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Govt plans to bifurcate three Discos

September 24, 2017

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LAHORE: The federal government has decided to bifurcate three major power distribution companies (Discos) and create three [new] firms in a bid to to improve recovery and reduce line losses.

The government has also asked the senior officials in the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) and various Discos to submit proposals for formation of new [distribution] companies within 15 days or so.

At present all Discos have over 25 million domestic, commercial, industrial and tubewell (agricultural) consumers across the country (except Karachi).

Lesco, Mepco, Pesco will be divided to improve governance, recovery

The Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) stands on top with 4.3m consumers with reference to load and revenue. Similarly, the Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) is also considered a big Disco with 5.7m consumers in a vast area from Sahiwal to Rahim Yar Khan. The Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) deals with around 3.2m consumers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) has 2.5m power users. Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco) and Gujranwala Electric Supply Company (Gepco) have 2.3m to 2.4m consumers each in Punjab.

In Sindh, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) is the biggest Disco with 2.3m to 2.5m consumers, followed by Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) that has electricity users ranged between 700,000 and 800,000. Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) has below 2m consumers while Tribal Area Electric Supply Company (Tesco) is the smallest entity with 300,000 consumers.

“The ministry has decided that Mepco, Lesco and Pesco will be bifurcated. Under the plan, three more companies have been planned. Names of new Discos will be announced once various matters related to area, issues, staff distribution are finalised,” said an official of the power ministry while talking to Dawn on Saturday.

The plan called “Reorganisation of Discos” was finalised after the ministry’s senior officials reached a consensus that Mepco, Lesco and Pesco were faced with more issues than other companies since they deal with over 13m consumers.

“The Mepco covers Sahiwal to Rahim Yar Khan and Pesco the entire KP (except the tribal areas). Lesco consists of districts of Sheikhupura, Nankana, Okara, Kasur and Lahore. So the ministry is of the view that these companies should be bifurcated first. Other companies can also be bifurcated if the experience stands successful,” the official explained.

He said though the Qesco had a huge area of the entire Balochistan, its consumers and revenue were less than other companies. Hesco, which was earlier the biggest and only company in Sindh had already been divided, resulting creation of Sepco. “Though Iesco, Fesco and Gepco have also issues, there is no plan to bifurcate them so far.”

The official said a high-level meeting held at Wapda House on Saturday with the joint secretary (Discos) in the chair reviewed the Discos’ issues.

The meeting was attended by senior Pepco officials, CEOs of Pesco, Mepco, Lesco, Fesco and Gepco.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2017