S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst, PAGE
Oct 24 - 30, 2011
Pakistan's energy supply is characterized today by structural weaknesses and geopolitical, social and environmental shortcomings. Whilst energy remains a major component of economic growth, such deficiencies can have a direct impact on the country's growth, stability and wellbeing of citizens.
Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pvt) Limited (Pepco) has been entrusted with the task of managing the transition of Wapda from a bureaucratic structure to a corporate, commercially viable and productive entity. It is a mammoth task and progress in the initial months was rather slow, but one should keep in mind that responsibility is enormous and transition is a long drawn process.
The government in line with its strategic plan of 1992 approved by the cabinet committee decided to restructure the entire power sector in the country. Pepco unveiled new face of Pakistan's power sector with the crisis management objectives to improve the efficiency of the power sector and to meet customers' electric energy requirements on a sustainable and environment friendly basis.
The specific objectives of PEPCO are: stop load shedding, constructing new grid stations, reducing line losses, minimizing tripping and theft control, revamping of generation units and to improve customer services and development of an integrated automated power planning system for generation, transmission and distribution to ensure system stability, fault isolation and upgrade relying, metering and tripping system at NTDC as well as discos level.
To meet the current and future energy demands in the country, the government is working on different power generation projects.
During 2009-10, an addition of 1298mw was added to the system and by the end of June 2011 further addition of 1871 mw have been added to the existing system of PEPCO. Thus the expected capacity by the end of June 2011 has been 21117mw and by 2029-30 expected cumulative capacity will be 106,656 mw.
The total installed capacity of Pepco system is 20,681 mw as of March 2010, compared to 20,190 mw in first nine months of the last fiscal year. Out of 20,681 mw, the hydro production is 6,555 mw and the thermal production is 14,126 mw. The hydropower capacity accounts for 31.7 per cent and thermal 68.3 per cent. During July to March 2010-11, the total installed capacity of Wapda stood at 11,439 mw. Out of 14,126 mw of thermal power, 4829 mw is owned by ex-Wapda Gencos, 323 mw by rental, 665 mw by PAEC and rest by IPPs.
During the first nine months of current fiscal year, 66,928 GWh of electricity was generated as against 64,935 GWh in the same period last year showing an increase of 3.07 per cent.
In 2011, PEPCO announced that there would be no load shedding during Iftar and Sehr, but unluckily the entire country witnessed unscheduled and prolonged power cuts at exactly on Iftar and Sehr, the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.
Consumers said that the ministry of power had been lying to them for the past three years. The Pepco's management claimed that there would be no load shedding during Iftar and Sehr, but their claims proved false on the very first day of the holy month. The citizens faced severe problems due to frequent power outages.
Pepco has started 12 hours load shedding in Lahore, once again leaving the consumers in trouble. The management tried to hide the reality regarding reduction in load shedding and bringing down the duration to seven to eight hours, while consumers faced outages of more than 12 hours in urban areas and more than 15 hours in rural areas.
The consumption of electricity per capita is increasing at a relatively uniform rate, because of significant increases in household consumption and industrial consumption which push up demand of electricity. The government has recently increased the electricity prices which affects buying power of the citizens. Despite increasing the tariff, the government is still bearing the difference between the cost of electricity generation and the end-consumer's tariff. There is a dire need to revamp the collection system, as delays in bill payments further ignite the circular debt problems which affect the entire energy chain. The citizens say that they are paying for electricity and give utility bills regularly but even then there is no relief for them. The Pepco should make a plan to solve the electricity issues.
PEPCO: FUTURE GENERATION PROJECTS
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