LAHORE - The Lahore Electric Supply Company has failed to ensure zero loadshedding despite having surplus power supply from national grid, as forced electricity shutdowns continued in various parts of provincial capital. 

According to Lesco officials, power allocation from the national grid for the company is around 2000MW while demand is up to 1700MW but power breakdowns of at least two to three hours have been reported in a number of areas.

Consumers refuted the claims of the federal government that over 65 per cent population of the country would be free of loadshedding, stating that more than 42pc of the feeders across the country were facing loadshedding.

Lesco officials are of the view that these breakdowns are not part of official loadshedding neither they are due to system constraints. They were of the view that there are scheduled shutdowns of power in different areas, especially in the localities surrounding the Orange line train project.

The Lesco announces power shutdowns in these localities and informs the consumers through newspapers advertisement about these, they added.

According to official sources, at present, total electricity generation in the country has been increased by 7,450MW to the level of 16,480MW with a surplus of 2,627MW against a demand of 13,016MW.

Energy experts are of the view that the power loadshedding will continue due to system constraints and a low recovery in spite of surplus generation in the country even after 2018. Power sector experts disagree with the claim of the government and are uncertain about zero loadshedding in the country by 2018 despite tall claims of the government, citing system constraints and low recovery.

They said that the government will not be in a position to supply electricity to the consumers due to recovery issues and system constraints even if demand-supply gap is filled with new generation by 2018.

They also proposed that the government should outsource the feeders to the private sector to improve recovery.

Power ministry officials said that the country has moved from shortfall to surplus position and it has also been able to meet the additional demand of 2,118MW during the month of December. “The country is now having surplus electricity, it has announced lifting loadshedding in the country where line losses are below 10 percent,” they said.

They claimed that in December 2013 the electricity generation was 9,279MW while system demand was 11,799MW, having a shortfall of 2,520MW but now situation has changed and we have surplus power. However, multiple factors including power theft, non-payment of bills and administrative issues at Discos level are the major constraints to eliminate loadshedding permanently and forever.