Discos seek 64-paisa hike in tariff

Updated January 17, 2019

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The increasing share of furnace oil-based generation in total power production cost is being passed on to the end consumers.
The increasing share of furnace oil-based generation in total power production cost is being passed on to the end consumers.

ISLAMABAD: The ex-Wapda distribution companies (Discos) have sought about 64 paisa per unit increase in consumer tariff on account of monthly fuel price adjustment due mainly to higher dependence on furnace oil consumption.

The furnace oil-based generation contributed about 12 per cent to the overall power production but its cost accounted for 32pc (Rs14.2 billion) of the total monthly fuel bill of Rs44bn in December 2018, causing additional burden on consumers.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) will take up the tariff hike petition for public hearing on Jan 23. The higher electricity rates, on approval by the regulator, would be recovered from consumers in the upcoming billing month ie February.

The Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) on behalf of the Discos claimed an additional cost of 64 paisa per unit under base tariff 2015-16.

The CPPA in its petition said it had charged consumers a reference tariff of Rs5.86 per unit in December while the actual fuel cost turned out to be Rs6.50 per unit and hence it should be allowed to recover 64 paisa per unit additional cost from consumers next month.

Total energy generation from all sources in the month under review was recorded at 7,718 GWh against 7,545 GWh in November and 12,552 GWh generations in September, showing reduced demand in winter months.

The total cost of energy generated in December amounted to Rs44.75bn, having an average per unit fuel cost of Rs5.80 per unit. About 7,442 GWh were sold to Discos for Rs48.36bn with transmission losses of 3.43pc that where much higher than maximum permissible limit of 3pc.

The transmission losses have generally remained lower than 2.7pc almost throughout the year so far.

The share of hydropower generation in December was significantly lower at 17.3pc owing to lower water availability when compared to hydropower’s 25pc share in October and 34pc in September. The locally produced gas-based electricity production achieved the top position with almost 22pc share in total power supply.

The share of coal-based generation on the other hand jumped to second position as it contributed slightly over 20pc to power generation compared to its less than 12pc share in recent months.

The share of re-gasified liquefied natural gas fell drastically to 12.44pc because of lower imports when compared to 22-23pc share in recent months.

In contrast, Residual Fuel Oil-based electricity generation was reported at 12pc that was the highest level in recent month but the government utilised furnace oil plants to facilitate uplifting of surplus storage with refineries, diversion of some gas quantities to fertiliser and export industries and lower LNG imports.

There was no fuel cost on hydroelectricity while coal based fuel cost stood at Rs6.80 per unit. The furnace oil-based plants generated electricity at the highest fuel cost of Rs15.24. LNG-based generation cost stood at Rs10.11 per unit. Domestic gas based generation cost stood at Rs4.97 per unit.

Nuclear energy contributed about 11.62pc electricity to the national grid at fuel cost of 95 paisa per unit while power produced by sugar mills accounted for less than 1pc share at a fuel cost of Rs6.2 per unit. The electricity imported from Iran had a cost of Rs11.57 per unit and its total share in generation was 0.48pc.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2019