Tuesday Apr 17 2018

Nepra to take legal action against K-Electric over Karachi outages: sources

ISLAMABAD: NEPRA will take legal action against K-Electric over unscheduled electricity load-shedding in Karachi, sources said on Tuesday.

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) had constituted a high-level committee on April 10 to probe into unscheduled power outages in Karachi.

A NEPRA team submitted its report on load-shedding by K-Electric to authorities today, which found that the primary cause of load-shedding was not operating power plants on oil.

According to the power regulator, K-Electric is being provided with 60 MMCFD gas supplies in the current month, as compared to 50 MMCFD in April 2017.

K-Electric, in a statement issued Tuesday evening, said it was only receiving 90MMCFD gas supplies despite the Sindh High Court's directives to Sui Southern Gas Company to provide 276MMCFD gas supplies.

A notification issued by NEPRA further said that the Bin Qasim I Power Plant was operated on less capacity from March 27 till April 10. The plant, which has the capacity to produce 1015MW, had only generated 647MW.

The incomplete repair and maintenance of the K-Electric power plants had also resulted in the power outages, said the notification.

Advisory to Ministry of Energy

The authorities have decided to issue an advisory to the Ministry of Energy, which will recommend provision of gas to K-Electric - the sole power supplier in Karachi.  

The power regulator will also summon an explanation from K-Electric for not operating power plants, Bin Qasim II and Korangi, on diesel along with gas, informed sources.  

NEPRA issued instructions to the power supplier to operate the power plants on diesel along with gas and run its furnace oil based power plants on full capacity with immediate effect. 

It also instructed the power supplier to issue its plan to not conduct load-shedding exercise during Iftar and Sehri during Ramazan. 

Mayor leads protest outside K-Electric office

A protest demonstration was held outside the head office of K-Electric (KE) today against prolonged load-shedding in the city.

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar was leading the protest where demonstrators chanted slogans against KE accusing the power utility of over-billing consumers and also cutting power supply for longer durations throughout the day.

The protesters included elected members of the city council.

Recently, KE hinted that load-shedding would continue even during Sehr and Iftar in Ramazan, unlike earlier promises when it would claim of providing uninterrupted power supply at least at the two times of the fasting days.