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ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP) 2021-30.

The Authority considered the revised IGCEP and observed that according to the revised IGCEP, the GDP of Pakistan is expected to grow at a rate of 5.134% annually over the period 2021-30.

Due to this, the peak demand in the year 2030 will be 37,129 MW against 23,792 MW in 2021. Further, the total energy consumption in 2030 is expected to reach 207,418 GWh, against 130,652 GWh in 2021. The current installed capacity of the system is 34,776 MW which will become 61,112 MW in the year 2030. This will include the existing capacity of the system (34,776 MW), addition of the already committed projects of 22,415 MW and candidate projects of 10,062 MW.

Further to the said, existing projects of 6,447 MW will be retired on completion of the term of their agreements during the period of the revised IGCEP.

Authority has observed that the revised IGCEP has considered a total of seventy-three (73) committed projects of various technologies including Hydel, Local Coal, Imported Coal, Nuclear and ARE including Wind, Solar, and Bagasse. Further, to the said, the committed projects also include a 1000 MW Cross Border import (CASA Project).

The Authority has reviewed the list of the committed projects and observed that the same includes projects in the Private Sector having LOS, the projects in Public Sector have their PC-I approved and the financing secured which is in compliance with the provisions of the decision of the CCI.

Nepra likely to reject IGCEP

Nepra observed that the revised IGCEP has considered a total of 148 projects of various technologies along with different blocks of wind and solar for the optimization of the candidate projects during the period 2024-2030.

In this regard, the revised IGCEP has optimised a total of 10,062 MW of Solar and Wind Projects as candidate projects on the criteria of least cost option. In this regard, the Authority feels extremely satisfied that in future over 60% of the installed capacity of Pakistan will be consisting of ARE technologies of Hydel, Wind, Solar and Bagasse.

Further, there is emphasis to develop and utilise local coal which will result in increasing its contribution to around 6% by 2030. The dependence on imported coal is likely to reduce from current 11% to around 8% in the year 2030.

Similarly, the use of plants running on Furnace Oil/RFO will decrease from the current usage of 19% to only 2% in the year 2030. In view of the said, it is clear that the revised IGCEP is not only based on environment friendly ARE technologies but has also envisaged to utilise other locally available resources, resulting in energy security of Pakistan.

The Authority has observed that existing power plants with expensive or imported fuel will have lower despatch especially with the induction of low cost wind and solar projects during the period 2024-30.

The Authority has also observed that some of the existing power plants using indigenous low BTU gas, will have relatively low despatch due to the induction of the low cost wind and solar power plants.

In this regard, OGDCL which is operator of the UCH gas field located in the district of Dera Murad Jamali in the province of Balochistan, has highlighted that this reduction in the plant factor will not be suitable as the aquifer there may overtake the available gas. In this regard, the Authority considers that the indigenous low BTU gas should be utilized in an optimum manner for which necessary coordination between different agencies should be ensured to capitalize on this cheaper natural resource of national importance which has the best utilization in producing cheaper electricity.

The Authority has observed that there is drastic reduction in the plant factor of the newly set up RLNG power plants which are one of the most efficient in their technology and have also been earmarked for privatization. The despatch of these power plants needs to be reviewed so that our highest efficiency plants are utilized to capitalize on fuel savings for reducing the cost of electricity. Same arguments may be considered for the newly commissioned 747 MW Block of TPS Guddu and 525 MW of Nandipur which are also being considered for privatization.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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