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July 5, 2020

KE monopoly

Newspost

 
July 5, 2020

This refers to the news report ‘Industrialists urge govt to end KE’s monopoly’ (July 4). In view of the prolonged hours of loadshedding, businessmen have urged the government to end the monopoly of K-Electric in 2023 when its contract is scheduled to be renewed. It is a sad fact that, despite the offer by the government of extra oil and gas, and even extra load, K-Electric has been unable to end loadshedding because, according to some reports, its system has not yet been improved and enhanced to handle the load that is required to meet the city’s requirement, especially in the hot weather. I suppose that in the eagerness to earn its owners a return on investment, it is unprepared to make the heavy investment that would be required to rehabilitate and enhance the dilapidated transmission infrastructure in order to bring it to the required level. In these circumstances, bringing in another competitor who may also look after the commercial interest of investors rather than consumers is unlikely to solve the problem. In fact, we could even have the two companies blaming each other.

I remember there was talk of the Shanghai Electric Company taking over from K-Electric and I think that is what could really solve the problem. An old, experienced and well-established company like Shanghai Electric could be here for a long haul, make the huge initial investment that is required, and be prepared to wait a while for the return on investment to come. Needless to say, the contract with the Shanghai Electric Company should be thoroughly vetted before signing.

S R H Hashmi

Karachi