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ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is reportedly unhappy with Distribution Companies (Discos) for being behind schedule in implementation of agreed actions especially staffing and operationalisation of Market Implementation and Regulatory Affairs Department (MIRAD).

In a letter the Authority wrote that it has taken serious notice of this matter and directed Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Discos to complete staffing placement and operationalisation of MIRAD by February 28, 2022 as it is already delayed by six months from the approved timeline. On November 19, 2021 the Authority approved organo chart in original structure be implemented including the contract management, regulatory affairs, load forecasting and transmission planning functions as integral part of MIRAD.

Nepra argues that any change at Discos level shall be considered a violation of the Authority directions. Once again, Discos have been directed that MIRAD should be staffed according to the approved structure in compliance with the ex-post and current directions of the Authority and the 6th and 7th progress review meetings.

According to the regulator, MIRAD would undertake and perform its functions, especially the demand forecasting and transmission planning functions, for compliance of the requirement of section 32 of the Nepra Act, the distribution code, the grid code and other applicable documents for Discos annual update, preparation of respective distribution integrated and investment plan (DIIP), power acquisition plan (PAP) approvals and its upward integration for transmission system expansion plan (TSEP) of NTDC and secondary transmission grid (STG) plans of Discos and capacity obligations determination by the Market Operator for each Discos for future capacity procurement and bilateral contracts.

The Authority, in the letter maintained that the demand forecast function will also enable the transmission planning function within MIRAD to identify constraints and provide remedial measures necessary to eliminate such constraints, hence these functions shall remain within MIRAD to enable Discos to expand their networks in order to evacuate power according to capacity obligations. With the evolution of the market and introduction of nodal pricing, both the demand forecasting function and the transmission planning function shall help MIRAD in identifying and resolving the network issues so as to hedge the risk against any commercial implications for Discos in future, to discover marginal price in order to manage their bilateral contract portfolios.

Nepra maintained that the action item pertaining to amendments in the distribution code was critically delayed by more than six months, therefore, all Discos have been directed to coordinate with CPPAG-G and ensure the activity is completed and the draft code is submitted to the Authority at earliest.

Discos have also been directed to expedite the due process to operationalise the association of Discos at the earliest as the same is already delayed by more than five months and complete at the earliest website development to ensure transparency and sharing of relevant market-related information. The said action is also delayed by more than one month and there is no current progress observed.

In addition to this, Nepra argued that directions conveyed earlier through letters pertaining to monthly and quarterly progress review meetings must be followed in letter and spirit.

The regulator also stated that to initiate performance review of all Discos regarding completion of CTBCM Action items including MIRAD operationalisation, the physical visits of the Authority are planned to start by end of February 2022.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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