The Ministry of Energy has rejected the claims of K-Electric (KE) that the prolonged power outage in Karachi was responsible for the shortage of furnace oil in the market and said that the shortcomings in the power supply system are a major obstacle to solving this problem.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Energy said in a statement that it was unfortunate that K-Electric had not invested in upgrading its system, which made it difficult for demand to reach its peak. The statement said that the federal government is ready to provide all possible assistance to the residents of Karachi for uninterrupted supply of electricity.
A statement issued by K-Electric yesterday said that the demand for electricity had exceeded 3,450 MW due to hot and humid weather.
The statement further said that furnace oil was not available in the market at adequate levels resulting in a daily shortfall of 800 MT.
KE had said that the reduction of 50 MMCFD in RLNG by Sui Southern Gas Company Limited has also added to the challenge and the reduction in wind speed has also reduced the energy.
The statement said that due to all these elements, KE supply has been reduced from 3,150 MW to 2,800 MW.
KE had said that the Ministry of Energy was being apprised of the situation and the situation was likely to return to normal in the coming days in the wake of the decision to import furnace oil.
However, a statement issued by the Ministry of Energy today said that the federal government was supplying 800 MW of electricity to KE and was ready to provide an additional 500 MW. The statement said that the shortcomings in K-Electric’s system were a major obstacle to the acquisition of additional power, making it clear that the system had not been upgraded at the appropriate level and with the appropriate investment.
A statement from the Ministry of Energy said that the federal cabinet had approved the provision of an additional 1,100 MW from the national grid in the interest of the people living in the cities.
The statement said that K-Electric’s system is currently unable to withstand the surplus power and the upgrade will continue from 2022 to 2023 to fully accommodate the surplus supply.
It further said that liquefied natural gas (LNG) is available but due to Article 158 of the Constitution, only a limited amount of electricity is being procured by the company.
According to the statement, “Sui Southern Gas Company is supplying a total of 250 to 290 MMCFD gas, including 75 to 100 MMCFD LNG.”
The statement further said that the Petroleum Division has made arrangements for 80 per cent supply of Pakistan’s Residual Furnace Oil (RFO) to run K Electric’s power plants.
According to the Ministry of Energy, “at the same time, the federal government has made arrangements to supply 30,000 tonnes of stored RFO to meet the immediate needs of K-Electric.”
The spokesman said that the federal cabinet had also given permission to Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to tender for the purchase of RFO to the power supply company.
He added that the federal cabinet has also approved the allocation of 150 MMCFDLNG for K-Electric’s new plants.
The spokesman said it was clear that the federal government had taken extraordinary steps to help K-Electric and the people of Karachi in addition to running industries and businesses.
Notice of unannounced load shedding by NEPRA distribution companies
On the other hand, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) took notice of various media reports regarding unannounced load shedding of up to 12 hours by all distribution companies.
Taking note of the ‘severe difficulties’ caused to the people due to power outages in the areas affected by the recent heat and coronavirus, NEPRA directed all the distribution companies to solve all the problems immediately.
“Distribution companies are bound to provide an uninterrupted and reliable supply of electricity to consumers under the relevant provisions of their licenses,” NEPRA said.
“All distribution companies are strongly directed to take immediate steps to minimize load shedding and submit an immediate report to the authority in this regard,” the notice said.