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KESC-HUBCO direct transmission link

1200mw of power will be generated by HUBCO for KESC

By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Sep 17 - 23, 2001

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf has given a go ahead for the completion of KESC-HUBCO direct transmission link project. The project when completed will ensure availability of 1200mw of power generated by HUBCO on the disposal of KESC. Currently, KESC has to import the required amount of power from WAPDA's national grid located at Jamshoro while the power generated by HUBCO is also transmitted to Jamshoro grid station which is about 175 kilometer off Karachi. With the completion of the direct link between HUBCO and KESC the transmission distance will shrink from 175 km to merely 30 km. The project besides saving the transmission losses will save KESC from tripping of its system whenever the transmission of WAPDA trips down.

The local component of the project cost would be borne by WAPDA and KESC while the foreign component of the cost will be met out by HUBCO.

Brig. Tariq Saddozai took over charge as the 44th Managing Director of KESC and the third since army management was inducted into the corporation in May 1999. Frank Jones was the first Managing Director appointed in 1913. Mr. E.A. Pearson had the honor of being appointed as the Chairman & MD KESC in 1947 when Pakistan achieved independence.

Brig. Tariq carries rich experience of mechanical engineer and aeronautics to his credit. He represented Pakistan twice in Asian Games at Delhi 1982 and Jakarta in 1985. He was Pakistan's No.1 in Long Jump. Prior to his posting as MD KESC he was commandant, 502 Central Workshop since 1999.

When asked what plans he has in his mind to smooth ways to bail out KESC from the acute problems it is facing as well as to the consumers, Brig. Tariq said with a sense of confidence to do his best and rise to the occasion. He said that he has underlined three priority areas, which include containing power theft, recovery of huge outstanding dues against industrial, commercial and government sector consumers. He feels that the purpose of inducting army management into the corporation was to streamline the workings of the corporation in such a manner that the problems faced by the genuine consumers are resolved without any recommendation or "sifarish" while the corrupt both within the organization or amongst the consumers are weeded out. He said that the "KUNDAS" are being removed in a systematic way and the illegal consumers are being brought into the net of legal consumers. He admitted that though the process was a little bit slow however we are moving ahead in the right direction.

Regarding a question of generating power through wind turbines, the KESC chief observed that a private sector party had moved a proposal to set wind turbines at the coastal areas, however they were not serious in business. They had not done the home work or any study regarding wind speed or wind direction and their timings and altitude which is the basic data required for setting up of such a plant. The idea was good to produce power without involving the costly fuel for generation, yet it needs in depth study to achieve better results.

The KESC chief feels that this addition of the power will ensure KESC to meet the demand of the consumers during next four to five years, however the growing demand for power suggests that more power generating projects should come into KESC's licensed area.

KESC chief said that to reduce the huge line losses in the KESC system which have been reduced from 40 to 37 per cent is the most challenging task before the Army Management. He said that all possible steps are being taken to check the power theft through illegal connections all over the city. He said that running losses on this account are estimated at Rs 1 billion per month, which means power worth Rs12 billion, is stolen every year.

When his attention was drawn towards heavy taxation on power consumption which makes power consumption a costly affair and one of the major cause for power theft, the KESC chief declined to make any comments with the remark that this is an area which is dealt by the government. He however agreed that the price of the power is very low, it is levy of various taxes, which make the overall price on the higher side.

Regarding the steps to check the power theft, he said certain legal cover is in the pipeline for the action against the defaulters and the power thieves. The plan is to encourage the honest power consumers with immediate and quality services, while the dishonest will be dealt with an iron hand, no relaxation to the dishonest consumers, he said firmly.

On the privatization of the KESC, Brig. Tariq said that the financial advisor appointed by the government will be submitting its first report this month, the process of privatization however take at least a period of three years, he felt.