The inside story of loadshedding in Karachi

ISLAMABAD: The K-Electric had informed the concerned authorities in January about its fuel requirements for the month of June but the approval for oil import was not granted in time, it emerged Saturday.

During a public hearing on Friday, K-Electric chief executive Moonis Alvi had also blamed the federal government for delaying the required approvals which curtailed its power generation capacity leading to excessive power outages in the metropolis.

The crisis in Karachi has invited severe criticism from the opposition, government, and civil society, but the power utility said that it “cannot be blamed” for loadshedding.

According to Geo News sources, the ban on import of furnace oil — which was lifted late in June — was one of the biggest causes behind loadshedding in Karachi.

“Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and the Ministry of Energy did not take the K-Electric’s request for furnace oil seriously,” sources said.

“The company had informed the PSO in January that it would need about 120,000 tonnes of oil in June,” they said.

The PSO reconfirmed the furnace oil’s demand from the KE in April, and then again in May after which the power utility had increased its requirement to 130,000 tonnes, sources said.

However, on June 2, the KE was informed by the state-run PSO that its demand for fuel could not be met.

“If local refineries did not have sufficient furnace oil, the PSO and the federal government should have informed the power utility,” sources added.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar said Saturday that the Petroleum Division should not be held responsible for the fuel shortage.

He said this in Karachi after attending a high-level meeting to review the steps taken to resolve the crisis.

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