Power tariffs to decline from Nov: Dastgir

Minister says govt to increase base power tariff by Rs7.90/unit in three phases

ISLAMABAD   –   Federal Minister for Power Engi­neer Khurram Dastgir on Friday said that the government will in­crease the base power tariff by Rs 7.90/unit in three phases, and claimed that power tariffs will start declining in November this year.

Pakistan’s electricity demand has increased by 30pc during the year taking it to the historical height of 30,009 MW on June 30, while gener­ation remained at 21,842 MW, Feder­al Minister for Power Khurrum Das­tagir said this while addressing a press conference here.

He said that the shortfall was around 6,000 MW excluding areas of high losses was recorded. The minister said that a commission is being constituted to investigate the delay in the completion of power project. The commission will also in­ vestigate why LNG was not bought for $3/MMBtu in the previous government and delays in the execution of import­ant energy projects, Khurram Dast­gir added. Technical experts will be in­cluded in the commission of inquiry, he said adding that consultations are un­derway in the Prime Minister’s House regarding the commission, Khurram Dastgir said.

He said that on June 30, the high­est demand for electricity in the his­tory of Pakistan was recorded, while 20pc more electricity was generated during the time. He said that the max­imum capability of the power genera­tion is 25000MW. He said that despite carrying out load-shedding for domes­tic consumers, consistent and uninter­rupted electricity was supplied to in­dustrial sector to protect employment of thousands of Pakistani.

He said that there will be improve power supply situation on Eid-ul-Azha and will be further improved after July 22. The minister said that K-2 plant, which is currently closed for refuelling, would start 1100 MW generation be­fore the Eid. Similalry, 720 MW Karot hydropower plant has already started it full operation while Neelum Jehelum hydropower plant was running in its full capacity of 969 MW.

The minister said the entire country was facing the menace of power load­shedding which has three basic rea­sons including Imran’s enmity towards CPEC, misuse of NAB and unprecedent­ed heat wave in April and high fuel (coal, gas-oil) prices hike in the inter­national market.

He said foundation of even 5000 MW which would be added to the national grid system during this year was also laid by Nawaz Sharif.

He said Imran Khan always misguid­ed the people about the power gener­ation in the country. About 1214 MW local Thar Coal based Shanghai Elec­tric project could not be started due to the alleged enmity of Imran to CPEC, he added. All legal and regulatory issues have now been addressed about the Shanghai Coal project and it will start 1214 MW power generation by Decem­ber this year. Similarly, 1200 MW RLNG Trimmu Power Plant which has already been completed but the past govern­ment was not providing gas for its test­ing would now start operation in next 2-3 months, Khurram added.

Similalry, he said that water inflow in dams has also been gradually increased which would help enhance hydel gen­eration.

The circular debt was Rs 1050 billion in 2018 which has surged to Rs 2467 billion during Imran’s tenure, he added. The Minister said record payment was made to the power sector and situation would improve in coming days.

He said an agreement has been inked with Iran for supply of 100 MW power supply to Gwadar and Makran division. Efforts were underway to purchase coal from Afghanistan for running of imported coal based power plants.

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