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ISLAMABAD: The federal government has arranged four additional cargoes of LNG and five cargoes of furnace oil to solve the shortage of fuel for power generation which will help end the loadshedding in the country.

Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan stated this in a joint conference with Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik on Thursday.

Khurram said that the government was compelled to undertake a two-hour load shedding due to a hike of 300 percent in coal prices.

He said the country is facing this situation as a result of massive mismanagement by the previous government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which did not make payments to Independent Power Producers and arrange coal in sufficient quantity. “As a consequence, we have to reduce our generation production capacity”, he added.

The minister said RLNG based Haveli Bahadur Shah power plant took a break for maintenance and shortly it would be operational. He maintained in addition to that a coal-fired IPP was also being revived after removing technical fault, which would add additional electricity to the system and improve the power situation in the country.

Pakistan receives bids as it seeks LNG for May-June

The minister further said the government would procure more loads of furnace oil, and RLNG to provide electricity to the people on affordable rates.

He, however, said the incumbent government has procured the LNG as per needs of the country, but on higher prices because the previous rulers did not bother to arrange the fuel well in time.

Khurram Dastgir Khan said that no reduction in the prices of fuel had been seen in the next six months globally.

He said that the government was also focusing to keep the prices of power in control and also circular debt reached to Rs246 billion which is 250 percent more than the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-N.

In an inaugural session with the IMF in Doha, he said that the delegation of the IMF was informed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was serious in resolving the issues pertaining to the power sector.

Dr Musadik Malik said the last government failed to arrange gas and other fuel as per the needs of the country due to which the nation was facing the menace of loadshedding.

Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Masood Malik said that government purchased four additional cargoes for May and three for June, besides the normal procurement of LNG as per 1200 MMCFD consumption for May and June.

He said the additional LNG had been purchased at the exorbitant rate at $ 22 per mmbtu as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government did not buy it when it was available at $4-5 per MMBTU.

Highlighting incompetency of the past regime, Musadik said the PTI government procured 260 MMCFD (Million Cubic Feet per Day) of gas against the demand of 400 MMCFD in November 2021 250-55 MMCFD against the need of 475 MMCFD in December 2021, 134 MMCFD against the demand of 510 MMCFD in January 2022 and only 270 MMCFD against the requirement of 350 MMCFD in February, 2022.

The minister said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government in 2018 had signed the agreements for regasification of per MMBTU at the rate of 40-42 cent, but the PTI paid at the rate of 94 cent-$1per MMBTU.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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