LAHORE: As power crisis worsens with a shortfall of 7,000MW, the urban and rural areas across the country are facing eight to 16 hours of loadshedding these days.

The shortfall includes over 1,000MW being faced by the consumers of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) -- the country’s largest power distribution company (Disco) -- in terms of load / consumption and revenue -- after its total demand crossed 5,500MW during peak hours on Thursday.

The deteriorating situation has also made the Discos panicky as the volume of public complaints is rising with loadshedding on an hourly basis that is also damaging the equipment and devices.

“On Thursday, our demand crossed 5,500MW. But our electricity quota remained 4,700MW or so, creating a gap of around 800MW. On Wednesday, our shortfall crossed 1,000MW,” Lesco Chief Executive Officer Chaudhry Muhammad Amin told Dawn.

“However, it has now been decided by the power division to increase our electricity quota, enabling us to observe loadshedding for not over four hours daily in urban areas,” he claimed.

When asked about loadshedding in the service areas falling within service jurisdiction of high loss feeders, the Lesco chief dispelled the impression, stating that the number of such feeders (facing up to 50 per cent revenue loss) has almost squeezed to 20 or so. Now we have not a single feeder facing over 50 per cent revenue loss,” he clarified, adding that the situation would improve soon with improvement in weather.

According to an internal data, the total power generation as on Thursday afternoon (2pm) remained 21,190MW. The 21,190MW included 741MW generated by the Generation Companies (Gencos), 16,161MW by the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and 4,287MW by the hydel power stations / projects owned and operated by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda).

“I think the total demand can be fulfilled through increasing generation by the Gencos and other plants being operated through diesel, kerosene and other costly fuel. But it is not being done under a policy of merit that allows operation of the hydel, solar, wind and other cheap source-run power plants,” an official source said.

“And if the government goes for running expensive power plants, the cost of electricity would increase more, burdening the already over-burdened consumers across the country,” he argued.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2022

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