Govt to Start 5-Hour Long Load-Shedding Across Pakistan

Citizens are poised to face 3-5 hours of load-shedding during peak summer as the government has decided to reduce furnace oil imports for electricity generation due to US dollar shortages.

The country is currently facing an energy shortfall of about 4,000MW, which is why consumers are experiencing power outages for 2-3 hours, an Energy Ministry official told a national daily.

The National Economic Council (NEC) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday decided to close commercial markets at 8 PM to save electricity in the new fiscal year. However, implementing this would be difficult as traders are expected to oppose the move.

Pertinently, Pakistan’s overall generation capacity is 44,000MW, whereas consumption is 21,500MW. Electricity customers who have paid almost Rs. 900 billion in capacity charges so far will be charged Rs. 1,400 billion in 2023-24 since the tariff structure for capacity payments will increase next year.

Meanwhile, line and recovery losses are on the rise. therefore increased generation entails additional losses. According to the official, hydropower was not being used to its full capacity of 9,400MW, compared to the present average generation of close to 4,000MW.

Hydrogenation from Tarbela and Mangla’s main dams is dependent on water releases, which varies per province. Due to ongoing construction at Tarbela, According to the official, the national grid has been deprived of approximately 1,410MW of electricity.

Likewise, Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower Project is non-operational, resulting in a 969MW shortage. In addition, because of construction challenges and changes in water flows based on provinces, the Tarbela dam is generating little electricity.

Powerhouses are currently operational at roughly 13-64 percent of their capacity. The Energy Ministry official said the Independent Power Projects have an installed capacity of over 17,000MW but are currently generating only 7,700MW, which shows that they are operating at 45 percent capacity due to the prevalent liquidity crunch.

Source: Pro Pakistani