LAHORE - There would be three-hour loadshedding in urban and four-hour in rural areas on daily basis during this summer. The government is striving to ensure zero power outages with swift completion of energy projects, as loadshedding duration has been reduced from 18 hours in 2013 to just now three hours.

This was stated by Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali while briefing the media about power transmission and generation projects here at WAPDA House. The minister said that the government has been focusing to improve transmission lines and grid stations across Pakistan. Till 2018, the NTDC would complete installation of five new grid stations of 500kV and stretching its transmission lines of 2000-kilometre which would carry extra load of 7000MVA. The company would also complete installation of 13 new 220kV grid stations and stretching of its transmission line of 1600-kilometre carrying 11000MVA load.

In April 2017, the prime minister would lay foundation stone of Mutyari-Lahore (Phase-I) Transmission Line project, to be completed within two years, he said, adding that in the Phase-II, Mutyari-Faisalabad line would be stretched. With improved transmission system, the problems of tripping and low voltage would be resolved.

The minister said that up to 70 percent system constraints have been removed and remaining 30 percent would be eliminated by the authorities concerned till May this year to avoid any tripping or blackouts. He said that circular debt had been reduced and contained to Rs320 billion at present from Rs550 billion in 2013, when the PML-N took over the government. He said that the Sindh government had to pay outstanding dues of Rs60-70 billion to power companies, AJK Rs62 billion, Balochistan Rs146 billion and FATA Rs42 billion. The current amount of circular debt could be abolished if these dues are paid to the power companies, he said.

He said that the government had also managed to ensure bills recovery up to 93 percent and mobile metre-reading up to 90 percent, while reducing the line losses to 17 percent from 19 percent.

Three re-gassified lequified natural gas (RLNG) based power projects of accumulative capacity of 3,600MW at Bhikki, Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah would start producing electricity with full capacity by April 2018, while Nandipur power project being converted on gas fuel would also be adding 525MW to the system till that date.

969MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP) and 1,320MW Sahiwal Coal Power Plant will also start adding electricity to the system, the minister added. He said that work on Dasu Dam, Munda Dam and Diamer-Bhasha Dam will be started by the year-end.