Govt decides to install only local power plants in future

ISLAMABAD – The Federal Cabinet has decided to install only indigenous fuel power plants in future to meet the growing electricity requirements of the country.

The cabinet, which met here yesterday with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair, was given a detailed briefing on the current loadshedding in the country.

Later, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb at a joint press briefing along with Adviser on Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Board of Investment Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Minister for Energy Khurram Dastagir, and Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik, said that the existing electricity generation capacity is 23900 megawatts whilst the demand reached the historic level of 30,000 megawatts last month.

She regretted and blamed the PTI previous government for the delay in the ongoing power projects.

Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir said that the Karot hydropower project of 720 megawatts under the CPEC has now been made operational which would help in reducing the power shortfall in the country.

The cabinet was informed that the projects of 4623 megawatts initiated by the PML-N back in 2013-18 will become operational by next year.

He said a total of 7,000 megawatts of electricity will come to the system including from these projects as well as solar power and private net metering by next year which will help address the issue of loadshedding.

Referring to the increased inflow of water into Tarbela, he was confident that the electricity production from this source will reach the maximum of 3500 megawatts in the next few days whilst generation of 1100 megawatts from K-2 nuclear plant will also start in the same period which will help reduce loadshedding to a great extent and help provide relief to the people during Eidul Azha.

The Minister for Power said the government is also considering a comprehensive policy on solar energy.

Info minister says power demand rose to 30,000MW in June against 23,900MW capacity n Khurram says 7,000MW to be added to national grid before next summer n Musadik Malik says all possible ways being explored to meet gas needs n PM holds PTI responsible for energy crisis

He said the focus will be on large scale plants as well as supporting the small consumers to install small plants. He said government buildings will also be converted to solar.

Adviser on Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira told the media the Prime Minister has directed to minimize the power outages to three hours across Pakistan.

He said the PTI government delayed projects of about 4,000 megawatts which were to be completed by 2020 or 2021.  He said the country would not have been faced with the current situation, had these projects been timely completed.

Minister for Board of Investment Chaudhry Salik Hussain said the present government is serious to address the problems faced by the people including that of the power outages.

To a question, Khurram Dastgir said that as per directions of the Prime Minister the government is putting its efforts to improve the management of DISCOs.

He said for this purpose the use of modern technology is indispensable. He said a plan will be framed for installing smart meters for automatic bill generation from January next year.

The Minister said under the vision of the Prime Minister to support the poor segment of the society, the government has decided not to apply any increase in the prices of electricity to the consumers who use less than 100 units.

He said a reform package will be announced soon to replace free electricity of WAPDA employees to incentivize salary.

The PM directed Minister for Energy Khurram Dastagir to visit two best power distribution companies and also visit to worse companies and later submit a report to the cabinet with clear differences of working.

The Prime Minister directed the energy Minister that duration of loadshedding should not be more than two hours.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in his tweets said the government was ensuring early completion of power projects including 1320 megawatts Shanghai Electric Power, 1236 megawatts Punjab thermal, 720 megawatts Karot Hydro Power, 330 megawatts Energy Limited and 330 megawatts HUBCO Thal Nova Thar coal power project.

He said the government would complete on priority basis the projects criminally delayed in the past.

He said today the federal cabinet was informed in detail by the Power Division about the recent load shedding in the country.

The criminal negligence of the government of Pakistan Tehreek i Insaf (PTI) delayed the power projects of 3963 megawatts which were to be completed by 2020-21.

Due to non completion of these projects, people were suffering from load shedding, he stressed.

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