OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE The meeting presided over by Pakistan Muslim League-N Quaid Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif reviewed in detail various projects of energy in the province, and a number of important decisions were taken in this regard. Chairman Energy Department Punjab Nadeem Babar gave detailed briefing with regard to energy projects and targets in Punjab. On this occasion, the CM observed that the country was facing serious crisis of energy, which not only leaving negative impacts on industrial and trade sectors, but also depriving the labourers and workers of means of livelihood. He said the Punjab government was working on various projects of generating energy and Rs 9 billion had been allocated for energy projects in the next financial year. He also said powers of generating energy had been given to the provinces in the meeting of Council of Common Interests. In the light of which Punjab government has made planning of generating power. He mentioned that besides coal, Hydle power, solar and wind, a policy was also being evolved in consultation with sugar mills for generating power through trash of cane. Addressing the meeting, Nawaz Sharif said the energy projects would have to be implemented speedily for running the industries and ridding the people from load-shedding. He urged that private sector should be fully encouraged for making investments in energy sector, and there should be an independent and autonomous board comprising professionals associated with private sector for execution and rapid completion of energy projects. Earlier, Nadeem Babar gave a detailed briefing with regard to various projects of generating energy and targets in the province. He informed that projects could be started at 400 to 600 places on canals for generating energy through hydle power. He mentioned that work was being carried out for generating energy through coal, hydle, trash of cane, wind and solar energy and it would soon be possible to generate energy through these projects. Meanwhile, the electricity crisis worsened across the country on Saturday due to the shutdown of various power plants. The power generation came down at merely 11,000megawatt. Meanwhile, the gas gagging by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited for six IPPs is being blamed for the worst power generation decline, and some GENCOs have already stopped generation due to irregular supply of furnace oil and 'forced shutdowns. Sources meanwhile confided to TheNation on Saturday that about a dozen power houses were lying idle mainly because of non-payment of dues from Pakistan Electric Power Company, low furnace oil supply and gas curtailment. The National Grid is facing about 3,000MW additional shortfall due to these issues, the sources added. The power generation side has been badly affected, but thanks to the relaxed weather that the people are enjoying some relief. If the weather turned hot, the electricity consumers might face the worst situation, the official sources seeking anonymity commented, they maintained. The PEPCO has to pay billions of rupees to IPPs, the SNGPL curtailed gas supply and the furnace oil supply was already reduced, hence the power sector was badly distorted. The official source said that due to oil scarcity, nine power stations had halted their operations partially or completely on Friday last. They did not resume their work till Saturday evening. These powerhouses were producing 1175 MW of electricity in total. They added that Kot Addu power plant was capable of producing 1400MW of electricity but was currently producing half of it while the Gulf power plant was supplying 62MW from its total capacity of 80MW. The official source was of the view that by paying dues to the power stations and ensuring fuel supply, production of 3500MW of electricity could be made possible. The source said the load shedding would further increase in coming days if the government had not ensured the smooth supply of furnace oil and gas to power sector. Meanwhile, the PEPCO admitted the generation decline saying 'it was due to the curtailment of gas to power plants having 1,400 megawatt capacity. PEPCO General Manager Ijaz Qureshi said the non-payment to the IPPs was not affecting the power generation. If the government ensured the gas and furnace oil supply to power plants, the situation would become better, he added. The IPPs from where the power generation affected by 1400megawatt due to the non-supply of gas, according to the G.M, were Fuji, Rousch, SAF, Orient, Sapphire and Halmore power. Similarly, he added, the units at Jamshoro, Kotli, Guddu had been affected because of non-supply of fuel. According to the PEPCO, the generation during last 24-hour had been stood at 13304 megawatt while the demand was 17502megawatt. The hydle, thermal, IPPs and RPPs share during the period was 5148megawatt, 1730megawatt, 6343megawatt and 83megawatt respectively. The KESC was supplied 710megawatt.