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ISLAMABAD: Power Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan Wednesday said the Federal Cabinet has not yet approved an increase in electricity rates by Rs7.91 per unit. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved the increase in tariff in three phases, Rs3.5/unit in July, Rs3.5/unit in August, and the remaining Rs0.91/unit may be passed on to the consumers in the month of October 2022.

However, the government has yet not notified it as it requires the NEPRA’s nod. Addressing a press conference, he said that negotiations on an increase in the tariff with the IMF are underway, adding that the Fund has been informed about sensitivities with respect to tariff increase. He said the issue will be sorted out by the end of the current month.

Dastgir said that following the current rain spell, the electricity supply situation has improved as Tarbela dam is at its optimal production of 3,684 megawatts of electricity as compared to only 1,100 MW on the 1st of this month.

In reply to a question, he said that re-fuelling of K2 nuclear power plant is underway and will be completed soon, adding 1,100 MW of electricity to the national grid. He said this will further reduce the load shedding in the country.

The Minister for Power said the agreement for the supply of coal from Afghanistan to Pakistan for coal-fired power plants will be finalised soon. An agreement has been reached between coal-fired IPPs and Afghan coal investors.

Nepra allows Rs9.66 per unit hike in K-Electric’s tariff

The minister said that Pakistan Railways have an important role in supplying coal to Sahiwal plant as three coal trains have reached at Sahiwal coal-fired plant. Sahiwal Coal Power Plant has signed an agreement to import coal. China Hubco has started work to generate electricity from coal, he said, adding that Afghan coal is cheaper than world prices.

In reply to another question, he said that 969MW Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project closed due to malfunction and the reasons of the plant’s closure are being determined. Responding to a question, he said a Pakistani delegation will visit Kabul after Eid to finalise the agreement, adding that the government will start coal supply operation from Afghanistan round-the-clock.

He maintained that power generation from Tarbela has reached 3,684 MW and in five days, the capacity has increased by two and a half thousand megawatts. Dastgir said that due to pleasant weather, demand has reduced, which has subsequently reduced loadshedding duration. Power supply will also improve on Eid, he maintained.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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