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ISLAMABAD: The government appeared hopeful of a reduction in load shedding in the country by the end of the week following the addition of 2,000 megawatts in the system.

This was stated by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on G-B and Kashmir Affairs Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, while speaking at a news conference along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khurram Dastgir, and Musadik Malik, after the federal cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday.

He said hydel power from Tarbela dam is expected to increase as water inflow was increasing and stated that the government was cognisant of the suffering of the people but some things such as fuel prices in the international market were not in its control.

They said Prime Minister Shehbaz has sought the formulation of a detailed plan for handing over power distribution companies to the provinces as the provincial governments have a better distribution strategy and enforcement capability.

The prime minister stated this while chairing the cabinet meeting on Monday and further directed the Minister for Energy Dastgir to visit the two best-performing distribution companies and the two worst-performing distribution companies and submit a detailed report to the Cabinet on the performance gap between the two companies.

Aurangzeb said that the major agenda item for discussion was load shedding and her colleagues, Kaira and Dastgir would give a snapshot. They said that the Cabinet was informed that in the month of June 2022, the power generation capacity in the country was up to 23,900 MW. And in the same month, 4,000 MW of power could not be added to the system due to plants that could not be completed on time.

Make shut power plants functional, orders PM at last

They added that in June 2022, the demand for electricity touched 30,000 MW. The cabinet meeting was further informed that there is a difference between installed capacity and operational capacity of electricity. Punjab Thermal 1263 was supposed to be completed in December 2019 but was completed in July 2022 after a delay of 26 months.

Thar Energy, which was to be completed in March 2021, would now be completed in August 2022 with a delay of 17 months. The meeting was further informed that Thal Nova is a 330 MW project that was supposed to be completed in March 2021; however, it will be completed in December 2022 with a delay of about 20 months and Shanghai Elect

ric Power 1320 MW project instead of March 2021 would now be completed in December 2022 following a delay of 20 months. Krut 720 MW power plant was to be completed in August 2021 and it would now be completed in June 2022 with a delay of about 10 months.

The meeting was further informed that the hydel power capacity is expected to be fully operational due to rains in the months of August and September. The meeting was informed that RLNG plants could not operate at their full capacity due to high temperature.

The meeting was briefed on future strategies to deal with power load shedding. Under this strategy, they informed that there is no load shedding on 20 percent feeders. Power supply to hospitals and industries is being provided undisrupted.

The meeting was also informed that the line losses during power supply were also discussed in the meeting and it was agreed that a comprehensive plan would be formulated to reduce line losses.

The meeting expressed concern over the circular debt in the power sector and agreed to increase the efforts to reduce it.

The federal cabinet, on the recommendation of the Finance Division, appointed Crowe Hussain and Co for the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), approved the appointment of External Auditors for the financial year 2021-2022.The prime minister directed the Federal Adviser on National Food Security to work out a plan for the conversion of tube-wells to solar energy as soon as possible.

While referring to the decision taken regarding the energy mix of Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan 2021-30, the prime minister said that no power plant running on imported fuel would be installed in future.

The prime minister said that “if you overcome the power load shedding, you will win the hearts of millions of people. Our government has a short time left and we have to improve in that time.”

The prime minister directed the Power Division to make every effort to ensure that the duration of load shedding in the country does not exceed two hours.

The Federal Cabinet ratified the decisions of the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases (CCLC) 29 June 2022 and considered the decisions of the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) 24 June 2022.

The law minister will hold a detailed press conference on the National Accountability Bill 2022, the federal information minister said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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