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ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is likely to reject Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP), 2021-30, with the remarks that the plan has not been prepared on the basis of ground realities and consent of provinces, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

The issue of IGCEP came under discussion at a recent meeting of Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) when plan for auction of Renewable Energy (RE) project was presented. Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar presided over the meeting.

According to sources, Tauseef H. Farooqi, the committee was stunned by Chairman Nepra's disclosure stating that he was going to reject the IGCEP prepared by the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC).

The top officials of NTDC revealed during the hearing on June 15, 2021 that the country will continue to face power load-shedding in the coming years due to system constraints and other factors.

Power Division presented the update on the plan for auction for renewable energy projects. It was informed that Request For Proposal (RFP) packages for single resource technology had been finalized. Therefore, the plan would be finalized after receipt of opinion on category-Ill projects and inclusion of hybrid technology in RFP.

As regard volume to be auctioned, approval of the IGCEP would be required, presently pending with Nepra. The Chairman Nepra apprised that Nepra would expedite finalization of its proceedings verdict before June 30, 2021.

The sources said Nepra has serious reservations against Power Division's decision not to include 7-8 renewable energy projects, whose tariff has already been approved. Differences between Power Division and Nepra have also been witnessed at public forums like Standing Committees.

According to the draft, IGCEP 2021-20, the least cost, long-term generation expansion plan for NTDC system for the period 2021 to 2030 is developed using generation planning software - PLEXOS. The IGCEP 2021-30 is developed through a rigorous data modeling and optimization exercise based on the existing and future generation power plants, existing policy framework, existing contractual obligations, natural resource allocations, relevant provisions of Grid Code, CCoE approved assumption set.

In addition to the base case, further two scenarios are developed to facilitate the decision makers in reaching an informed decision which includes (i) low demand scenario and (ii) high demand scenario. For all the scenarios, 6447MW of existing power generation capacity is retired during the plan horizon.

The base case results show that to meet a demand of 34,377MW by the year 2030, a generation capacity of 53,315MW has been proposed, which includes utilization of existing generation facilities, consideration of committed power plants and optimization of candidate power plants by the tool.

IGCEP 2020-31 says that to meet the demand by the year 2030, the share from Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) resources stands at 1,964MW, 3,795MW and 749MW for Solar, Wind and Bagasse, respectively.

The authority has been informed that IGCEP 2021-30 was formulated on the basis of served demand whereas in the past computed demand was made on the basis of total requirement including load-shedding element. In IGCEP plan 2021-30 AT&C and other losses have not been accounted for.

According to NTDC, the government conveyed that load-shedding will not be eliminated until system and administrative issues are sorted out. NTDC dispelled the impression that it did not take provinces on board, saying that workshops were organized to brief representatives of provinces and seek their views.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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