LAHORE  - As the new government has focused his performance through photo sessions, hollow rhetoric and signing MoUs, the mismanagement and bureaucratic infighting is the main reason of power crisis. Country is standing as it was in the PPP-led coalition government by not utilizing the existing electricity generation capacity.

The mismanagement of the public sector power sector can be gauged by the fact that GENCO’s Holding Co. Ltd, which controls all four Public Sector Generation Companies namely GENCO I, II, III, IV, has presently no CEO to look after the GENCOs affairs.

Official sources in the Power & Water Ministry told The Nation that there are no GMs for Thermal, as both the posts are lying vacant since 2012.

“The CEO of GENCO-III is assigned all the above jobs as additional charge. Same is the case with the GENCO-IV, which has also no head and its additional charge has been given to CEO of the GENCO-I. Likewise, no Chief Engineer is posted in all the 4 GENCOs.

Officials said that the government’s failure to upgrade and make capital investments in old facilities like Jamshoro and Guddu thermal power plants not only caused the production to fall but also contributed to higher cost of generation. Due to poor maintenance of the power stations, public sector power plants lost nearly one-third of their capacity and nearly 17pc of their thermal efficiency due to plant degradation. In addition, hydel power plants were mismanaged, causing a fall in their output since 2012.

They said that energy crisis is not about the installed generation capacity it is also due to incompetence, structural reasons bad governance and corruption.

Narrating the pathetic story of the Guddu Thermal Power plant in Sindh, the largest public sector power plant, officials said that around eight power units of the plant are lying unutilised, which has decreased the original power generation capacity from 1,650MW to about 400MW and the new government has kept quiet and doing nothing in this regard. They said that management has been forced to shut down units because of frequent fire accidents due to the management’s negligence and lack of interest despite high demand of power.

“Unit No. 4 with the capacity to generate 230MW caught fire in May of this year. Then in June a blast occurred in unit No. 2, forcing it to be shut down. For the last couple of months units 6, 11, 12, and 13 have been lying idle. “Unit 7 needs just a gear to run and there is a fan required for another unit which can generate 100MW. If all requirements are met and the power plant starts running smoothly, we can add a further 1,200MW to the national grid,” said officials.

The problems persist even though the power plant is being supplied with 260 million cubic feet of gas, “Hardly 140 mmcfd is being consumed by the power plant,” officials said. Following the fire incidents in unit No. 4 and unit No. 2, engineers were initially held responsible, but there was no inquiry. Instead they were given another assignment.

Regarding Thermal Lahore Head Office, officials said that no GM and no CEO are working here, while the HR Director and other few lower rank officers are making money for the official matters of all GENCOs.

“All the officers and officials are performing their duties very poorly with maximum corruption as there is none to look after.”

The HR Director of GENCO-I Jamshoro is permanently sitting at WAPDA House at his sweet wish for being Lahore-based and enjoying the additional charges and allowances.

“The Finance Directors occasionally visit Muzaffargarh and Guddu and the Ministry under the new government has never taken notice in this regard. Their TA/DA bills and Car Log books along with driver’s bills for last 4-5 years is enough witness for the attendance of FDs.”

“A considerable number of X-Ens other than Jamshoro are working above the actual strength at GENCO-I, doing nothing or making other regular engineers idle, namely; Sadaruddin Khuhro, Abdul Wajid Mughal, Muhammad Bux Soomro, Aftab Ahmed Sehar, Nek Muhammad Sheikh, Sikandar Ali Soomro being charged at TPS Muzaffargarh, Javed Ahmed Leghari being charged at Guddu, Ghulam Murtaza Halipoto being charged at Mangla and Irfan Aziz being charged against Deputy Manager L&IR.”

The officials claimed that the advisor to PM Dr Musadiq Malik, who is actually a pharmacist by a profession, knows that a Unit at Guddu is off for non-repair of only one fan for the last 2½ years but he has never bother to take notice of this issue except enjoying his new job of advisor.  `They said that no body is there to ask the CEO Guddu or fix the responsibility for such huge loss to the national exchequer, as no one from higher authorities has ever bothered to visit Guddu.

The officials blamed that with a view to avoid taking responsibility both the regular Plant Managers, i.e., REs I & II, have intentionally been put on sidelined by placing the lower ranked officers as REs, vide O/o No. CEO/GHCL/PA/5268-80, Dated July 02, 2013. 

“The most criminal side of this O/o is that the new 747MW project has also been neglected, as three X-Ens are posted there, but actually two X-Ens are under promotion while the 3rd one has been removed from this site.”

1650MW Guddu Power Current status

    Units detail    Capacity    Existing position

i)    Unit No. 7,     100 MW    Shut since Apr 2011

ii)    Unit No. 13,     143 MW,    Turbine damaged in March

iii)    Unit No. 12,    135 MW,    Closed since Feb 2013.

iv)    Unit No. 11,    135 MW,    60pc operative for last 6 months

v)    Unit No. 4,    210 MW    Damaged in a fire on 23-05-2013.

vi)    Unit No. 2,    110 MW    Generator exploded in June 2013.

vii)    Unit No. 6,    100 MW    Turbine bearings damaged in June