LAHORE: The federal government in a bid to ensure uninterrupted energy supply during the upcoming summer and the holy month of Ramazan, both of which are falling close to the next general elections, has decided to inject another Rs40 to Rs50 billion into the power sector, reported a private news outlet.
Out of the Rs80 billion approved by the Cabinet earlier this month for the sector, Rs53 billion have reached fuel suppliers and Independent Power Producers (IPPs), increasing their cash flows. The remaining amount has been adjusted against the sectors interest payments and debt rollovers.
The Ministry of Finance is expected to provide another Rs20 to 25 billion worth of two more installments to the power sector from the federal budget in the next few weeks.
However, despite the investment, electricity demand has not picked up in key load centres, during the January to March period. Electricity demand in Lahore, Gujranwala has decreased compared to last year, contrary to expectations. On the other hand, demand increased in Faisalabad as industrial units move to the national grid due to improved supply and high-cost inhouse LNG based power production.
The peak demand this summer is expected to go up to 26,000MW compared to a maximum power supply of about 22,000MW. The Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, has directed the Power Division to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the Sehar and Iftar timings in the upcoming Ramazan, and make necessary arrangements accordingly.