Load-shedding case: Lack of spare parts, oil and gas reason for blackouts

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ISLAMABAD: A lack of spare parts, natural gas and furnace oil are the primary reasons for the electricity shortage in the country, the Supreme Court was informed on Tuesday.


A three member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing a suo motu case on load shedding. The court directed the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) to take measures to reduce load shedding and also submit a comprehensive report outlining how the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) should distribute electricity efficiently.  The court directed that this report be presented to the bench in two weeks time.


“PEPCO and NTDC are capable of improving the system if efforts are made to get needed spare parts and carry out overhaul of existing machines,” said Mohammad Raziuddin, a Wapda engineer.


Observing that the current spate of load shedding seemed artificial and caused by negligence, the chief justice directed an equitable distribution of available electricity among domestic and industrial consumers.

Currently, the total shortfall of electricity stands at about 6,000 MW out of a total demand of 15,500 MW. Presently, electricity generating units are producing around 9,500 MW only, the court was informed. The three member bench was told that the Guddu Thermal Power Plant in Sindh has the capacity to generate 1,659 MW of electricity, but was presently producing only 775 MW due to lack of repairs and replacement of spare parts on four machine units. If the necessary overhauling is undertaken the plant will reach its production capacity of 1,100MW.


Similarly, the court was informed that generation units numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Guddu power plant were currently producing 303 MW, and that their capacity could be enhanced to produce 1,000MW electricity.


Managing Director PEPCO Zarghoon Ishaq Khan informed the court that a new combined cycle 747 MW power plant is being installed at the premises of Guddu power plant. He conceded that after rehabilitation works the efficiency of the power units at Guddu had been enhanced to 30.8% from 27%. The court was also informed that the Jamshoro Power Company has a capacity of 1,100 MW, but was only producing 265 MW due to unavailability of furnace oil. Similarly, the Muzaffargarh power plant, with a capacity of 1100 MW, was only producing 475MW electricity.


Khan told the court that the dismal performance of power plants was a result of lack of furnace oil and natural gas. This, he said, was the main reason behind load shedding in the country. Khan conceded that just a day ago, electricity production had fallen sharply, inviting public criticism.


Khan assured the court that arrangements have been made for ensuring supplies of natural gas and furnace oil to overcome the electricity generation problem. He said that the regular supply of gas to electricity plants running on gas would also enhance electricity generation.


In addition, the managing director informed the bench that a special technical audit of some thermal power projects had also been carried out and this would help evaluate options for improved electricity production.


Later, the bench was informed that hydel electricity generation capacity had been improved by 70%. As a result hydel generation now produced 3,900 MW of electricity.




Courtesy:  Tribune


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