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June 14, 2019

KE blames low gas pressure for power outages across city


June 14, 2019

As the mercury rose in Karachi on Thursday, the metropolis faced intermittent electricity outages. The city’s sole power utility blamed the alleged reduction in gas pressure that affected its generation capacity. The gas utility, however, rejected the claim.

In a statement released to the media, the K-Electric said that the soaring temperatures during peak summer have led to a sharp increase in the demand for electricity. “KE has made continuous investments in its generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure to be able to fulfil its commitment of providing maximum relief to its consumers during peak summer.”

However, reduction in gas pressure has affected the generation capacity of some of the KE’s power plants, which has led to the need for load management in certain areas. The power utility apologised to its customers for the inconvenience.

The aforementioned factors and the need to manage the increased load led to a temporary interruption in electricity supply to some parts of Malir, Shah Faisal Colony, North Karachi and North Nazimabad.

The statement said that the KE’s on-ground teams have been working round the clock to ensure timely restoration of power supply to these areas. Furthermore, there have been no reports of extended power outages from any part of the city nor has the duration of load-shedding been increased.

A KE spokesperson said in this regard: “KE teams are available round the clock to address any localised faults, and customers can reach out to our call centres on 118 or via text message on 8119. Customers can also direct their queries to KE’s social media platforms or through the KE Live app.”

More supply than demand

Refuting the power company’s claim, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) said in a statement that the KE has been supplied more gas than its demand in full pressure.

The SSGC said that it “strongly denies a misleading statement that has been communicated by the KE to the media stating that the shortage of gas supply has impacted its power generation, leading to temporary load shedding in many areas of Karachi”.

“The SSGC would like to bring on record that gas supply to the KE has not been reduced, rather the gas utility is providing additional 10-15 MMCFD of natural gas to the KE.

“Against the KE’s demand of 190 MMCFD, the SSGC is providing 210 MMCFD gas on a monthly average basis to the power company, only in the best interest of Karachiites who are experiencing scorching heat nowadays.

“The SSGC also rejects the baseless claim of the KE for supplying low pressure gas to the power utility, as it [the SSGC] is supplying gas with full pressure to all four power plants of the KE.

“To the Bin Qasim Power Plant, the SSGC is supplying 140 MMCFD at 104 psi, to the Korangi Creek Power Plant, commonly known as the Combined Cycle Plant, the SSGC is providing 26 MMCFD gas at 55 psi, to the Korangi Industrial Area Power Plant, the SSGC is supplying 12 MMCFD gas at 35 psi, whereas to the SITE Area Sher Shah Power Plant, the SSGC is providing 14 MMCFD gas at 30 psi.”

Intermittent load shedding

Citizens complained that most localities of the city had to bear two to three hours of intermittent load-shedding. The worst affected area were Malir’s Model Colony, Khokhrapar and Saudabad, where power was being supplied after intervals of two to three hours the entire day.

“We couldn’t get our water tanks filled, as power hardly resumes for an hour and then disconnects for around two hours,” said a resident of Model Colony, Zeeshan Khanzada.

Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Gulzar-e-Hijri, Sohrab Goth, Orangi Town, Baldia Town, Keamari, Lines Areas, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Ahsanabad, Manzoor Colony, Mehmoodabad, Akhtar Colony, Defence Housing Authority and Clifton also suffered power outages.