No loadshedding from November, says AbidArchive
ISLAMABAD: The government is increasing the power generation capacity and is formally going to announce an end to loadshedding across the country in November this year, Minister of State for Power Abid Sher Ali claimed on Thursday.
Talking to journalists, the state minister for power said that when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz came into power four years ago, the country was facing 18 hours of loadshedding. “We have restricted power cuts to two or three hours and in some areas there is zero loadshedding already,” he said.
For the first time in Pakistan’s history, the threshold of 20,000 megawatt electricity generation has been crossed, he said.
Mr Ali was drawing strength from a briefing given to the Cabinet Committee on Energy on Wednesday.
Excessive outages to continue in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s loss-making areas
The meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was updated on power projects expected to come on line by 2023.
“Our target was to generate 20,000MW by September which was already met on Wednesday,” he said.
The government will bring an additional 4,000MW generation capacity in the system within next three or four months, he added.
Responding to a question, he said the transmission system was also being upgraded on urgent basis for it to be able to absorb the extra load.
He did not agree with the notion that winter was usually a lean period when power demand was on the lower side.
“I assure you that in areas where there are no losses or technical faults, there will be no loadshedding by November and beyond,” he said.
Mr Ali said he was amused by a statement made by the Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah regarding electricity bills being less during Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) tenure.
“There was no electricity during the PPP government,” he quipped.
Mr Ali said during PPP’s tenure, industries were using generators to run their machines. “Today there is no loadshedding for the industrial sector,” he said.
Replying to another question about low voltage and excessive loadshedding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the minister said the problem was mainly due to a delay in the acquisition of land by the provincial government for the construction of two 220 KV Grid stations.
KP would continue facing the low voltage problem till February/March next year, he added.
He said the federal government had paid Rs520 million in 2014 to the provincial government of KP for land acquisition for in Chakdara and Nowshera. However, the land was acquired after three and a half years, he added.
He said usually it took two to three years to complete a grid station, adding: “But we will complete the work within 9 months and after that there will no loadshedding in those areas of KP where there are no losses.”
However, in the loss making areas excessive loadshedding will continue, he added.
Responding to another question about electricity theft, the minister said no distribution company could control power theft completely without the help of public representatives.
Regarding the problems faced by K-Electric consumers, he said a meeting was held with the utility representatives on Thursday.
There is another meeting next week with public representatives from Karachi and KE officials and we will try to resolve all issues, he said.
The Cabinet Committee on Energy was also given an update on Wednesday on the power projects expected to come on line by 2023.
Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2017