Saturday May 28 2022

KE warns of increased loadshedding if RLNG issues aren't resolved

K- Electric Bin Qasim Power Station —
K- Electric Bin Qasim Power Station —
  • K-Electric has warned CM of increased loadshedding in Karachi.
  • KE says loadshedding period could be extended by five hours.
  • Says if the current situation continued, KE wouldn’t be able to pay bills to the SSGC.

The K-Electric has warned Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah that if the provincial government does not resolve the issues surrounding the supply of re-gasified liquified natural gas (RLNG) and price differential claims, loadshedding will be increased, The News reported on Saturday.

According to the KE, the current loadshedding period, which lasts between six and nine hours, could be extended by five hours in the metropolis.

Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi, the CEO of the KE, raised the issue of the power utility's Tariff Differential Subsidy (TDS) claims, which, according to the letter, had expanded to a critical degree. 

The letter stated, "Even after adjusting KE's payments to CPPA/NTDC, the utility's net receivables due to TDS claims stand at least Rs25 billion." 

The electric utility requested that the provincial government support them in releasing their payments on an urgent basis.

These payments are critical for the procurement of fuel from Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), according to the letter, "which power KE's generation capacity." 

Furthermore, due to the unavailability of indigenous natural gas supplied by the SSGC to the power utility, the base rate has been raised "which is being substituted by very expensive imported RNLG. Furthermore, the price of furnace oil has doubled in a year. KE is unable to sustain this widening gap without settlement of dues."

The power utility said that if the current situation continued, they wouldn’t be able to pay bills to the SSGC, which could result in the disconnection of gas supply to the KE and could cause a sharp curtailment of power generation by the KE, which would be approximately 500MW. 

"This translates into incremental loadshedding of five hours across the city, over and above the existing regime of 6 to 9 hours," the letter said, adding that it could have a serious impact on economic and industrial activity, and the potential to create a law and order situation in the city.

The letter further mentioned how the SSGC has been supplying the RLNG to the KE instead of natural gas, which was against the orders of the Sindh High Court. The RLNG, according to the power utility, is five times more expensive than local gas.

"An immediate shift to indigenous gas would ease the burden on both KE and eventually on the customer," the letter said. 

The CEO KE sought the chief minister's help in releasing its TDS amount to secure fuel supply to the city. It also requested the Sindh CM to play his role by giving directives to the SSGC and providing the power utility natural gas instead of the RLNG as per the court’s decision.