ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Friday notified ex-Wapda distribution companies (Discos) to charge Rs9.90 per unit additional fuel cost adjustment (FCA) on electricity they sold in June to collect an extra Rs132 billion during August.

The regulator said in a notification that it “has reviewed and assessed an increase of Rs9.8972 per kWh (kilowatt-hour) in the applicable tariff for Discos on account of variation in the fuel charges for June”.

The notification added that the additional FCA will apply to all consumer categories except lifeline consumers and will be shown separately in the consumers’ bills based on units billed to the consumers in June and reflected in August bills.

The Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) — a subsidiary of the Power Division — on behalf of Discos had filed a petition for a record Rs9.91 per unit additional monthly FCA but Nepra approved Rs9.90, which is almost 166pc higher than the reference fuel cost charged to consumers in June. It is also an unprecedented mismatch between estimated and actual fuel costs.

Data showed that despite 52pc power generation from cheaper domestic resources with static prices, Discos fuel cost increased by about Rs133bn in June.

The CPPA claimed that the consumers were charged by Discos a reference fuel cost of Rs5.93 per unit in June, but the actual cost turned out to be Rs15.84 per unit, hence an additional charge of about Rs9.91 per unit to consumers. Nepra determined the actual fuel cost at Rs15.83 per unit.

The share of domestic fuel sources in overall power generation was slightly lower at 52pc in June compared to 54pc in May and better than 50pc in April and 45pc in March. The share of hydropower supply in the overall basket stood almost unchanged at more than 24pc as in May. Hydropower has no fuel cost.

The share of nuclear power almost dropped by 50pc to 9pc in June from 13pc in May and 17.37pc in April because of the closure of 1,100MW K-2 for re-fuelling.

As a result, the biggest contribution of over 24.43pc in overall power supply came from imported RLNG-based power plants, partly at very expensive rates, and its share was nominally higher than 23pc in May. The share of domestic gas in power generation increased to almost 11pc in June against 10pc in May and April.

The share of coal-based power plants was almost unchanged at 13.6pc in June and May but was significantly lower than 16.74pc in April and 25pc in March because of low coal stocks amid financial limitations of power producers and higher global prices. In January and February, coal-based generation had contributed 33pc and 32pc to the overall power supply.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2022

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