs, which will end the reliance of the company on the national grid," said K-Electric Chief Marketing & Communication Officer Syed Fakhar Ahmad, while talking to Islamabad based journalists here.

The peak demand in K-Electric area is 3200 MW while the availability is 2900 MW and the company has a deficit of 300 MW, he said.

Currently, to fill its energy gap, K-Electric is getting around 650 MW electricity from the national grid.

During the media visit at KE's Bin Qasim Power Station II, Syed Fakhar Ahmad said that the power utility is committed to dealing with the growing energy challenges of Karachi.

Fakhar said the vertically integrated power company has brought considerable improvement in all sectors, including generation and distribution.

He said K-Electric has managed to add 1,057 megawatts to its generation capacity since 2009, he said, referring particularly to its flagship BQPS-II.

Adding new generation capabilities and strengthening its transmission and distribution network are currently K-Electric's highest priorities. The power utility is also taking major steps towards enhancing transformation capacity and improving the reliability of power supply to its customers.

He also apprised about the development of 900 MW Bin Qasim Power Station III project,to be completed with the cost of approximately one billion dollars, and the progress of $ 440 million TP-1000 (Transmission Enhancement Plan) project. The construction site of planned 900MW BQPS-III was also shown whose fate lies on the pending decision with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra).

While responding to a query, Fakhar said, "KE has already made more investment ($ 1.4 billion) than its initial commitment which helped improve generation , transmission and Distribution networks. K-Electric has planned to invest additional PKR 335 billion by 2023 in power production and distribution sectors of Karachi".

He further said KE has to-date not paid out any dividend and the profits declared in annual audited accounts have been re-invested into the business. This has resulted in exemption of 61% of Karachi including all industrial zones and strategic installations from load-shed.

The continuous stream of investment from KE has further strengthened the power infrastructure and reinforces its long-term commitment to serve the people of Karachi.

Meanwhile Amer Zia, Head of Distribution Operations, K-Electric while briefing the journalists about the customers service improvement and anti theft measures said that currently available in select areas of Karachi, the automated complaint management system will be implemented across K-Electric's network by the end of current fiscal year. The state-of-the-art GIS (Geographic Information System) based complaints management system is currently in the pilot phase capable of resolving consumer complaints much faster during power outages.

"The automated complaint management system is among the various initiatives K-Electric has taken in line with its commitment to further enhance consumers' experience. Our consumers in the pilot areas are experiencing quicker response and faster outage resolution. The system has enable swift identification of locations while further reducing the response time of consumer complaints," he said.

According to Amer, integration of latest technology in power distribution helps improve efficiency to meet the ever-growing consumer expectations.

He said that the over-all activity is hosted by middleware application in integration with SAP - CRM, which ensures real time tracking of fault resolution vehicles enabling direct complaint dispatching to the crew and real time customer feedback.

Earlier he highlighted the unique challenges KE has been through and the measure the power utility has taken to improve the reliability of power supply across its network through sustained investments including addition of 850 feeders, 12 grid stations and 11,500 PMTs.

Terming power theft and illegal abstraction as one of the major challenges, Amer apprised the journalists that installation of Aerial Bundled Cables (ABC), which is an innovative concept for power distribution guaranteeing both safety and higher system efficiencies, is also part of our vision to further enhance the reliability of power supply across KE's network.

"To date, over 3 million people living in around 240 communities have been impacted while over 3,600 PMTs have been converted on ABC through KE's flagship community development project 'Ujala'" he said.

Under the project, more than 80,000 low-cost meters have been provided whereas over 8,000 patients have been treated through various customer facilitation camps in different areas of the city," Amer said.