LAHORE - The duration of electricity loadshedding has suddenly increased to around six hours daily, as shortfall has crossed over 3,000MW mainly due to limited generation from hydel side and majorly owing to halt in power production from independent power producers.

Sources in water and power ministry said that with the outset of summer the demand of electricity has shot up to 14,600MW while supply remained at around 11,500MW, causing a shortfall of around 3,000MW, resulting into power outages of up to 6 hours a day. Like other parts of the country the Lahore Electric Supply Company is also facing shortfall of around 900MW as power allocation is at around 2,100MW while demand is at around 3,000MW, said officials on Thursday. In such condition, the provincial capital remained without electricity for at least six hours daily, while the rural areas are undergoing suspension of power supply for 7 hours.

Power position on March 30, (Thursday) stated that total electricity generation was at around 11,000MW. Power production with hydel source was 1,400MW, Genco’s 2,385MW, IPP’s 7,168MW, wind 130MW (capacity 580mw), Guddu 340MW (capacity 748MW, solar 223MW (capacity 400mw).

Moreover, Bhikki power plant is producing no electricity against capacity of 1,180MW. Nandipur power plant is also generating no power against installed capacity of 425MW. Nandipur, costing Rs 57billion to the exchequer, has failed to generate electricity so far.

However the ministry claimed that power deficit is at around 2,500MW, announcing new schedule of power loadshedding of 4 hours in cities and 6 hours in urban areas all over the country.

The ministry claimed that only two IPPs have closed their production only due to maintenance work which would resume production within two days. It said that power situation will improve in April after induction of several thermal plants including Nandipur and high generation from hydel side.

The ministry also claimed that the existing loadshedding would be ended as the peak demand of 16,000MW would be met after addition of 9,000MW by March 2018. However, the sources stated that the more electricity generation will cause addition in more circular debt as line losses and recovery problems have not been resolved by the government.

The increased loadshedding has also exposed the government performance which claimed enhanced power generation of 3,200MW during last two years. Sources said that power shortfall would continue to haunt the consumers throughout the summer as the deficit will enhance further with the passage of time due to increase in demand despite full production from hydel side at 7,500MW.

According to ministry sources, the hydel generation is touching the lowest ebb of around 1,900MW against the full capacity of over 7,500MW.

Production from thermal side is almost half, as IPPs are producing just 3,000MW of electricity due to non-payment from the government out of total capacity of 6,000MW. They have already demanded sovereign guarantee and have sought immediate release of Rs48 billion. The buildup of IPPs dues with the government remains at Rs250 billion.

The overall circular debt has risen to over Rs400 billion.