KARACHI: Power consumers of 10 ex-Wapda distribution companies (Discos) may pay additional Rs1.46 per unit on account of the monthly fuel cost adjustment for July.

The Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) has filed a petition with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to raise additional revenue for ex-Wapda Discos whose fuel cost for July surged 50.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

Consumers paid a reference fuel tariff of Rs5.28 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in July, but the actual fuel cost amounted to Rs6.75. Nepra will hold a public hearing on Septem­ber 1 to consider the proposed adjustment.

The country recorded the highest-ever power generation in July, according to Arif Habib Ltd analyst Rao Aamir Ali. “Power generation was up 6.6pc year-on-year to 21,076 megawatts during July... The rise in generation is witnessed due to higher generation of nuclear, furnace oil, regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG), wind, high-speed diesel and bagasse,” he said.

Fuel cost for July surged 50.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis

Major sources of electricity generation in July were hydel (30pc), RLNG (20pc), coal (15pc), nuclear (11pc), furnace oil (10pc), gas (9pc) and wind (4pc).

The country’s reliance on its nuclear, furnace oil and wind power projects in July increased 132pc, 88pc and 60pc, respectively, on a year-on-year basis. Electricity generation by hydel, coal and gas went down 13pc, 8pc and 8pc, respectively, on an annual basis, data showed.

The fuel cost for power generation grew by more than half mainly because of a rise in the prices of gas, coal, furnace oil and RLNG, said Mr Ali.

The cost of electricity generated by coal-powered plants grew 33pc on a year-on-year basis to Rs8.41 per kWh in July. The sharp increase in the coal-generated electricity was a direct outcome of a 112pc rise in coal prices from a year ago. International coal prices have soared to their highest level since 2008.

The increase in the cost of gas-generated electricity was 17pc year-on-year to Rs8.17 per kWh.

The fuel cost incurred by RLNG-based plants surged 76pc annually to Rs12.06 per kWh in July. The increase came on the back of a 91pc annual rise in global gas prices.

The furnace oil–based cost of generation increased 23pc year-on-year to Rs17.08 per kWh, owing to a 40pc rise in its global prices.

Among the major sources of power generation in the first seven months of the current calendar year, the share of furnace oil, nuclear and RLNG grew 96pc, 42.7pc and 17.7pc, respectively, from a year ago.

The average fuel cost in January-July remained Rs5.76 per unit, up 26pc from the same seven-month period in the preceding calendar year.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2021

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