ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Thursday expressed serious concerns over National Transmission and Despatch Company’s (NTDC) failure to build adequate infrastructure to transport electricity from coal-based power plants in Thar to the national grid.
The NTDC came under fire during a public hearing conducted by NEPRA regarding the February monthly fuel cost adjustment (FCA) of DISCOs.
The meeting was chaired by Engineer Tauseef H. Farooqui, Chairman NEPRA. Other members from the authority present in the hearing included Engineer Rafiq Ahmed Sheikh, Engineer Maqsood Anwar Khan, Muthar Niaz Rana, and Amna Ahmed.
During the hearing, NTDC was placed in the hot seat highlighting its failure to build infrastructure to add electricity from Thar coal-based power plants into the national grid, which could lead to a reduction in power bill by up to Rs 80 billion.
Due to this the NTDC had requested an adjustment of Rs 6.7 billion. The authority rightfully expressed serious concerns in the company’s ability.
The authority further questioned why it had not made proper planning and due diligence to lay transmission lines, keeping in view the construction timelines of Thar coal-based power plants.
In the hearing the NTDC officials said that two transmission lines were in place to evacuate 1400 MW electricity out of a total of 2400 MW, and two more lines would become operational in April to add the remaining 1000 MW of electricity from Thar coal-based plants.
The public hearing was held on account of the Central Power Purchasing Agency’s (CPPA) earlier request for an increase of Rs 0.85 on account of FCA for electricity produced in the month of February 2023.
According to NEPRA, the reduction amounts to 0.0006 per unit based on preliminary analysis of the data. However, the hike could go up to Rs 0.85 per unit if NTDC is able to satisfy the authority on the adjustment.
It will be applicable for one month only and will apply to all customers of DISCOs except lifeline and electric vehicle charging stations. It will also not apply to consumers in Karachi. The authority will issue its detailed decision after further scrutiny of the data.
In the case of K Electric’s petition for FCA for February, a public hearing was also conducted at NEPRA headquarters. K Electric had submitted a request for an increase of Rs 1.66 per unit under FCA.
According to NEPRA’s analysis of the data, the increase in FCA for February is from Rs 0.56 to Rs 1.7 per unit. The final figure will be notified later.
It will also only be applicable for one month only and will apply to all K Electric customers except lifeline and electric vehicle charging stations. The authority will issue its detailed decision after further scrutiny of the data.
During the hearing, other issues like the hike in electricity demand during summer, and therefore the country would require higher electricity generation were also discussed.