LAHORE - Minister of State for Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali has affirmed the present government will shut down all expensive oil-based power plants (IPPs) to ensure availability of cheaper energy for consumers.

He also apprised that the previous government did not pay heed on rehabilitation and maintenance of old power plants which caused several system constraints inflicting heavy losses. However, the government has carried out and completed various projects during last four years. He said that the Ministry of Power identified system constraints, communicated targets to all the departments concerned to initiate upgradation of transmission system on war footing. He directed the heads of power sector entities to complete their ongoing projects well before time.

He was chairing a meeting on power system constraints held at Wapda House Lahore. NTDC deputy managing director, CEOs of all distribution companies (Discos), Pepco GM (R&CO) and other senior officials of the Power Division attended the meeting. Highlighting the performance of present government in power sector, the minister lauded the unending efforts of all concerned quarters to overcome loadshedding and mentioned that at present surplus electricity is available in the system. However, due to certain system constraints and line losses, loadshedding is being observed at Discos level.

The minister also said that meetings being held regularly for monitoring committee comprising the officials of Power Division, Pepco, NTDC and Discos to rigorously monitor the pace of developmental work and ensure timely completion of all ongoing projects.

Next meeting of system constraints will be held in December 2017.

He clearly mentioned that officials failed to complete projects within the given date would be penalised. He directed CEOs that honest and dedicated officers should be posted on key posts for completion of projects. He also expressed satisfaction on energisation of 500 kV Port Qasim Transmission Line and appreciated NTDC and Discos for coordinated efforts to overcome the issues of system constraints.