Aug 30 - Sep 05, 20

Infrastructure of the country's water and power system has been badly destroyed or damaged during the current floods, causing loss of billions of rupees to the power distribution companies in the flood-hit areas.

Sources in Pepco told Page that the major damages have been recorded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and power houses of about 2000 MW including Kapco plant were shutdown. A number of grid stations, transmission lines and distribution system infrastructure have been fully or partially damaged. Partial damages have also been recorded in under construction power plants.

According to sources, various projects of Wapda also suffered damages worth Rs2928 million including Jinnah Hydropower Project (Rs425 million), Neelum Jhelum (Rs330 million), Dubair Khwar (Rs350 million) and Gomal Zam Dam (Rs50 million) etc.

The flood also delayed the completion of these ongoing projects. The sources claimed that the approximate cost of damage sustained by Pakistan Electric Power Company was over Rs10 billion and Wapda hydel projects was three billion rupees. The restoration work was being arranged from the existing stocks available for village electrification and new connections, they said.

The sources said that the floods swept away Madian and Shangla grid station in Swat while the third big Khawazakhela grid station was still inaccessible.

Pepco is utilising all its resources and making efforts for early repair and restoration of power installations including grids, transformers, transmission lines and other infrastructure soon after receding of floodwater, the sources said.

All other distribution companies have been directed to put their material and equipment reserves at the disposal of the four affected distribution companies to restore the power system, the sources said.

It is worth mentioning here that Asian Development Bank (ADB) has also assured that it would fully assist repair and rehabilitation of infrastructure of power system damaged due to flood in the country.

ADB has already announced two billion dollars emergency grant to help repair massive damage to infrastructure caused by the country's recent floods.

The ADB will work with Pakistani power sector officials to asses the scale of the damage at the earliest.

According to Director General Energy Management and Conservation Pepco, Engineer Muhammad Khalid, they have frozen developmental programmes to carry out rehabilitation of four power distribution companies i.e. Peshwar Electric Power Company, Multan Electric Power Company, Hyderabad Electric Power Company, Quetta Electric Power Company, worst hit by torrential rains and floods in the country.

Khalid said Pepco's focus is on restoration of power supply in affected areas for which all out resources would be used. The developmental programme of Pepco has been frozen to achieve the goal of restoration of power supply in flood hit areas.

When asked about waiving off electricity bills in flood-hit areas, Khalid said this matter will be discuused and a viable decision will be taken.

On the other hand, the Pakistan State Oil Company (PSO) has suffered a loss of around of Rs2.9 billion as flood hit its infrastructure. Recounting damages, the sources in PSO said the company suffered loss of Rs42 million in addition to product loss of Rs990 million when water entered main supply facility of the company at Mehmood Kot. Currently, the source said the location was under six to seven feet water and there was no access to the location. However the exact loss can only be assessed once the site is made accessible and the equipment is checked for operational integrity.

Lalpir storage is the largest fuel oil storage in upcountry connected to Parco refinery, AES Lalpir and Kapco through pipeline. The sources said the estimated loss at PSO Lalpir is around Rs52 million while the expected product loss was Rs1.799 billion. About other depots, the source said the losses were amounting to around Rs6.5 million.