KESC warns of massive power loadshedding

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KESC warns of massive power loadshedding

Islamabad: There seems no respite from spiraling up power outages, as government does not have funds to release KESC’s outstanding dues of Rs 71 billion while power utility has warned of massive power loadshedding in the port city of Karachi, parts of interior Sindh and Balochistan in case of further delay in payments.

Interestingly, Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso on Friday in its televised address to the nation said that ministry of water and power has been instructed to ensure uninterrupted power supply for 36 hours on election day as it would help complete polling and counting of votes smoothly. The Prime Minister also said that he has instructed the ministry of Finance to provide Rs45 billion for supply of furnace oil to the power generating plants, hoping this would provide relief to the masses.

However, owing to liquidity crisis, Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), on April through an urgent SOS call, had requested the government to release the utility’s dues before May 8. And, to seek affirmative action from the government in the larger interest of 20 million population of Karachi, the KESC also stated that despite repeated requests made by the company for the release of claims and dues, the inaction by government has pushed it to point where it has become difficult for the company to run power generation plants.

“We are in desperate need of these funds, especially for paying to PSO (Pakistan State Oil) and IPPs (Independent Power Producers) for furnace oil supply to maintain the current load shedding regime in the city (Karachi). We will not have any funds to procure any furnace oil from PSO and power from IPPs after 8th May,” said KESC in its SOS call.

KESC had requested the government to pay at least Rs. 25 billion to PSO against company’s dues. The power company had also requested to the Sindh government to directly make a payment of Rs 3 billion to SSGC out of Rs 22 billion that it had to recover from KWSB. These payments would ensure smooth and adequate supply of furnace oil and gas to KESC. All such requests had not resulted in any positive action by the government. However, if the government chooses not to play its due role and does not make these payments even now, a serious power crisis is inevitable.

“The load shedding duration will be as high as 14 hours a day for all categories of consumers across Karachi and parts of Sindh and Balochistan if immediate steps are not taken by the government,” reads KESC letter.  Sources in water and power ministry said that though caretaker government is striving hard to ensure uninterrupted power supply during general election yet the power utility is left with no option but to increase load shedding in the city and adjoining areas of interior of Sindh and Balochistan.

Expressing its inability to ensure smooth power supply during upcoming election even to maintain current load shedding regime, KESC which is on its knees owing to delay in payments by the government has said that ‘considering the law and order situation in Karachi and the forthcoming general elections, it is critical that KESC is able to run its generating plants and maintain the current load shedding regime’.

 

Courtesy: The Nation


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