PESHAWAR: The PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has complained about the disinterest of the PML-N’s federal government in the hydroelectric power generation in the province, strongly feeling that the cheaper source of energy is being ignored for the imported regasified liquefied natural gas.
A senior government official told Dawn that on one hand, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority was not processing the provincial government’s six hydropower projects to be executed by the independent power producers (IPPs) and on the other, the federal ministries had long been sitting on the power purchase agreement (PPA) for four completed projects, which would give around Rs4.2 billion annually to the province’s exchequer.
He said the energy and power department was fast getting impatient with the Nepra over the long delay in the processing of its six hydel power projects to be undertaken by IPPs, wherein those offering the lowest bid would get the contracts.
The six projects with an installed capacity of 513MW will cost a total of $1.35 billion.
Insists cheaper source of energy being ignored for imported RLNG
Among them are 188MW Naran Dam and 96MW Batakundi in Mansehra, 102MW Shigokach in Upper Dir, 99MW Arkari Gol in Chitral, 21MW Ghorband in Shangla and 12MW Nandhiar in Battagram.
The official said the Private Power and Infrastructure Board and National Transmission and Dispatch Company were made members of the committee, which selected the lowest tariff-offering bidders for six projects.
He said the provincial government forwarded the evaluated bids for each project to the Nepra for tariff determination on November 1, 2017, which agreed to process the bids within a month but now for past four months the matter was pending.
“We are of the considerable view that to support the LNG import lobby, the federal government has instructed the Nepra to delay the tariff determination,” he said, adding that the authority on direction of centre determines tariff in a day.
Documents available with Dawn show that Pehur hydropower project located in Swabi was connected to national grid back in July 2009, while in March 2010, the powerhouse started commercial operation.
The document shows that Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guaranteed (CPPA-G) was reluctant to sign power purchase agreement for this 18 megawatts power station despite clear instruction of federal government.
The document shows that recently, the Nepra took inputs from Pedo, Pesco and CPPA-G and issued its decision on August 29, 2017 wherein CPPA-G was directed to pay the arrears.
“The Nepra imposed a penalty of Rs10 million on CPPA-G and Pesco for non-signing of PPA and due to the non-payment of full tariff as of Dec 2017, the arrears are Rs1.6 billion,” the document read.
Similarly, 2.6MW Machai hydropower project in Mardan district was completed in March 2017 and was linked to the national grid on later in October same year. The province has yet to get money for the power neither PPA has been signed.
17MW Ranolia hydel power in Kohistan district completed back in June 2017; however, the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) is showing reluctance in installing meters to enable Pedo to connect the power station with the national grid. The 36.6MW Daral Khawar has also been completed; however, Pesco is reluctant to connect the same with the Madian gird station.
The document notes that the non-connection of province hydel projects results into expensive power generated from RLNG, high speed diesel and coal based projects.
It added that the estimated annual generation from these three stations is roughly 380 Million units.
“By considering average cost of hydel generation of Rs7 per unit, the total amount to be paid by center comes out Rs2.66 Billion. Now considering RLNG at price of Rs11 per unit the cost of generating 380 Million units comes out 4.180 billion resulting in over payment of Rs1.5 billion for just 56.6MW,” it said.
The document said a comparison of 3,600MW hydel projects and RLNG project shows that center would end up paying extra amount of Rs75 billion per year.
“This amount of Rs75 billion will increase once the cost of crude oil prices start increasing in the international markets,” it said.
A provincial government official insisted that the actions in question caused the perception that somehow, the federal authorities were promoting the RLNG at the cost of the cheaper hydel power.
Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2018