Wednesday June 29, 2022

Powerless Pakistan

April 05, 2022

Electricity loadshedding has resurfaced across the country as the hot and dry weather sets in early. Currently, the National Transmission Despatch Company (NTDC) system faces a shortage of about 4,500 MW, causing six- to eight-hour-long loadshedding daily in major cities including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Lahore. In rural areas, the situation is even more distressing as loadshedding hours are much longer. The installed power generation capacity (excluding the K-Electric system) from all sources of energy is 36,934 MW, not including the K-3 nuclear power plant that has been connected to the national grid on a trial basis. However, the available and dependable power generation capacity is 34,871 MW. The power demand in the system is around 19,000-MW, but, surprisingly, the system is unable to meet it due to a variety of factors.

A major reason is insufficient fuel supply to power plants. RLNG-based power plants, which are termed as the most efficient power plants, are underutilised. A few thermal power plants are not operating at full capacity due to maintenance issues. Hydropower plants are not generating electricity fully, as it is the lean period and the required water is not available. But the fact remains that prolonged loadshedding in the month of Ramazan would critically impact people’s daily life.

Hussain Siddiqui