The business community, while condemning the government’s new deadline of ending power loadshedding, has stressed the need to fulfill the earlier directives of the prime minister for a visible reduction in power outages by May Day. “It is unfortunate that the power plants of 5,700MW are available but they cannot generate electricity due to non-availability of fuel, resulting into power suspension in the industry. Pakistan Industrial & Traders Association Front senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed and vice chairman Javed Siddiqi asked the authorities concerned to make a sustained and smooth mechanism of fuel supplies and advance planning for the summer, seeking a long-term effective plan to end pilferage in loss-making power distribution companies. Nasir Hameed expressed the hope that the power plants would resume getting RLNG supply from May 1 while the required quantity of furnace oil should also be available according to the pledge of the Prime Minister. He said lack of fuel supply and closures of power plants for maintenance were main reasons of power loadshedding across the country.
He hoped that from May 1, situation should start to improve gradually as 300MW Engro Power Plant and Port Qasim Power Plants would come into the system. He asked the government to make all out efforts to curtail the menace of loadshedding, by constituting teams in all power distribution companies (DISCOs) for prompt redressal of the complaints during Eid holidays. He suggested the government to cancel the leaves of staff to cope with any untoward situation. He called for formulating a reform strategy on an emergency basis, taking urgent measures as severe power suspension has been hitting the trade and industry due to electricity shortfall of around 8,500MW. PIAF vice chairman Javed Siddiqi said that WAPDA has the installed capacity to generate electricity of 9,400 MW out of which during peak hours, hydro generation currently stands at 4,500MW whereas the average production of hydel stands at 3,500MW. The system is getting from Tarbela Dam just an average 750MW, Mangla 430MW, Warsak 113MW because of no improvement in water flows. However, the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower project is producing electricity of 960MW and Ghazi Barotha hydropower project 645MW on average. Liberty Power of 210 MW, Rousch of 410 MW, Nandipur of 525 MW, FKPCL 140 MW and nine units of Faisalabad GTPS have not been producing electricity for non-availability of RLNG for the last five months.
He expressed concern over long power outages and stressed the need to rectify technical faults immediately. He said that industry is troubled by loadshedding, as the power division could not timely replace kits or tools in power plants for lack of funds.
He called upon the government to take urgent measures to curb the rising power loadshedding as it will badly hit the business and industrial activities. He said that the country has an installed capacity of electricity of over 39,000 MW, but currently the system is producing 12,000 MW of electricity, which shows the inefficient performance of the power sector. He said that Pakistan’s energy sector has been facing great losses and distortions in the distribution sector for years, costing the national exchequer billions of rupees annually.