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- File Photo
- File Photo

LAHORE: With mercury inching towards 40 degrees Celsius in most parts of the country and water discharge from two major dams reduced because of low irrigation requirements, electricity shortage shot to 6,000MW on Thursday, forcing authorities to resort to 12 to 18 hours of loadshedding.

According to officials of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco), all the determinants turned nasty for the sector’s managers in the last two days.

Describing the bleak scenario, they said water discharge was reduced, the temperature shot up and power plants of 2,700MW capacity were closed because of fuel shortage.

In addition, two long-term problems were refusing to go away. The bills’ recovery was stuck at only 86 per cent for the last several months, adding almost Rs300 million per day to the outstanding amount.

On top of that, the government had delayed subsidy payment. Of the Rs32 billion dues, the government had cleared only Rs10bn about 10 days ago, leaving a deficit of Rs22bn. Over the last 10 days, another Rs8bn might have been added to the bill, taking the total close to Rs30bn mark.

“Because of these two factors, the power planners are unable to run the plants,” said a Pepco official.

Of the total thermal capacity of about 3,000MW, the company was able to produce only 1,350MW on Thursday. The contribution from the independent power producers (IPPs) was down to 6,400MW and hydel projects produced 1,700MW — amounting to about 9,500MW of total generation.

“Everyone, including the government, knows and acknowledges that it is going to be a tough summer,” said a former Pepco chief. Still, no one was interested in setting things right before the summer. The entire sector was being run on an ad hoc basis.

Over the past 13 months, the entire official focus had been on attracting investments in generation, knowing well that it was a long-term process. This in turn had taken official attention and planning away from the efficiency of the system.

The government had simply forgotten that efficiency improvement could partially solve the problem. So, the efficiency side had been ignored grossly.

In those 13 months, none of the 16 important companies of the sector could get a permanent head. Even the chiefs of departments who were appointed by the PML-N government got “ad hoc, additional or acting charges”.

If the government continued to pursue policies which created certain problems in the first place, how could it expect better results, wondered the former Pepco chief.

Comments (19) Closed

abdullah Apr 11, 2014 07:11am

one thing i have never understood despite of being load shedding why does our channels propogate an earth hour?

Salma Apr 11, 2014 07:29am

So why don't we spend the money in building a reactor. Why are we wasting by spending it in nBombs that doesn't give power but consumes money for protection.

Salman Apr 11, 2014 07:33am

Karachi is lot a better and some parts of karachi are safe heaven.In Karachi see 2-3 hours (scheduled) of load shedding.Gas operated electricity generators are very common.

Ahmer Apr 11, 2014 07:41am

Nawaz Sharif's answer to this is that if there is no electricity, why don't the people use generators as his family used to do when PPP was ruling the country.

a Apr 11, 2014 08:26am

Thank you mian nawaz sharif

malik Apr 11, 2014 08:44am

@abdullah: Good question.

Saiyed zaidi Apr 11, 2014 09:53am

Pakistani's are one race with innocent and humble heart ,they would be okay with 5 millions refugees living In the country. But the only thing is they don't realize is their rights, they voted in a goverment that does not even meet their requirements to fullfill they daily needs to keep the household running. When are they going to wake up and say enough is enough .

Sodomite Apr 11, 2014 10:31am

Where is that Min of Power?? That man full of hot-air?? Nephew of the PM who was going to put power thieves in shackles?? Why did they pay $500 billion (new debt for the country) to the Power Producers when not 1 more unit was produced by them? As the story goes 20% of $500 Billion went into PMLN pockets. Now all of them have biggest generators in the world, Dr. Watson.

Justice Apr 11, 2014 10:33am

Shame on you Nawaz sharief.

Lt Col Imtiaz Alam (retd) Apr 11, 2014 11:43am

Disgusting excuse "Power shortage due to shortage of Fuel". What about all the Promises. Priorities of the Govt is for self aggrandizement.

lekhraj Apr 11, 2014 12:21pm

18 to 20 hour load shedding? Seriously? I live in a small town in india and I rarely face load shedding in a month that too of 15 or 30 min even for that we lodge complaints for that.I am surprised why you guys never protest for your basic rights.

Muhammed Ali Apr 11, 2014 02:35pm

Sher aiya bijli laiya..what a cruel joke with the public...i dont think the public come very high on their agenda.

Mumbai-Pune online Apr 11, 2014 02:44pm

@lekhraj: don't compare India with Pakistan. Indian village=Pakistani cities

Usman Ansari Apr 11, 2014 02:46pm

@lekhraj: You likely pay your electricity bills, and theft of power is probably very low in comparison to in Pakistan. Here, many people either don't pay their bills, or they steal electricity using a metal hook, which they hang on the power cable to run a wire to their home. With the theft and loss of revenue compared to the power being generated, the power producers cannot purchase enough fuel to keep running the plants.

Abbasi Apr 11, 2014 07:42pm

Load-shedding in upper Sindh is from 8-10 hours at present, I wonder, how is this summer going to be? The small cities have already been bereft of electricity, for the voice raised, complaints registered, protests held, go unheared, leaving no option for the down-trodden people but to continue to suffer. Jacobabad city, which is known for high temperature in Asia along with Sibi, is facing load-shedding carried from 8-10 hours, excluding the load shedding schedule for the villages situated around. This government or that government, no government is a good government, this has been the story of Pakistan since its inception. I pray for the prosperity, stability and long life of Pakistan! Ameen.

Naveed Javed Apr 11, 2014 07:53pm

Gotta ask now, what new has this PMLN govt. done to meet the needs of Energy in Pakistan other than just continuing the Power projects started by previous PPP Government?

Uzair Malik Apr 12, 2014 05:37am

@lekhraj: stop making false claims please, half of india is without electricity!! Watch this BBC clip if you dont believe me:

p.s. please post this!

Catalyst Apr 12, 2014 08:17am

KE Electric urging us to participate in Earth Hour...

Catalyst Apr 12, 2014 08:19am

@Salman: and at the same time at the same place (karachi) we facing 12 hours scheduled and 4 hours extra topping.. Yeah Karachi is way better...