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Print Print 2022-06-08

No respite in electricity load-shedding

ISLAMABAD: The country is still facing up to 10 hours’ load shedding in urban and rural areas due to peak...
Published June 8, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The country is still facing up to 10 hours load shedding in urban and rural areas due to peak temperature driven demand, less generation including high loss feeders mostly in KP, Balochistan, interior Sindh and southern Punjab.

Presently, generation is about 20, 000 MW against demand of 28,000 MW of which 25,000 MW is regular demand in the country excluding KE which is also getting up o 1100 MW from national grid whereas over 3000 MW is based on high loss feeders.

The sources said a meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister on June 4, 2022 in Lahore, where the stocktaking of the load management of electricity supply to domestic consumers was taken. Power Division presented multiple scenarios for load management in the backdrop of liquidity constraints due to unprecedented rise in fuel price, as well as, the temporary outages of power plants vis-à-vis rising demand during summer months.

The meeting was briefed that during the first week of June 2022, a generation capacity of 19000 MW was available in the system against a peak demand of 25,000 MW excluding 3000 MW high loss feeders. Therefore, a shortfall of around 6,000 MW, leading to the load shedding of six hours on average was observed.

The sources said, Power Division informed the Prime Minister that during the second week of June 2022 and onwards, the available capacity would be 21,000 MW on account of the addition of the plants which are currently on temporary outage, thereby reducing the anticipated load management by two hours, i.e., four hours per day on average.

PM seeks plan to reduce electricity load-shedding within 24hrs

Provided further, about 1,800 MW coal power plants will come online by last week of June 2022 bringing available capacity to about 23,500 MW which will reduce the load shedding hours to two & half hours on average.

The capacity of 2,871 MW will be back in the system with operations K-3, Lucky, Saba, Bhikki (GT) and Mgarh RFO by June 15, 2022, whereas one unit of 600 MW of Sahiwal coal-fired plan will be available during June 16-24, 2022 taking generation to 21,800 MW. However, K-2 1,040 MW will become operational from June 25-29, 2022 and one unit of 600 MW of Port Qasim will be working by June 30, 2022.

According to Power Division 1,150 MW of RFO and 560 MW of RLNG- based power plants, which are otherwise available for generation, have not been included in the calculations because: (a) additional gas is not available and (b) RFO plants are inefficient (Rs 59/unit for fuel only). For full operations of these power plants, RFO of 5750 M. Tons/day and RLNG supply of 100 MMCFD is required.

Moreover, it requires additional cash flow of Rs 29 billion. During the meeting held on 6 June 2022, Petroleum Division noted that PSO could supply an additional 3000 tons/ day of RFO. The operations of these RFO plants would reduce load shedding by half an hour.

However, PSO has only received offer of one cargo of RFO against bid of three cargos for July 2022. Therefore, in case the PSO does not receive requisite offers of RFO cargoes, the existing stock would dry up resulting in disruption of RFO supply to the power plants during July, 20L2. This will, in turn, result in increased load shedding during the month of July 2022.

For supply of 100 MMCFD RLNG, Petroleum Division noted during the meeting noted that it cannot be met from existing demand supply position. However, Petroleum Division has offered to divert 70 MMCFD gas from fertilizer plants which might lead to shortage of fertilizer, 30 MMCFD from captive power plants, 75 MMCFD from non-export industry and 25 MMCFD from export industry, which might lead to closure/ partial closure of the industry.

Power Division has submitted the following proposals: (i) whether additional RFO based generation of 550 MW is undertaken at the risk of losing equivalent power in July 2022; and (ii) whether 560 MW of RLNG based power generation is undertaken in terms of disruption of gas supply to industry.

Power Division argues that load shedding would be reduced by one hour during June 2022, otherwise, the current schedule of 4-hour load shedding in major urban centres and longer load shedding (6-7 hours) in rural areas depending on heatwave intensity. Industry would remain exempt while high loss feeders would proportionately adjust roughly 2500 -3000 MW of load shedding.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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