Tuesday August 09, 2022

Pakistan loses 1,000GW of electricity in two years

February 06, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan lost a gigantic 1,000 gigawatts of electricity during the past two years due to technical inefficiencies and inept management of state-owned power plants, an official report revealed.

The poor state of public sector generation companies (Gencos) resulted in a loss of 1,051 gigawatts of energy in 2014/15 and 2015/16, causing considerable financial loss to national exchequer and which compelled the government to phase out inefficient and old power plants.

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), in a report, said equipment deterioration, lack of scheduled and preventive maintenance, drought of technical expertise and poor management of Gencos resulted in the immense loss in 2014-15 and 2015-16, which could otherwise have been contributed to the national grid.

Moreover, violation of scheduled and unscheduled outages resulted in non-production of 14,109 gigawatts during the years under review. Pakistan has a total installed capacity of around 25 gigawatts (GW)/day, while dependable capacity is approximately 19 GW/day. An official stressed a need to improve the performance of generation companies, which could contribute a significant share to the total energy requirements of the country.

Average electricity production increased to 18,658 megawatts in June 2017 from 11,804MW in June 2013, which reduced average power shortfall to 2,888MW from 7,938MW. Now, the shortfall is expected to completely disappear rather the country may soon have surplus production as around 10,000MW would be added into the energy grid within a year.

Government planned to gradually phase out inefficient and old power plants as fuels, like coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG), require high efficiency power plants. Pakistan holds the capacity to import 1.2 billion cubic feet/day of LNG to slash gas shortfall that had reached to four billion cubic feet/day.

Nepra further said Gencos put their power plants on standby mode for ‘unexplainably’ longer period due to which they need to draw power from the grid for operation of certain essential auxiliaries instead of generating energy.

Moreover, the power generation plants were found consuming more amount of power on account of auxiliary consumption as compared to that allowed by the regulator in their respective tariff determinations.

The power sector’s regulator said a unit rate of residual fuel oil-based power plants, such as thermal power station (TPS) Jamshoro and TPS Muzaffargarh, was considerably reduced in 2015/16 as compared to 2014/15, but “despite this significant decline in per unit rate the average utilisation factor of these power plants remained low during 2015/16, i.e. 57 percent for TPS Jamshoro and 48 percent for TPS Muzaffargarh”.

Similarly, the per unit rate of gas-based power plants, such as TPS Guddu and gas turbine power station (GTPS) Faisalabad remained in the range of Rs5 to Rs7/kilowatt-hour (kWh) but the average utilisation factor of these power stations remained very low during 2015/16, i.e. only 11 percent for TPS Guddu and 15 percent for GTPS Faisalabad. “This indicates that the benefits of reduction in fuel prices were not utilised,” Nepra said.