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ISLAMABAD: The electricity rates for distribution companies (Discos) of ex-Wapda are estimated to go up by 70 paisa per unit on account of monthly fuel price adjustment owing to currency devaluation, higher international oil prices and changes in benchmarks to consumers’ disadvantage.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) will take up for usual public hearing on July 24 a petition by Discos seeking an increase in consumer tariff on account of fuel cost adjustment for electricity consumed in June. The higher electricity rates, on approval by the regulator, would be recovered from consumers in the upcoming billing month ie August.

The Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) on behalf of the Discos claimed an additional cost of 70 paisa per unit on the basis of recently notified base tariff 2015-16 instead of previous 2014-15 tariff on the basis of which the regulator used to make monthly fuel cost adjustments in the past and resulted in refunds to consumers.

The new base tariff allowed relaxed benchmarks for power companies and higher indexations on various items.

The CPPA in its petition said it had charged consumers a reference tariff of Rs4.99 per unit in June while the actual fuel cost turned out to be Rs5.69 per unit and hence it should be allowed to recover 70 paisa per unit additional cost from consumers next month.

Total energy generation from all sources in June was recorded at 12,913.87 Gwh at a total cost of Rs66.178 billion while 12,600 Gwh were sold to the Discos at Rs71.758bn with a transmission loss of 2.36pc.

The share of hydropower generation in June improved to almost 28pc compared to 18.30pc in May. With induction of three new mega projects of 1,230MW each in Punjab, the share of regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) captured the second position with a contribution of 25.2pc compared to 23.8pc in May.

In contrast, Residual Fuel Oil (RFO)-based electricity generation dropped to 9pc in June compared to 19.3pc in May while gas-based generation stood at 15.7pc, down slightly from 16.27pc share in May. Coal based generation had a 11.8pc share in total power generation that was slightly lower than 12.12 pc share in May.

There was no fuel cost on hydroelectricity while coal based fuel cost stood at Rs5.76per unit compared to Rs13 per unit fuel cost of furnace oil based plants. LNG-based generation cost amounted to Rs9.31 per unit while domestic gas-based generation cost stood at Rs4.7 per unit.

Because of higher international oil prices and currency loss, the fuel cost of both RFO and LNG based plants went up by almost 50 paisa and 30 paisa per unit respectively.

Nuclear energy contributed about 5.08pc electricity to the national grid at fuel cost of 93 paisa per unit while power produced by sugar mills accounted for less than 1pc share at a fuel cost of Rs6.18 per unit. The electricity imported from Iran had a cost of Rs11.57 per unit and its total share in generation was 0.41pc.

Wind produced 3.31pc electricity at zero fuel cost while or 0.44pc contribution came from solar energy again at no cost.

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2018