- Minister for energy says power issues are due to fuel shortage and technical faults
Federal Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir on Friday said that load-shedding in the country is due to fuel shortage and technical faults in power plants and the government is taking steps to ensure the situation improves from next month.
Addressing a press conference, Dastgir, alongside Minister of State Hashim Notezai, stated: “There are two factors behind the ongoing electricity shortage in the country. Firstly - due to the unavailability of fuel including RLNG - furnace oil and coal, power plants in the country are unable to generate 5,739MW of electricity. Secondly, due to technical faults and maintenance in the power plants, there is a shortfall of 2,156MW.”
The minister said that the government is taking all measures to solve the crisis, and has postponed the holidays of its power distribution employees.
He said that the government faces a time lag in the purchase of both RLNG and furnace oil (FO) but this should be rectified in the first two days of May.
"In the coming days we also expect further gas allocations from the government, which would improve the load-shedding situation in the next 10 days,” he said.
He stated that the Power Division has registered an "extraordinary" increase in demand as compared to previous years and he expects power plants, including Engro Thar Coal and Port Qasim coal plant, to start generating electricity from May 1.
Dastagir informed that in a span of weeks, roughly 2,000-3,000MW of additional demand has been created in the system, due to rising temperatures. “Days ago, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was given estimates that demand for electricity stood at 20,000MW, however, we want to operate on 23,000MW,” he said.
Earlier, Business Recorder, citing informed sources, reported that as much as 15,473MW of electricity is still not available to the system due to scheduled outages, forced outages, system congestion, fuel shortage and fewer water releases from reservoirs, which is the main reason for the massive unscheduled load-shedding across the country.
Of this 15,473MW out-of-system electricity, 1,946 MW is manifested in scheduled outage, 4,236MW in forced outage, 900MW not available due to system congestion, 4,452MW not available due to fuel shortage and 5,875 MW is not available due to low hydrology.
Earlier this week, PM Shehbaz said that the power crisis will ease from May 1.
“I am acutely aware of the hardships people are facing due to load-shedding,” he wrote in a tweet, adding: “PTI government neither procured any fuel nor undertook timely repair and maintenance of plants. After emergency steps are decided today, the power situation will normalise significantly by May 1."