ISLAMABAD - The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has decided to initiate legal proceedings against K-Electric, for poor maintenance plan, having failed to use alternate fuel and generating less than capacity electricity on one of its power plants which resulted in up to 10 hours extended unscheduled loadshedding in Karachi.

Besides, Nepra has also sent an advisory to the Government of Pakistan for immediate restoration of gas supply of 190 MMCFD to KE by Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), said a spokesman for the Nepra.

Taking serious notice of additional 10 hours unscheduled loadshedding in Karachi, the Nepra last week constituted a high-level committee to probe the matter.

Nepra’s committee visited K-Electric from April 11 to 13, 2018 to investigate the unannounced loadshedding due to curtailment of gas supply by SSGC to KE, owing to which consumers were suffering badly. The committee held detailed discussions with KE officials, inspected main power generation plants and grid stations and conducted surveys of the relevant areas.

The committee noted that KE is receiving around 50 to 60 MMCFD less gas as compared to April, 2017 and the situation has worsened due to increase in power demand owing to early onset of summer.

Moreover, the committee noted that infrastructure for alternate fuel/High Speed Diesel (HSD) operation at both the gas turbine based power plants of Korangi Combined Cycle Power Plant (KCCPP, 225 MW) and Bin Qasim Power Station-II (BQPS-II, 529 MW) is available; however, KE has not yet commissioned the same and adopted an irresponsible approach in this regard.

Had these systems been in place, about 350 MW could have been added and additional load shed could have been avoided.

During the period under review i.e. March 27, 2018 till April 10, 2018, the committee also noted underutilization of BQPS I during morning time, whereas it could have been operated at full capacity to minimize load shedding. The committee further noted that average loading position of BQPS-I was only 647 MW against the available capacity of 1015 MW.

Moreover, it was observed that Unit 2 of BQPS-I having the available capacity of 180 MW is on unplanned outage since September, 2017 which indicates KE’s poor maintenance plan.

Furthermore, the committee noted that the load management carried out by K-Electric was beyond its claims and in addition to load shedding on account of gas curtailment, KE network also experienced faults adding to the unplanned loadshedding hours due to its fragile distribution system.

The Nepra authority took serious notice of the violations and decided to initiate legal proceedings against K-Electric.

In addition to this, the Nepra authority has decided to direct the K-Electric to immediately start the commissioning of KCCPP and BQPS-II on alternate fuel/HSD and complete the same as soon as possible.

Moreover, it has been decided to acquire the Ramadan plan from K-Electric in order to comprehend the arrangements made by K-Electric to ensure uninterrupted power supply during Sehar and Iftar timings to the people of Karachi.

The power regulatory body has also sent an advisory to the Government of Pakistan (being a 24percent shareholder having 3 members nominated by government) for immediate restoration of gas supply of 190 MMCFD to KE by SSGCL.