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Industry may be allowed to share surplus captive power

Published Dec 15, 2015 06:43am

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday hinted at allowing surplus power supply from one captive power plant (CPP) of an industrial unit to another unit, adding that the matter would be taken up with the National Electric and Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for framing rules and regulations.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the Karachi Industrial Forum (KIF), he said a similar arrangement could be made for solar energy.

The minister, in response to a complaint against K-Electric (KE) by the industry, categorically stated that no monopoly would be allowed to usurp consumers’ interest and this could only be ensured through healthy competition.

However, the minister was quick to add: “A new agreement is being made with KE and this issue will surely be sorted out so that consumers’ rights are protected but a balance has to be struck so that investment is also protected.”

While agreeing that power tariffs for the industry are high, he suggested that with discount rates as low as 6 per cent and low investment costs, industrialists should opt for LPG and coal-fired power plants.

He highlighted the government’s focus on Thar coal as well as alternate energy including hydro, wind and solar power.

He suggested industrialists to form a working group to interact with his ministry for sorting out issues.

“The government is ready to resolve any issue confronting trade and industry but it is equally important that you also try to resolve issues on a self-help basis,” Khawaja Asif said.

“When you quote the increase in Bangladesh and Indian exports, you should also focus on a city like Sialkot that recorded 18 per cent increase in exports under similar conditions that you face,” he said.

The business community of Sialkot has developed an airport of international standards as well as a road network, the minister said.

Talking about water shortage, he said, the federal government is ready to fund K-4 water project for Karachi and the Sindh government should also fulfill its commitments.

He further said that KE is insisting that KWSB’s billions of rupees liabilities be transferred for which the federal government is not ready.

Later, speaking to media, the minister disclosed that currently around 70MW were being supplied by Iran to Gwadar area and negotiations are underway for increasing the power supply to 100MW.

He further said that Pak-Iran gas pipeline has not been shelved.

The 650MW power supply arrangement from national grid with KE still exists, however the Council of Common Interest (CCI) has opposed it and feels it should not be there, he informed.

Around 120MW from Nooriabad will be sold by Sindh government to KE, he added.

The minister was accompanied by Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali and Federal Secretary Younus Dagha.

TP-1000 inaugurated: The Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif inaugurated K-Electric’s TP-1000 Project, a press release said.

The TP-1000 Transmission Enhancement Plan of $400 million is in collaboration with Siemens Germany/Pakistan and Shanghai Electric of China.

The project aims to add 1000 MVA in the transmission and distribution infrastructure and will ensure a smoother and more reliable supply of power for KE customers in Karachi and its adjoining areas. TP-1000 Project is part of the overall future investment plan of $2.2 billion by KE.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2015