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ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has rejected a review motion of Port Qasim Electric Power Company (Private) Limited (PQEPCL) meant to seek the review of a decision on four grounds. The power company established a coal-fired power plant of 2x660 MW at Port Qasim Karachi. PQEPCL started providing electricity to the grid from November 2017 and achieved Commercial Operation Date (COD) on April 24, 2018. The decision in the matter of tariff adjustment at COD was issued on September 27, 2019 which was notified in the official Gazette on November 15, 2019.

In pursuance of the decision dated September 27, 2OJ9, the Authority, in its decision of July 23, 2020 approved Sinosure fee components of Rs. 0.11561kW/h and Rs. 0.12491kW/h for periods November 24, 2018 to November 23, 2019 and November 24, 2019 to November 23, 2020, respectively.

Being aggrieved of the decision of the Authority, PQEPCL filed a motion for review against the subject decision of the Authority on July 30, 202 on following grounds: (i) error in calculation of Sinosure component;(ii) violation of upfront tariff policy; (iii) LIBOR; (iv) debt service schedule; (v) comparison with other projects and; (vi) Withholding Income Tax on Sinosure premium.

A hearing in the matter was held on September 10, 2020 through Zoom, which was attended by representatives of PQEPCL only. During the hearing, PQEPCL reportedly could not produce any additional evidence in support of its review motion nor could it point out any error in the impugned decision.

The Authority noted that no calculation error was committed in its decision dated July 23, 2020. The Sinosure component for the period November 24, 2019 to November 23, 2020 was calculated on the basis of 366 days because of the leap year which was ignored by PQEPCL.

The Authority, in its decision of September 27, 2019 in the matter of tariff adjustment at COD did not allow withholding tax on Sinosure premium, therefore, it was not considered in calculation of revised Sinosure fee component for the 1st and 2nd agreement year.

PQEPCL filed a motion for leave for review against decision of the Authority of September 27, 2019 and requested to allow withholding tax on Sinosure premium. NEPRA has stated that in case the Authority accepts the submission of PQEPCL, the Sinosure fee components of 1st and 2nd agreement will be revised on account of withholding tax accordingly.

The Authority argued that in terms of Regulation 3(2) of the NEPRA (Review Procedure) Regulations, 2009, a motion seeking review of any order or decision of the Authority is competent only upon discovery of new and important matter of evidence or on account of some mistake or error apparent on the face of record or for any other appropriate reason.

The regulator further stated that the perusal of the impugned decision sought to be reviewed clearly indicated that all material facts and issues were examined in detail and there is no occasion to amend or modify the impugned decision. Therefore, the Authority was convinced that the review motion will not result in the withdrawal or modification of the impugned decision, hence the review motion was dismissed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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