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November 4, 2010

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Kanupp goes offline after two days

Karachi
The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) claimed on Wednesday that it has normalized instances of power load-shedding in residential, commercial and industrial areas of the city without getting additional furnace oil on subsidised rates and availing increased pressure of gas being supplied from Sui Southern Gas Company.
However, 80 megawatts electricity supply from Karachi Nuclear Power Plant once again stopped on Wednesday after the KANUPP remained in operation for merely two-and-half days.
This time too the KANUPP stopped its operations due to some unspecified internal technical fault and according to the sources privy to the nuclear power plant; it would take at least 48 hours for the resumption of power generation from the plant. The KANUPP stopped functioning at around 4:30 pm Wednesday.
A spokesman for the KESC said that on Wednesday they had procured around 2,500 tons additional furnace oil from Pakistan State Oil in accordance with an understanding reached at the Governor House meeting on Tuesday which decided that additional furnace oil would be provided to the KESC at the gas price in order to overcome persistent shortage of gas supply from SSGC. The differential amount of furnace oil would be paid to the PSO directly by the Ministry of Finance.
For this purpose, he said, the KESC issued a cheque of Rs 60 million to the PSO for procuring additional quantity of furnace oil, however, the cheque was returned to the KESC by the evening, as the PSO says that the power utility should itself arrange differential amount of furnace oil from the government instead of the government paying the differential amount to the PSO directly.
“Ultimately, we consumed the additional furnace oil quantity on actual price instead of using it on the much lower gas price as per the understanding reached at the Governor House meeting,” claimed the KESC spokesman.
According to him, the power supply situation is precarious for Thursday as

there is no guarantee of increasing gas volume from the SSGC and whether the KESC would be getting additional furnace oil from the PSO at the gas price.
“By using the additional furnace oil, we did not carry out load-shedding in industrial areas, whereas the spells of load-shedding were of minimum duration in residential and commercial areas of the city but we could not say with surety whether situation would be as promising on Thursday as was on Wednesday.”
The KESC chief executive officer had claimed in a recent message that owing to reduction in gas supply, the KESC had been procuring furnace oil to the tune of Rs 130 million on daily basis for electricity generation, which is 47 per cent more than the furnace oil consumption of normal days.
It is worth mentioning here that various associations of industrial zones in the city called off their planned strike on Wednesday on the firm assurance from the Sindh governor that the instances of prolonged load-shedding would be immediately stopped in the industrial areas. The leaders of industrial estates said that the industries had been enduring massive losses and their productivity went down owing to prolonged spells of load-shedding for over one week.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Sui Southern Gas Company said that there would be a gradual increase in gas pressure being supplied to the KESC from Thursday (today) after the completion of Annual Turn Around of Zamzama gas field that caused over 200 MMCFD shortfall of gas supplies. He said that on Wednesday gas pressure supplied to the KESC was around 74 to 75 MMCFD.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister Information Qamar Zaman Kaira told the media on Wednesday that load shedding in Karachi will lessen after the arrival of a 200 MW Turkish power ship this month.
Speaking after a meeting held at Bilawal House, he pointed out that the entity has been asked to maximise the use of single fuel power plants in case of reduction in gas supply as happened when Zamzama Gas Field was shut down for maintenance.
He further said that President Zardari had called for transfer of technology and production of wind turbines in the country.
In reply to another question, he said that there was no formula available except to increase the prices of petroleum products in Pakistan in case of rise in their prices in the international market. He said the government imported petroleum products and had to pay international prices on their imports. He further said the government had to pay a differential.
“If we buy petroleum products at higher prices and sell them locally at lower prices, the government has to cut the development expenditure to pay for these price differences”, he said.

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