Power Shortfall

Loadshedding has returned and it is riling up citizens in urban and rural areas of Punjab. As per reports, there is a shortfall of around 550MW being experienced by LESCO due to which urban areas are experiencing load shedding of about two to four hours and around eight hours in rural areas. This is of course a serious inconvenience, especially in the month of Ramazan.
The new government is solely holding the PTI responsible for the ongoing shortfall. PM Shahbaz Sharif has pointed out that the country has the power generation capacity of 35,000 megawatts (MW), but due to the closure of different power-producing plants run on gas and oil, some parts of the country were facing load shedding for the last few days.
Currently, 18 power generation plants of 3,605-megawatt capacity are not producing electricity due to technical faults while nine power plants with 3535MW power generation capacity are shut due to fuel shortage. Since there was serious mismanagement of LNG procurement under the previous government, a number of plants have been closed for the past couple of years. According to the sources, Nandipur power plant and Sahiwal Coal power plant that can produce electricity at cheap rates have stopped power generation due to unavailability of fuel. Sources reveal that the former government did not bother to address minor technical faults relating to conveyor belts, boiler leakages, and steam turbine issues.
Since LNG is not an option at this time, the government will have to look towards other avenues going forward, while addressing the issues with the plants that are not operational at the moment. PM Shahbaz Sharif has stated that the country could generate an additional 6,000 megawatts of hydel power using the natural flow of water. Perhaps now is the time to move away towards more renewable sources of energy given how the market forces are behaving and the worsening impact of climate change.

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