Hammad thanks Iran for normalising power supply

Published July 31, 2021
Pakistan imported 514GWh from Iran in 2019-20, which was less than 0.4 per cent of the country’s total electricity generation in the same year. — APP/File
Pakistan imported 514GWh from Iran in 2019-20, which was less than 0.4 per cent of the country’s total electricity generation in the same year. — APP/File

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar thanked the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan on Friday for “normalising” electricity supply to the bordering districts of Balochistan.

“I am grateful to the Ambassador of Iran in Pakistan for promptly accepting my request and normalising the flow of electricity to the Makran division,” he said in a tweet.

Gwadar, Turbat and Makran have been facing extensive power cuts for more than a week. These areas are not part of the national grid and, therefore, rely on electricity imported from Iran. The neighbouring country curtailed electricity supply as it faces a shortage of hydel power generation.

Gwadar, Turbat and Makran are not linked to national grid and rely on Iranian supply

“In the meanwhile, we are also bringing forward the timelines of the project that seeks to connect these areas to the national grid,” said Mr Azhar.

A local source told Dawn that electricity supply from Iran hasn’t been restored fully as many affected areas continue to face hours-long power outages.

Pakistan imported 514GWh from Iran in 2019-20, which was less than 0.4 per cent of the country’s total electricity generation in the same year, according to the power regulator.

The country’s electricity generation capacity exceeds demand as the last government commissioned new power plants of almost 7,000MW in its five-year term. However, vast areas in Balochistan still remain disconnected from the national transmission network. Mr Azhar has vowed that these areas will be connected to the national grid within two years.

Earlier, in a conversation with Dawn, independent energy consultant Najam ul Hassan Farooqi said the recurring problem can only be solved once the 300MW imported coal-based power plant currently under construction in Gwadar comes online. “It’ll take at least three years to set up a 700-kilometre transmission line from Gwadar to Karachi,” he added.

One of the major reasons is the “procedural delay” in the allocation of gas to Habibullah Coastal Power, a 140MW gas-based power plant located near Quetta.

The only power plant in the area sufficient to meet the local demand stopped producing electricity in September 2019 when its gas supply agreement with the government-owned Sui Southern Gas Company expired after 20 years. The company’s power purchase agreement, however, is valid until 2029. Its validity was pegged with the reallocation of gas. The plant has been shut for 21 months as the formal summary has yet to be moved to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for the allocation of gas.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021

Opinion

Casualties of war
17 Sep 2021

Casualties of war

As we ruminate over the consequences of America making a mockery of international law, it is equally important to take an inward
Love of wealth
17 Sep 2021

Love of wealth

Those obsessed with wealth are likely to be involved in corrupt practices.
Pro-rich growth
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pro-rich growth

An intellectually honest prognosis of our political economy for the working class makes for grim reading.

Editorial

TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...
Aid for Afghans
16 Sep 2021

Aid for Afghans

Humanitarian aid can resume even if the world decides to hold back on formal recognition of the regime for now.
16 Sep 2021

Wheat price

THE government’s decision to raise the wheat release price, or the rate at which provinces issue their grain ...
16 Sep 2021

Keeping the press out

ON Monday, the government yet again displayed its rising contempt for the freedom of press — this time in...