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ISLAMABAD: Federal Government on Monday hinted at sending the case of M/s General Electric (GE), OEM in respect of 747 MW Guddu Combined Cycle Thermal Power to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), as the company is reluctant to accept responsibility of damage to the plant in February last year.

This was disclosed by Secretary Power Syed Asif Hyder Shah at a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Power, presided over by Senator Saifullah Abro.

Dr Niaz Ahmed Memon, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Genco Holding Company Limited (GHCL) conducted a detailed inquiry into the incident of Guddu 747 MW. The government has already placed Purchase Order (PO) of $32 million to rehabilitate the plant.

Central Power Generation Company (CGGCL) (Genco-II) Guddu has signed a contract service agreement with M/s GE for Guddu Power Plant 747 MW.

He briefly shared crux of the Inquiry Report with the Committee including the role of employees working in the plant, CPGCL management, and CPGCL’s Board members who have been enjoying the status of Member since long.

According to CTO, there are differences between the Inquiry Panel and M/s GE on the definition of Yellow Light, which actually indicates emergence of any fault in the plant.

Secretary Power informed the Committee that actions are ready against responsible in the light of Inquiry Report, which are to be initiated soon. However, he did not share any further details except that the case of M/s GE to be sent to FIA.

Under the agreement M/s GE is responsible for scheduled inspection, supply of initial spares, diagnostic, online performance monitoring, O&M advisory services, asset performance management, operational excellence system as these are included in the scope of covered maintenance.

In reply to a question, Secretary Power Division said that he was not aware that a UAE company has expressed interest in purchase of Guddu power plant.

Chairman Standing Committee took a serious note of Chairman NEPRA’s absence from the meeting, who according to the agenda was to share update on tariff petition of Genco-1 pending before the regulator, in addition to current tariff of all IPPs and update the committee regarding extension granted to M/s Kapco.

The NEPRA team headed by Director General, Consumer Affairs Division (CAD) Naweed Illahi Shaikh was directed to leave the meeting room as the Committee will only hear Chairman NEPRA who had not made himself available despite clear instructions.

An official of NEPRA tried to share the information about Genco-1 tariff petition, which has already been disseminated to the Power Committee’s Secretariat; however, Chairman Standing Committee turned down his request, saying that he would only heed to information provided by the Chairman. After this situation, NEPRA team left the meeting room after seeking permission from Secretary Power.

Another unpleasant scene was witnessed between Chairman Standing Committee, Saifullah Abro and Senator Fida Muhammad, after the latter tried to pressurise Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) Abdul Jabbar Khan to “adjust” hundreds of daily wagers in regular appointment, who have applied for regulator recruitment.

Chairman Standing Committee questioned how the Company can adjust those daily wagers who have not even applied for regular/ contract recruitment through proper channel. The war of words continued after which Senator Fida Muhammad left the meeting. He was followed by Senator Zeeshan Khanzada, who re-joined the meeting after 30 minutes.

The Committee was briefed on matters of importance relating to de-licensed public sector power generation plants and revision of tariffs of GENCO-I and issues related to payment of compensation to residents of Tehsil Ghazi of Haripur District, whose land has been affected by laying of Heavy Transmission Lines from Tarbela Power House and ELR expenditures in MEPCO and LESCO.

A Private Members’ Bill titled “The Regulation of Generation Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2021” was also discussed and recommended by the Committee not to be passed by the Senate of Pakistan. An update on Independent Inquiry Report of GT-14 in GENCO-II also came under discussion.

Regarding the issue of payment of compensation to residents of Tehsil Ghazi of Haripur District raised by Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah the Committee was informed that numerous residents of Tehsil Ghazi have been affected by this issue as several acres of land stand usurped.

Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah stressed the need for a compensation package keeping in view current market rates. He said that there are 5 Heavy Transmission Lines spread out in the area and the sixth is currently being placed. He stressed that measures must be taken to reinforce safety measures in the area, as well, since Heavy Transmission lines are a major threat to human life.

The Committee while seconding Senator Shah’s recommendations directed the Power Division to look into the matter. It was asserted that all out efforts must be made to compensate affectees financially and that too according to current market rates. Safety mechanisms must be strengthened as well.

It was decided that 1910 Electricity Act and the WAPDA Act of 1958 will be submitted to the Committee for further review of mechanism of payment of crops/ trees & damages compensation to the affectees.

Reviewing ELR expenditures in MEPCO and LESCO, the Committee objected to lack of details presented by the companies. It was asserted that details of allocations must be added to the document for a detailed review and information regarding development and rehabilitation work. A revised document will be submitted to the Committee within two weeks’ time.

Besides others, the meeting was attended by Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Prince Ahmed Umar Ahmedzai, Senator Zeeshan Khanzada, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Atta-ur-Rehman and senior officers of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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