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Sindh working on plan to overcome power shortage in summer, says Imtiaz Shaikh

By Our Correspondent
April 27, 2023

The Sindh government will prepare a comprehensive plan to utilise the indigenous energy resources with the active involvement of the private sector to make sure that the residents of the province do not brave prolonged power cuts during summers.

This was stated by Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmad Shaikh as he spoke to media persons at his office on Wednesday. He said former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari had asked the relevant provincial authorities to prepare a comprehensive plan to overcome the electricity problem in the province.

He said a proposal for the first hybrid solar and wind project of 400-megawatt (MW) generation capacity to be built by the private sector under the business to business (B2B) mode would be presented before the Sindh cabinet today (Thursday) for approval.

The Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company would be involved in transmitting electricity to be generated by the upcoming hybrid renewable energy project in the province, he explained. Shaikh told the media that the B2B mode would be adopted to execute new energy projects in the province at an accelerated pace.

He disclosed that power generation plants built in Sindh had been generating 10,000 to 12,000MW of electricity for the national grid. He added that the Thar coal project had been producing the cheapest electricity in the entire of Pakistan.

To a question, the energy minister said that new power companies should be launched in the market to end the monopoly of the existing distribution entities in the province in the best interest of the concerned consumers.

He said the Sindh government had decided in principle to take over the two power distribution companies in the province —Hyderabad Electric Supply Company and Sukkur Electric Power Company. He said progress was also being made in establishing the Sindh Electric Power Regulatory Authority in line with the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

Shaikh informed the media that the Sindh government was even ready to run the gas utility in the province on its own to resolve the gas woes of the consumers in the province. He disclosed that solar panels had been installed at 37 large public hospitals and the Karachi Press Club to increase electricity generation in the province on the basis of clean energy sources. To a question, the energy minister said the line losses in the power sector were higher due to the greater distance involved in the province in providing connectivity with the national grid.