ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Friday approved 1,500MW Rental Power Projects (RPPs) project against the 2,200MW projects proposed by the Ministry of Water and Power. Federal Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf, told media persons here in a press briefing that the cabinet would give the final approval of those projects though ECC had approved them. Though the electricity obtained from the rental power projects will cost a little expensive, this was the need of the hour to overcome the energy crisis in the country, he said. He said the ministry had demanded of the government to arrange gas supply for cheaper power generation. If the government does so, the ministry will invite the investors to install over 750 megawatts power projects those will be run using gas instead of furnace oil and the total rental power generation will reach 2,250 megawatts, he added. If the gas was provided, the government would not go for further RPPs, he maintained. The minister said the country had been confronting power shortfall up to 4500MW, which fluctuated during the whole year, since formation of the PPP-led government. He said the power was being generated at present through hydel, thermal (both public and private sector), nuclear, coal and wind sources. In thermal sector (Public), total generation capacity was 2,100 to 2,500MW in full strength. About independent power producers (IPPs), the minister said they could generate 5,000MW. He said initiating any new hydel power project would require at least eight to 10 years, while any new plant on part of IPPs would take three years. In case of power generation from coal, it would also take five to six years, he added. The country needs quick power generation to get rid of loadshedding and in this situation, the best available solution at present is RPPs, the minister said. About financial impact of the RPPs, the minister said it would cost 6 per cent higher, adding it would be decided later whether or not to pass this burden to the consumers. He said the power all over the world was being generated through RPPs, adding Saudi Arabia and India also initiated generation of power through rental power projects. Generation of power through RPP was far better than loadshedding, which resulted into unemployment, low economic growth and countrywide protests, the minister claimed. Earlier, while talking to the media after National Assembly session, Ashraf said that the Cabinet Committee on Energy Crisis in its meeting on Thursday took up the Ramazan Package in front of Pepco and KESC to provide relief to the domestic consumers in the holy month of Ramazan. The committee discussed in detail the demand and supply situation and maximum availability of electricity during Ramazan, he said. After discussing all options, it was decided that there would be no loadshedding during Sehr, Iftar and Taraveeh timings. He added there would be exemption of loadshedding for domestic consumers from 03:00am to 05:00am and from 07:00pm to 11:00pm. He said that Pepco and KESC had been directed to strictly implement the Ramazan Package and there should be no complaint of loadshedding/power outages during these timings. Both had also been directed to operate their plants on maximum capacity to provide relief to all the consumers. He directed the operational staff to remain present in the complaint offices round the clock so that prompt action should be taken in case of any electricity problem.