Punjab to set up power transmission company

LAHORE: Punjab has accelerated efforts to establish a provincial power transmission and despatch (T&D) firm on the lines of the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC).

In this regard, a summary has been initiated by the provincial energy department which seeks approval to establish Punjab Provincial Grid Company and is currently being reviewed by the provincial cabinet, Dawn has learnt.

“Sindh has established its own transmission company already. We must have the same arrangement under the 18th Amendment. We are following up on the summary which has been sent to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for grant of approval,” Punjab Energy Minister Dr Akhtar Malik said.

According to the summary, Pakistan’s total energy demand recorded in 2018-19 was 25,627MW which included 14,472MW consumed by Punjab alone. The province’s energy demand is projected to cross 24,000MW by 2027-28.

Likewise, 68 per cent revenue generation comes through a huge number of consumers based in Punjab. The province accounts for 66pc of the total electricity consumers in the country.

Rapid development of industrial estates and special economic zones (SEZs) in Punjab has prompted an increase in the demand for electricity. The amended Nepra Act 2018 has created an opportunity for T&D of electricity through multi-buyer arrangements such as bulk power consumers and wheeling etc. In order to capitalise these arrangements and to accommodate the energy needs of Punjab, there is an urgent requirement to supply sustainable and affordable electricity to the end consumers particularly to industries and agriculture sector in Punjab, the summary read.

After promulgation of the 18th Amendment, provinces are fully empowered to establish a provincial grid company and lay transmission lines within the use of province under Article 157 (2)(C) of the Constitution. Moreover, in pursuant to clause 18(A) and 18(B) of the amended Nepra Act, the provincial governments are allowed to establish grid companies subject to the approval and licensing by the federal regulator.

The summary mentions that the Sindh government established the provincial T&D company and obtained a transmission licence from Nepra on November 5, 2019. Likewise, the KP too has started work to register a similar company.

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