ISLAMABAD: A high-level delegation of Karachi Electric (KE) on Monday called on Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin and Secretary Power Syed Asif Hyder Shah to apprise them about critical issues being faced by the power utility.

Sources told Business Recorder that KE’s foreign investors, including Chairman of KE’s Board of Directors Shan Ashary, Mark Skelton and Khaqan Abdullah who represent the Saudi and Middle East based large investor groups that hold majority stake in K-Electric’s shares were part of the delegation.

This visit was a follow-up of a series of meetings held in March 2021 between Saudi tycoon Shaikh Abdulaziz Hamad Aljomaih - also the Managing Director of Aljomaih Holdings – and top-tier members of the Federal Government including Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Arif Alvi, and the then Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh among other important stakeholders. During the visit at that time, Hafeez Shaikh apprised stakeholders on the significant investment of almost $ 3.8 billion made by the company in the country since its privatization.

According to sources, while the Federal Government assured the KE investor of fullest support in resolving bottlenecks affecting KE’s transaction, progress on the resolution has not kept pace with the promises, forcing another delegation to visit for a follow-up on matters awaiting Government approvals.

KE seeks resolution of pending issues

Among the issues pending resolution are the long-standing issue of huge payables and receivables between the utility and government entities which are affecting Shanghai Electric Power’s proposal to take a 66.4% controlling stake in K-Electric. However, despite reassurances given by the Prime Minister himself, no substantial progress appears to have been made in the last one year.

Well informed sources shared that the visiting delegation sought clarity on K-Electric’s Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA-G) and Gas Supply Agreement (GSA) with the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) which remain unresolved despite protracted consultations and discussions between all stakeholders to finalize the drafts.

Additionally, the delegation also raised the issue of pending quarterly determinations and sought clarity on the status of KE’s Mid-Term Review which remained critical for its long-term financial planning.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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