The Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) has
decided to bring Security Deposit and System Development Charges of the
industrial consumers at par with WAPDA.
The positive decision on the part of KESC is expected
to encourage a large number of industrial and commercial consumers.
It may be mentioned that a large number of industrial
and commercial consumers were avoiding to join in the KESC system for
power purchase and preferred to go for selfpower generation which
according to official sources has gone up to the extent of 400 megawatt
(MW) in KESC licensed area.
Karachi is said to be the largest industrial town
where demand for power consumption is growing at the rate of 4 per cent
per annum. However, it is unable to meet the demand due to limited power
generation capacity. According to informed sources, applications for
some 500 MW new connections are pending since long due to short supply
in power generation.
Installed capacity of the KESC generating stations is
estimated around 1756 MW, but firm capacity is claimed to be around
1430. This firm capacity is doubtful because most of the KESC power
generating units has completed their life.
Following is the breakdown of the power units
Bin Qasim Power Station 1260 MW installed and 1090 MW firm.
Korangi Thermal Power Station 316 MW and 180 firm.
SITE Gas Turbine Power Station 100 installed and 90 firm.
Korangi Town Gas Turbine Power Station installed 80 and 72 firm.
Bin Qasim Power Station was established in 1983.
Presently the station has 6 units of 210 MW each. These units were
commissioned in 1983, 1984, 1989, 1990 and 1997. All the six units have
been converted on natural gas but actually are unable to be completely
run on gas due to short supply on the part of SSGC.
THERMAL POWER STATION
Korangi Thermal Power Station was established in 1965
with two units of 66 MW each. One unit of 125 was added in 1970. The
fourth unit of 125 MW was added in 1977. These units are gas/oil fired.
GAS TURBINE POWER STATION
In order to meet the peak demand KESC has installed
Gas Turbine Stations in 1978 and 1979. There are two gas Turbine Station
i.e. Korangi and SITE, the hub of industrial areas of Karachi. Korangi
Town Gas Turbine was four units of 20 MW each, whereas SITE Gas Turbine
has 5 units of 20 MW each.
Beside its own sources, KESC has to purchase
electricity from various other sources to meet the demand. Among these
sources, Karachi Nuclear Power Station commissioned in 1972 has already
come to its age and most of the year remains under service. It, however,
has a gross capacity of producing 137 MW but hardly produced 40-70 MW.
Two IPPs operating in KESC's licensed area are Tapal
and Gul Ahmed, which are producing a total of 250MW. It is learnt that
Tapal which has an installed capacity 126 MW is negotiating with the
authorities for expansion of its plant. If it is allowed, it may double
its present capacity of 126 to 250 MW.
Though the cost for power purchase from the IPPs has
been declined as a result of negotiations and also due to depreciation
of dollar against rupee, yet the benefit was offset due to abnormal
increase in fuel prices which shot up from 2750 per ton in late 90s to
over 12000 per ton as the current oil prices.
Realizing the wide difference between deposit charges
between KESC and WAPDA, Board of Directors of the KESC has cut down
security deposits and withdraw system development charges from
industrial and commercial consumers.
A large number of industrial consumers keeping off
the KESC system are expected to come into its fold with the decline in
deposit rates, however, it depends on the availability of power with the
KESC. Under the policy, the government had capped expansion in power
generation capacity of the KESC, which leaves no option, but to meet the
demand gap by borrowing power from WAPDA.
The KESC Combining Operation Cell was compelling
industrial consumers to pay security deposits at the rate of Rs3000 per
kilowatt along with Rs3500 per kilowatt as system development charges, a
total of Rs6500 per kilo watt (kW), whereas WAPDA was charging Rs550 to
Rs930 per kilowatt under this head.
In case consumers failed to comply with the KESC'
demand, they had face power disconnection of their industrial units. Now
maximum-security deposit would be Rs1375 per kW instead of Rs3000 per kW
depending upon the type of tariff, and there would be no system
The industrial consumers have welcome the move which,
in fact was their long standing demand to eliminate discrimination
between the industrial consumers under the licensed area of KESC and
According to SITE Association of Industry, over 88
per cent exports of value-added textile made ups are manufactured and
exported by the industries working within KESC licensed area and were
finding it hard to face international competitors on account of
ever-increasing cost of production especially because of exorbitant