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ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has extended distribution licence of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) provisionally for six months starting from November 1, 2021, sans exclusivity for provision of electricity.

In August 2021, IESCO had submitted application for renewal/extension in terms of distribution licence. The Authority has already initiated the required regulatory process for renewal of the distribution licence as stipulated in the Licencing Regulations and the Nepra Licencing (Distribution) Rules, 1999.

The Authority has considered the matter in its Regulatory Meeting held on October 18, 2021 and decided in principle to hold a public hearing after seeking additional information pertaining to the "Business Plan" of IESCO, which is being sought separately. However, the Authority argues that as the regulatory process will take up to six months time it will be prudent to allow some interim relief to IESCO to continue its operation.

In consideration of the facts, since the application of IESCO for renewal of the term of its licence is under process, in the public interest and to ensure uninterrupted supply of electric power to the consumers in the service and concessional territories of IESCO, the Authority has decided to provisionally allow extension in the term of Distribution Licence for a period of six months from the original expiry i.e. November 01, 2021 or till the time of the final determination of the Authority in the matter is made whichever is earlier subject to the conditions as follows: -(i) IESCO shall not have any exclusivity for the provision of distribution and/or electric power supply services and the Authority shall reserve its right to issue other licences in its service/concessional territories; (ii) the provisions of Article-7 of the Distribution Licence No. 01/DL/2001, of November 02, 2001 of IESCO pertaining to the "exclusivity", will not be applicable anymore as Section21 of the amended Nepra Act does not allow it; (iii) IESCO will be obligated to allow Bulk Power Consumer(s) (BPC) to obtain supply from any generation company as stipulated in Section-22 of the amended Nepra Act; (iv) the service and concessional territories of IESCO will be strictly governed in terms of Article 3 of its existing distribution licence No. 01/DLI2001; and (v) IESCO will be obligated to allow use of its system to any third party for supplying/wheeling of electric power to any BPC in terms of Article-9 of its distribution licence.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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