ISLAMABAD - Carrying out third party audit of Pakistans energy sector, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recommended electricity load conservation as well as increase in power generation up to an aggregate 2,200 MW, TheNation learnt on Wednesday. According to well-placed sources, the ADB has not only suggested replacement of 30 million incandescent bulbs in the domestic sector with efficient and high-quality compact fluorescent lamps it has also approved a multi-tranche financing facility for the purpose. The sources quoted the ADBs initial assessment study projecting the CFL market penetration would reduce evening peak time demand of electricity by around 1094 MW. Similarly, the ADB has also recommended that thermal power generation capacity efficiency improvement could generate an additional 1100 MW from the existing plants. Due to various reasons, mainly associated with the financial constraints faced by these companies, these plants are being operated at de-rated capacities nearly 25 per cent below their mane-plate ratings, the sources said. The average forced outage rate for the generation companies at 12 per cent has been high compared with six per cent of the independent power producers, the sources added. Nearly all plants in the public sector are operating at much lower efficiency than the industry benchmark levels for plants of similar ages and configurations, the sources said. Due to aging of several plants, all of the de-rated capacity and efficiency cannot be economically resorted, added the sources, quoting the ADB assessments. Therefore, the sources added, the ADB has proposed that at least three of the existing plants would be replaced by modern combined-cycle plants. This will increase the power generation capacities of the plants by improving the efficiencies from the existing 22 per cent to 31 per cent to about 43 per cent to 48 per cent, the sources added. The ADB has also proposed that the new units will be installed at the existing plant sites. This would avoid the requirement of purchasing new land, consequently eliminating the environmental and social issues associated with the land acquisition and resettlement and the land use conversion, the sources added. According to the sources, the Finance Ministry has been considering the ADB recommendations as more plausible and cost-effective as compared to the short-term and costlier arrangement of the Rental Power Projects. The sources hinted that Finance Ministry would take the ADB audit to the federal cabinet once it is complete and on the basis of these assessments it would seek review of already approved RPPs policy. It is relevant to be noted here that the Finance Ministry has been opposing the RPPs since the very beginning terming them beyond affordability in the given fiscal balance of the economy. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin had approved RPP for only 1500 MW in the Economic Coordination Committee meeting but the Cabinet had overruled the ECC and approved the entire 2250 MW lined up by the Water and Power Ministry. Upon resistance from the Finance Minister in the said cabinet meeting the PM had resolved the issue by ordering a third party audit or validation of the actually required RPPs. Consequently, the government had requested the ADB for the power sector audit, which is still underway.