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July 17, 2020

A day after apologising to city, KE cuts power for up to 12 hours


July 17, 2020

A day after K-Electric CEO Moonis Alvi apologised to the people of Karachi for the company carrying out intermittent but persistent load-shedding, the city was subjected to up to 12 hours of power outages on Thursday.

Different areas of the metropolis, including Gulzar-e-Hijri, Scheme 33, North Karachi, New Karachi, Nazimabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block 13-D and various blocks of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, endured power failures. The shortfall seemed to have touched 500 megawatts.

Syed Muhammad Asim of North Karachi Sector 5-D told The News that they were subjected to intermittent power cuts. “We don’t know what kind of revenge the power utility is taking on this city.”

He said that there seems to be no authority to take KE to task. He added that from morning until 9pm they had faced nine spells of power load-shedding.

A resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block-5 said they endured six hours of load-shedding. “I had pending office work but couldn’t take care of any of it,” she said, adding that she had deadlines, “but thanks to KE, I failed to meet them”.

The situation was similar in the PECHS neighbourhood, where unannounced load-shedding persisted. A resident of the Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society also shared with The News how they were subjected to power outages for several hours.

In his recent visit to the metropolis to address its electricity woes, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar had announced that KE would not carry out unannounced load-shedding from July 12 onwards.

During his news conference on Wednesday, KE chief Alvi had assured the people of the city that power generation would be improved in a few years. He said that in the next few days, when the temperature would relent, load-shedding would reduce as well.

He had held the metropolitan city’s high demand of 3,560MW responsible for load-shedding, while he admitted that the power utility could generate 3,200MW at best.

Meanwhile, KE stated on Thursday that power supply remained uninterrupted in the Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Surjani Town, Keamari, Garden and Malir areas. The company advised against linking any local technical fault with load-shedding, saying that the areas running on illegal connections have more technical faults.

As for load management in the city, KE made the assurance that it was due to a fault at a unit of the Bin Qasim Power Station, which the company said would be resolved soon. KE said that to provide relief to residential areas, they are carrying out load management in half of the industrial areas. Regarding local faults, the company asked its consumers to call 118 or get in touch through social media.

Industrial Forum visits Bin Qasim Power Station

A delegation of the Karachi Industrial Forum (KIF) recently visited K-Electric’s state-of-the-art 560MW Bin Qasim Power Station (BQPS)-II and reviewed the fast-tracked development work on the nearby 900MW RLNG-fired BQPS-III.

The KIF comprises the Korangi, North Karachi, Landhi, Federal B Area, SITE, Bin Qasim and SITE Super Highway associations of trade & industry.

A statement issued by KE said the company’s CEO Moonis Alvi talked about the power utility’s $2 billion robust investment plan, and that the first unit of BQPS-III is expected to start operating by summer 2021, adding the needed capacity to the city’s generation capability and underpinning the growth of the industrial and commercial sector.

During the visit, Alvi said: “While KE has a committed investment plan to power Karachi, we are also working closely with government bodies to materialise the drawing of additional power from the national grid and ensure sustainable growth of power supply in line with Karachi’s faster than average demand growth.”

He added: ”Recognising the role of Karachi’s industries in driving Pakistan’s prosperity, we have always prioritised our industrial customers. KE was the first power utility of the country to exempt industries from scheduled load-shedding back in 2012. In recent days we have also eased our new connections process in line with the World Bank’s ease of doing business model to make access to energy easier.”

Appreciating KE’s effort to keep the industries apprised of the power utility’s future plans, the KIF spokesperson said: “We comprehend the challenges that K-Electric has been struggling with in recent days, and urge all stakeholders to take ownership of this city and resolve its multifold administrative issues to materialise its economic potential.”

He added: “Karachi’s industries have struggled to survive in the backdrop of COVID-19, and we need to see swift progress on the commitments made to us. We also acknowledge KE’s efforts to serve the industries and look forward to working with their dedicated industrial liaison teams to ensure that all power-related issues are resolved proactively.”