ISLAMABAD: The country is again facing forced power load shedding of 5-6 hours due to average shortfall of 2500-3000 MW, main reasons of which are unprecedented demand in the month of April and mismanagement of fuel supplies, well informed sources told Business Recorder.
The sources in Petroleum Division shared the fuel supply plan with the Power Division on Monday as most of the IPPs are now out of stock.
The concerned organizations, sources said, are making their best efforts to save some fuel during the day so that it can be used at the time of Tarawih and Sehri.
The sources said, Karachi Nuclear Power Plant-2 (K-2) is now in full operation and running at full capacity whereas K-3 which is on testing mode, delivers electricity of 1000 MW in the evening after which load shedding duration is reduced.
According to sources, the main reason of higher demand is massive change in climate. In April 2021, maximum load was recorded at 16,000 MW whereas in April 2022, load touched 21,000 MW, a wide difference of 7,000 MW in demand.
“The peak in higher demand was 55 per cent during current month as compared to April 2021. The average peak in demand is recorded at 35 per cent,” the sources continued.
Usually, annual increase in demand is 6 per cent and about ten per cent in Ramzan. The demand with normal increase should have been 18,000 MW, but this April, it was 21,000 MW as temperature in areas like Lahore and Multan was 42 or 43 Celsius.
Meanwhile, M/s Hub Power has written a fresh letter to Power Division, saying that despite the company’s repeated requests, the daily allocation of payments to Hub and Narowal Plants remain very low causing severe liquidity issues for the Company and has constrained its ability to procure RFO and run our day-to-day operations.
According to the company, on the other hand, the countrywide shortage has made the procurement even more challenging and fuel suppliers are demanding advance payment. The significant surge in RFO price (approximately Rs 180,000 per ton) has significantly increased the working capital requirements of its Plants.
“The situation has attained such severity that unless immediate steps are taken for release of our overdue receivables and alleviate the ongoing fuel shortage in the country, our plants will run out of fuel in a few days,” said the company’s CEO in his letter.
He maintained that the daily payments do not even cover the cost of fuel being utilized for power generation whereas, in addition to replenishment of fuel stock, we also require funds to meet our operating and financial expenses. The Group’s overdue receivables from CPPA-G currently stand at approx. Rs 81 billion comprising Rs 58.1 billion, Rs 16.8 billion and Rs 5.6 billion for Hubco, Narowal and Laraib, respectively.