ISLAMABAD - The Private Power Infrastructure Board’s board Thursday declined to grant extension in the issuance of letter of interest (LoI) for CPEC energy projects till the announcement of the national electricity plan and new energy policy.

The new energy policy is likely to be announced in next two months and the PPIB board will consider the request of the investors regarding the extension of letter of interest (LoI) and letters of support (LoS) for the CPEC energy projects after that, official sources told The Nation.

In a meeting, held last week, the CPEC energy project investors asked the Federal Minister for Power Awais Laghari for the extension of their letter of interest (LoI), letters of support (LoS). Responding to the investors on the issue of delay and extension of LoS and LoI, the minister had directed the PPIB to hold its next meeting on 11th January. He further directed the PPIB to thoroughly work out the details of these requests and put before the BOD for its merit consideration and decision.

The investors have asked the extension of LoI for around six coal and hydro projects, the source said. Some of the investors are habitual and have taken the extensions time and again, the source added. Now these requests for the extensions will be considered in the light of New Energy policy and then a decision will be made in this regard after the unveiling of the new policy, said the sources.

Meanwhile, a press statement issued here stated that the National Electricity Plan, which is part of the new Energy Policy of the government of Pakistan, is at final stages of development and has full participation of the provinces. This plan will be of utmost importance in determining demand and supply scenario of electricity in the country.

This was stated by Federal Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari while presiding over 113th meeting of Private Power and Infrastructure Board held here. He further said that all pending LoIs issued to sponsors will accordingly be evaluated under this plan. The National Electricity Plan would play a major role in determining the future sources for power generation and reduced tariff which would be based on international competitive bidding. The minister further stated that the sponsors of projects should diligently pursue their projects so that projects are implemented well in time while practice of granting extensions in accomplishing various milestones should be avoided so that the plan for capacity addition is not disturbed. Ch Abid Sher Ali, Minister of State Power Division, amongst other senior federal and provincial government officers attended the meeting.

In Thursday’s meeting, the Board approved execution of implementation agreement (IA) with the+660kV HVDC Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line Project, consequently allowing PPIB to execute the agreement for timely implementation of this project of national importance. The Board also allowed extension in financial close date of 1320MW imported coal based power project at Hub without affecting the synchronization date of the first unit i.e. 31st December 2018 and required commercial operation date i.e. 1st August 2019.

The Board accorded approval for submission of ECC summary for approval of IA and PPA for 1263MW Trimmu RLNG based power project which is being implemented on fast track basis by the government of Punjab.

The minister and board members expressed their satisfaction on the progress of ongoing projects being handled by PPIB and urged PPIB to keep abreast on the progress of said projects. The federal minister said that there are other aspects of the energy crisis which we are tackling on war footing, including constraints in the transmission segment of the power sector, inefficiencies in the distribution system, the circular debt burden and inadequate checks on power theft. Eradicating loadshedding, harnessing indigenous potential, controlling wrong meter-reading/over-billing and introducing net-metering are extraordinary achievements of the government which will be instrumental in making our electricity network efficient.