Power firms seek 93-paisa hike for January

Published February 20, 2021
The electricity rates for consumers of 10 distribution companies (Discos) of ex-Wapda may go up by about 93 paisas per unit on account of monthly fuel cost adjustment for January. — File photo
The electricity rates for consumers of 10 distribution companies (Discos) of ex-Wapda may go up by about 93 paisas per unit on account of monthly fuel cost adjustment for January. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The electricity rates for consumers of 10 distribution companies (Discos) of ex-Wapda may go up by about 93 paisas per unit on account of monthly fuel cost adjustment for January due to higher than estimated power generation cost.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) will take up for public hearing on Feb 25 the Discos’ petition seeking increase in consumer tariff. The higher electricity rates, on approval by the regulator, would be recovered from consumers in the upcoming billing month (March).

The petition for tariff increase has been filed by Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) on behalf of ex-Wapda distribution companies (Discos) to generate about Rs7.5bn in additional revenue to Discos through an additional charge of 93 paisa per unit.

The CPPA in its petition said Discos had charged consumers a reference fuel tariff of Rs5.76 per unit in January but the actual fuel cost turned out to be Rs6.69 per unit, hence it should be allowed to charge 93 paisa per unit additional cost to consumers.

Total energy generation from all sources in January was recorded at 8,078 gigawatt hours (GWh) at a total fuel cost of Rs49bn at the rate of Rs6.06 per unit. After accounting for about 4pc transmission losses, about 7,728 GWh was delivered to Discos at Rs51.7bn at the rate of Rs6.68 per unit.

The data showed that hydropower generation had a nominal contribution to overall energy mix and their share stood at about 13pc compared to the highest share of 31pc in October and 40pc each in November and December. The steep fall was because of canal closure for annual maintenance.

As a result, the share of coal generation increased to about 32pc — its highest contribution ever — as it delivered about 2,560 GWh to national grid. In December, the share of coal had peaked at 29pc compared to just 15pc in November. This was followed by about 16.5pc contribution from local gas in January compared to 6-11pc in November-December months.

Unfortunately, the power generation from furnace oil based plants went beyond 12pc of overall energy mix in January from 3.7pc share in December and 0.37pc in November. There was negligible power intake of about 0.57pc from power plants based on high speed diesel and solar.

The RLNG based power generation to national grid also plunged to 11.3pc in January when compared to 28pc contribution in October and 26pc in November mainly because of insufficient imports and diversion to residential consumers.

On the other hand, the share of nuclear power increased to about 10.6pc from 7-9pc in previous months. The share of wind power stood at 1.9pc and that of bagasse at 1.2pc in January.

There was no fuel cost on hydroelectricity while coal based fuel cost stood at Rs6.47 per unit in January. Nuclear energy fuel cost stood at slightly over Rs1.01 per unit while cost of power produced from local gas stood at Rs7.6 per unit. The cost of RLNG-based plants was worked out at Rs8.32 per unit.

The electricity imported from Iran had a cost of Rs9.8 per unit and its total share in power supply was just 0.48pc. The most expensive generation came from HSD based plants at Rs19 per unit and Rs12.3 per unit from furnace oil based plants.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2021

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