Electricity shortfall persists at 4,494MW

Latest official statistics on power supply and demand show that there is typically a power deficit of 5,000 MW throughout the summer

By Munawar Hasan
June 20, 2024
A representational image of a transmission tower, also known as an electricity pylon. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Despite having installed capacity of over 45,000MW and transmission & distribution capability of 26,000MW, the electricity supply at the national level has faltered at 15,944 MW.


According to data prepared by the National Power Control Center’s (NPCC), against the 20,438MW power demand, shortfall in supply has been reported at stubbornly elevated level of 4,494MW. With a few exceptions, the latest official statistics on power supply and demand show that there is typically a power deficit of 5,000 MW throughout the summer. Regrettably, barring a few years, this has been the case for the past about one and a half decade or since 2010.

In the approximate first half of the last 15 years, power deficit was predominantly an outcome of a deficit in generation capacity. In recent years, however, electricity scarcity has been attributed to financial and system constraints limiting power generation severely following major capacity addition during previous the PMLN government.

The people of smaller provinces have been bearing the brunt of power outages up to 86 percent of demand in sheer contrast to electricity distribution companies working in Punjab province displaying single-digit deficit.

The latest data suggests that the biggest gap between power demand and supply has been witnessed in Tribal Electric Supply Company (TESCO) and Peshawar Electric Supply Company. Against the demand of 437 MWs, TESCO is being supplied just 59 MWs, highlighting massive gap of 378 MWs or 86 percent. Similar is with the case of PESCO, which is getting 1,377 MWs against demand of 2,814 MWs. Most people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province are presently being supplied just 49 percent of the demand.

Power demand of Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), which covers almost all the Balochistan province, stood at 1,766 MWs while it is being supplied only 645 MWs. Hence, shortage of electricity has been calculated at 63 percent.

In areas of Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO), electricity demand has been registered at 1,211 MWs while only 627 MWs or 48 percent is being supplied. In Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), the power demand stood at 1,229 MWs while only 727 MWs or 41 percent electricity is being drawn.

Both provincial and federal governments are equally blamed for the messed up national grid. The Centre and provincial governments have been blamed for out-of-control power theft in the national grid. The bulk of outages being witnessed in smaller provinces is deliberate with the view to penalize consumers involved in power theft. This policy of using stick has been continuing for the last many years without yielding a positive outcome of discouraging power stealing.

The failure in curbing power theft has been colossal in term of economic impact and national integration. It is not the failure of power distribution companies but the federal government itself as menace of huge power losses persist without yielding desired results, said insiders.