Research Analyst
Oct 4 - 10, 2010

Pakistan having about 30 per cent standby electricity few years back has been facing adverse power crisis for the last three years. The present crisis is considered to be the worst of four such crises that Pakistan has faced since 1974.

Due to a fast growing demand, high system losses and seasonal reduction in the availability of hydropower, the gap between the demand and supply of electricity is resulting in routine load shedding. Inadequate power generation capacity is just one of the factors affecting power supply.



Installed Capacity 2008-09 Share (%) Installed Capacity 2009-10 Share (%) Change
(1) WAPDA 11,454 57.9 11,399 56.5 -0.5
Hydel 6,555 57.2* 6,555 57.5* 0.0
Thermal 4,899 42.8* 4,844 42.5* -1.1
(2) IPP's 5,954 30.1 6,374 31.6 7.1
(3) Nuclear 462 2.3 462 2.3 0.0
(4 ) KESC 1,910.0 9.7 1,955.0 9.7 2.4
Total 19,780 100.0 20,190 100.0 2.1

Total installed generation capacity witnessed an increase of 2.1 per cent during 2009-10 against the one per cent growth in corresponding period last year. With the share of 31.6 per cent in total installed capacity during 2009-10, private sector witnessed the prominent growth of 7.1 per cent in its installed capacity during the period under review. On the other hand, installed capacity of Wapda has declined by 0.5 per cent during July-March 2009-10. Furthermore, the installed capacity of KESC stood at 1,955 MW during the period under review. The main electric power producers in Pakistan are Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC) and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC, the operator of the two nuclear power plants). Besides these three main power producers, a number of independent power producers (IPPs) established since 1994 are also contributing significantly to the electricity sector of the country.


With a large population of over 150 million and a rapidly developing economy, Pakistan's energy needs are huge. The country, historically a net energy importer, is confronting serious imminent energy shortages as its economy and population grow while global fossil fuel prices continue to rise. Thus, Pakistan needs to initiate a sustained, long-term transition towards greater use of Renewable Energy (RE) an indigenous, clean, and abundant resource whose considerable potential the country has yet to tap meaningfully.


Electricity generation from the hydro and thermal source has witnessed an increase of 5.6 per cent growth during the current fiscal year July-March 2009-10 compared to five per cent decline in July-March 2008-09. Moreover, after growing negatively since 2007-08, the electricity generation has started to grow positively during 2009-10. The composition of electricity generation suggests the stagnation in shares of hydro and thermal sources in the electricity generation with share of thermal remained larger than of the hydro source.


The length of transmission lines was 5078 ckM for 500-kV and 7325 ckM for 220-kV level at the end of June 2009. Whereas, the length of transmission line was 4748 ckM for 500-kV and 7318-ckM for 220-kV level at the end of June 2008. In order to ensure uninterrupted and stable power supply to the consumers as well as integrity of the grid supply system, the augmentation of the transmission network is a continuous process. In addition to the various ongoing secondary transmission lines and grid stations program, new transmission lines/substations are envisaged.


The number of consumers is increasing due to expansion of electric network to villages and other areas. The growth in number of consumers has increased by 4.5 per cent during July-March 2009-10 against the 4.2 per cent in same period last year. Moreover, the longer term analysis of group wise consumers exhibits that the share of domestic consumer remained the highest with more than 80 per cent of total number of consumers in the respective years.


Transmission and distribution (T&D) losses as per cent of net system energy have remained more or less stagnant in between 21 per cent to 25 per cent from 2000-01 to 2008-09. Furthermore, during July-March 2009-10, T&D losses have witnessed an increase of one per cent over the corresponding period last year. Keeping in view of these losses, the NTDC and Discos have invoked various technical and administrative measures to improve operational and managerial efficiency to reduce power losses. Other measures such as renovation, rehabilitation, capacitor installation and strengthening the distribution system network are a continuous process for controlling wastage of power.


The continuing shortage of electric power in the country is adversely affecting the national economy. Industrial productivity has gone down and the situation threatens badly the export performance and the ensuing balance of payments besides creating social as well as law and order problems in the country.

However, to improve the supply conditions of power in the country, Pepco is working on various power generation projects having different expected dates of completion from 2010 to 2018 with total generation capacity of 17,301 MW.