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ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) approved the proposal of the Power Division for eliminating the need for generation licences for small-scale Renewable Energy (RE) based systems (up to 25 kW) for net metering.

A meeting of the CCoE was held under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Friday.

The Petroleum Division also presented the Draft Pakistan Oil Refinery Policy 2021 for approval of the CCoE.

While briefing the CCoE, the Power Division told that the measure would greatly facilitate consumers who wish to install small-scale solar systems for their homes and businesses and avail the facility of net metering.

The Power Division briefed the committee on issues hampering the progress of transmission line providing interconnection to 660 MW Lucky Electric Power Company Limited (LEPCL) Power Plant.

The Committee was informed that all the technical issues had been examined and resolved.

Independent power producers: CCoE approves Power Division's summary

The Committee noted that there were no restraining orders from any legal/regulatory forum regarding the execution of the project.

The Committee, therefore, directed that the project activities be carried out without any delay.

According to the sources, the beginning of commercial production by Lucky Cement's 660-megawatt local coal-fired power project worth over $1 billion has faced a delay of around five months due to inability of the government to finish construction of transmission lines on time in the wake of the Covid-19.

The Draft Pakistan Oil Refinery Policy 2021 was discussed in detail.

The Petroleum Division submitted that the purpose of the policy was to attract investment in new deep conversion refineries as well as for up-gradation of existing refineries. Members of the committee made a number of suggestions on the draft policy.

It was decided that the Petroleum Division would deliberate on the suggestions and re-submit the draft policy for consideration of the CCoE in its next meeting.

Sources told Business Recorder that Umar wanted the Energy Ministry to give timing and mechanism of the implementations of the policy benefits in next meeting which would be held on Monday.

The sources said that Umar further said that policy will be approved as is if the energy ministry gives the mechanism next week. Energy Minister Hammad Azhar is currently in Russia.

The Petroleum Division presented an update to the CCoE on the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.

Power Division to retain some 'inefficient' power plants

The update included details of head of shareholders agreement terms, funding arrangements, completion of technical studies and regulatory approvals. The CCOE directed the Petroleum Division to ensure timely completion of various actions, so that delays are avoided.

The Power Division also presented the Circular Debt Report from July 2020 to June 2021. The committee noted that the circular debt build-up had substantially reduced in comparison to the previous year.

The Committee appreciated the improvement in the recoveries and directed the Power Division to continue with its efforts for reduction of circular debt. The meeting was attended by Minister for Interior, Minister for Energy, Minister for Maritime Affairs, SAPM on Power, Petroleum and Revenue.

Representatives of regulatory authorities and senior officials of the ministries/divisions also participated in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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