Supreme Court summons KESC chief

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ISLAMABAD : The Supreme Court summoned on Monday Nayyar Hussain, chief executive officer of the Karachi Electric Supply Company, asking him to apprise it whether the KESC was utilising its maximum capacity and whether it could meet the city’s entire need on its own.


A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry issued the directive when it was told that the electricity generation on Monday stood at 13,392MW, but the figures did not show the generation by the KESC, Kanupp (Karachi Nuclear Power Plant) and three independent power plants (IPPs) in Karachi as well as some of the captive power plants throughout the country.


The Managing Director of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco), Zargham Eshaqe Khan, informed the court that 650MW of electricity was being provided to Karachi from the national grid under a power-purchase agreement and if the same was switched off, the entire system of generation in Karachi would sink. The court was told that around 1,600 to 1,800MW of electricity was produced by the KESC on its own.


The court asked chief secretaries of the four provinces and the federal finance secretary to submit their reaction on its suggestion put up at the last hearing on June 19 to explore the possibility of supplying in bulk electricity directly to the provinces according to their requirements.


The federal government would then make deductions at source, according to the proposal.


The provincial governments, in charge of maintaining law and order in their provinces, will then be responsible for collecting and recovering the dues to ensure smooth supply of power to consumers who are ready to make payment.


The court was not pleased to learn that the rate of UFG (unaccounted for gas) is at 10 per cent of the natural gas being supplied to Punjab by the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited Company (SNGPL).


About five per cent of UFG was because of theft and leakages. Ironically, the daily shortfall of gas to consumers, including power plants, was at 10pc and as a result the public exchequer is incurring huge losses.


The court observed that the SNGPL would not be in a position to supply gas to the IPPs or Gencos (public generation companies) until they controlled the UFG.


The court ordered the SNGPL and SSGCL (Sui Southern Gas Company Limited) to submit details of gas being supplied to captive power plants and accurate figures on how much power the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) is purchasing from these plants out of gas being supplied to them.


Attorney General Muneer A. Malik assured the court that the government would soon announce an energy policy in order to minimise loadshedding.


The apex court sought details about the IPPs being operated on the natural gas or furnace oil, along with information of maximum production and reasons of the shortfall.


The court ordered Pepco and NTDC to continue to follow the formula of equitable distribution of electricity. It adjourned proceedings for two weeks.

Courtesy:   dawn

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