H1 demand growth of electricity remained static, NA panel told

The government Monday acknowledged that demand growth of electricity remained static during the first six months of the current fiscal year due to economic slowdown in the country.

This was stated by Power Division Additional Secretary Waseem Mukhtiar during a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Power chaired by Chaudhry Salik Hussain.

He said that, “July-January data shows that demand growth of electricity was static due to economic slow down.”

Mukhtiar said that existing consumers bear the burden when there was no demand growth of electricity because additional generation was continuing in the system. Another official said that there was proposal to fix the electricity tariff for one or one and half year and provide a package to the industry.

These proposals would be taken to the federal cabinet for consideration.

Earlier, Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan told the committee that the government had carried out demand-supply analysis of electricity and was targeting to add 20 percent electricity through alternate sources by 2025.

By 2030 share of alternate energy in the mix would be increased by 30 percent, he said.

Omar Ayub further stated that the government was focusing on adding cheaper electricity in the system, and letter of intent had been issued for 105 projects for the alternate power generation.

He said that expensive power agreements signed in the past had created challenges in the energy sector as the government could not change them because international courts were moved by the power producers.

Many cases have been filed against Pakistan, Omar Ayub said, adding that the total installed power generation in the country was 35,961MW with hydel production 9,771MW, IPPs 17,166MW, GENCOS 5,682MW, Alternative 1,691MW, and electricity production by nuclear sources 1,345MW

The committee was also told that there was no shortage of electricity in the country and there would be no shortage of electricity in the next five years and in the coming 10 years, he said power production would be doubled.

There is no solution to run the Lakhra Power Plant, which was established in 1994, and had never been operational, said National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) Managing Director Zafar Abbas, adding trying to make it operational would only be a waste of time.

The committee unanimously recommended the budgetary proposals of the Power Division and its attached departments amounting to Rs157.86 I million for the financial year 2020-2021 as approved and decided to get a comprehensive briefing on the IPPs and circular debt in the upcoming meeting and also on tariff rationalization.

The committee also unanimously passed the private member bill, “The Regulation of Generation Transmission and Distributions Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2019.”

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