Power situation to improve within few days: Dastgir

Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir on Friday said that the power situation will improve gradually within the next few days and ongoing hours-long power outages are due to the non-availability of fuel for the power plants.

Addressing a news conference along with Minister of State Hashim Notezai, Khurram Dastgir said that power load shedding was due to shortage of fuel and also because of the closure of some power plants owing to maintenance and technical faults. He said that the power situation in the country will improve within a few days as a result of improved availability of Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) and furnace oil to the power plants. He said total 5,739 Megawatt (MW) of electricity is out of system due to shortage of fuel while approximately 2,156 MW of electricity was not part of system due to technical faults in the power plants. If fuel was available then power shortfall would not happen in the country, said Dastgir.

“Teams have been formed to control the power load shedding situation while the government has cancelled holidays of power sector employees,” said the Power Minister.

He added that all power distribution companies (DISCOs) have been tasked to ensure that the situation does not deteriorate further and control the emergency situation.

Dastgir also said the electricity problem in the country is not of electricity generation but of availability of fuel. He said availability of gas will start from 1st May (Sunday) while furnace oil run power plants and coal-fired plants will begin power generation from the next week which will help overcome the shortage of electricity. He said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed to end the power shortfall from May 1, 2022. Thar coal and Port Qasim coal plants will begin working from Sunday while the hydel generation of electricity will begin in June to significantly improve electric supply, said Dastgir.

Khurram Dastgir further informed that power division will share the power generation, demand and supply data only to communicate accurate data to the public. He said that 10-12 hours long loadshedding will reduce to half during the next few days. He said an additional demand of two to three thousand megawatt electricity has arisen during the last few days which increased the demand and supply gap. We are also watching the revenue targets of DISCOs and requests will also be made to the law enforcement agencies to check power pilferage, said Khurram Dastgir.

Regarding revenue requirement to run the power plants and to control the power load shedding, Khurram Dastgir said that total Rs332 billion are required till 15th June while Rs107 billion will be required till 25th May and Rs85 billion will be needed till end of June 2022.

Khurram Dastgir also announced that the government is reconstituting the boards of all DISCOs. He said currently the government has been trying to end the long-hours power load shedding while later on the government will take measures for producing the cheap electricity in the country.  

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Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is a an investigative journalist at Profit. He can be reached at [email protected]

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