Direct transmission line by the end of
S. Khurshid Husain, Chief Executive, HUBCO talks to
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Apr 16 - 22, 2001
The direct transmission of power from Hubco to KESC
and switching over of 1200mw Hubco power plant from oil to gas-fired
system are going to be the significant features of the energy sector in
The power consumers might get rid of the tortuous
load shedding and breakdowns currently being experienced these days.
Hubco, country's largest power producing project in
the private sector may start direct supply to KESC by the end of the
S. Khurshid Husain, the Chief Executive of Hubco
Power Company, while talking to PAGE disclosed that at present
two technical teams comprising representatives of the government of
Pakistan, WAPDA, Hubco and KESC are studying various aspects both
technical and financial to accomplish the task.
During peak hours Karachi needs around 1750-1800mw
while the first power generating capacity of KESC's comes to around
1350mw, which results in a shortfall of 400mw to meet the total
requirement of the city. In order to meet the deficit, KESC has to
bridge the gap by importing around 400mw from WAPDA.
Power supplied to KESC by WAPDA in effect is the
double exercise. Since WAPDA is the sole buyer of Hubco it has to
dispatch power into WAPDA's national grid at Jamshoro and from where it
is redirected into KESC's system. This uncalled for exercise often
creates problem in transmission-line or tripping of the system causing
power breakdowns in Karachi.
In order to address the problem, the concerned
parties have agreed for a direct transmission arrangement from Hubco to KESC.
Replying to a question Khurshid said that the
technical team is taking all the aspects into consideration including
route of the transmission lines. Besides meeting the current shortfall
of the KESC power generation, the experts are also taking into account
the future requirement in accordance with the growth rate of power
consumption in Karachi.
It may be noted that with the completion of
Hubco-KESC transmission line, the problem of load shedding and
breakdowns will be resolved once for all.
Another technical team is working either for complete
shift from oil to gas fired provision or allowing the dual system both
for gas or oil. Talks have already been held with Lasmo which has
expressed its willingness to meet the natural gas requirement of Hubco
for power generation. He agreed that cost of power generation would
naturally come down with the switching over from oil to gas. He however
declined to comment whether the benefit of cost reduction would be
passed on to the consumers by the power distributing companies or not.
As an individual consumer, he however agreed that the benefit of cost
reduction should also go to the consumers.
The fate of the oil pipeline currently being used for
supply of oil from Port Qasim to Hubco will also be decided by the
technical team, Khurshid said.
Hubco's total turnover during the current year is
also likely to register a quantum jump.
Khurshid said that it is for the first time that
Hubco power generators are running to their capacity for the last three
months. During July-December 2000, the power plant was run at a load
factor of 51 per cent generating 2,693 GWh of electricity while during
the calendar year ending December 31, 2000 the company generated 6,829
GWh of electricity. The turnover for the period was Rs14,188 million and
operating costs were Rs8, 347 million resulting in a gross profit of
Rs5,841 million. After taking into account other expenses and costs the
net profit for the period was Rs4,325 million which equates to an
earnings per share of Rs3.74.
On the question about declaration of the interim
dividend, Khurshid said that the board would announce the dividend after
withdrawal of all the cases against the company. Though most of the
cases have already been withdrawn yet some of the early cases are in the
process of withdrawal which include embargo on dividends to the share
holders and restriction on payments through court orders. He said that
the board of directors will be meeting next month, hopefully the process
of withdrawal of cases is likely to be completed by that time then the
board would be able to declare the dividend, he observed.
Regarding payment of Rs5.7 billion outstanding dues
against WAPDA, Khurshid said that one third of the amount has been paid,
the remaining amount of the dues will be paid within stipulated time
hopefully, he remarked.
On December 17, 2000, it may be recalled, a
settlement agreement was signed between the Hubco, WAPDA and government
of Pakistan to resolve the tariff dispute. The Federal Cabinet, WAPDA,
and Hubco's Board of Directors have approved the tariff agreement. The
Hubco lenders have also ratified the agreement.