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LAHORE: As many as 106 export-oriented units in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) are facing delays in approval of their requests for Extension of Load (EoL), 256 megawatt (MW) in total, from their relevant power distribution companies (Discos).

These Discos included Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco), Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco), Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco), Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco), Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) and Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco), said industrial sources.

They said most of the Discos are denying the policy approved by the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) regarding the EoL requests by the Captive Power Plants (CPPs) connected with their grid stations.

According to the sources, these Discos are denying the EoL requests on one or the other excuse and repeated letters by the managements of manufacturing units are falling on the deaf ears of their administrations. In most of the cases, they said, the Discos’ administrations are of the view that the capacity of their respective feeders is not at par with their demand for load extension. In other cases, they force the mills’ management to pay all the arrears before the processing of their requests.

The source said most of the requests fall below the sanctioned load and could easily be entertained by enhancing the load by their respective feeders but the administrations of these Discos are asking the industrial units to provide land for the installation of 132KV grid station at their premises.

Also, the respective administrations are demanding other relevant land record, which included Aks Shajra and Fard of the land allocated by the mills’ management for this purpose.

It may be noted that the Discos had revised their consumer service manuals in January 2021, according to which the B3 industrial connections may now have sanctioned load up to 7.5MW. The mills’ management is of the view that the Discos are not serious in submitting pre-feasibility report and instead they are more interested in logging out their requests.

Meanwhile, sources in the administrations of these Discos, when contacted, said some 30 percent of the requests, amounting to around 60MW, are fake ones as demand notices have been issued against them but the mills’ management was not depositing the amount to proceed further. While requesting anonymity, they said, these mills have submitted their requests simply to avoid disconnection of their gas supplies.

They have further explained that only those mills are asked to provide land for the installation of grid station where the mill feeder has no more capacity to accommodate extension in load. According to them, some of the mills would be energized during the current month and a remaining one would be keyed up by the month of April.

It may be noted that some 55,000 applications for new industrial connections are also pending with Discos, besides 40,000 domestic connections, leading to the non-utilization of 1,950 megawatt (MW) electricity load at present. Discos are unable to entertain them because of the shortage of material.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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