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Hydropower generation costs Pepco 6pc of total bill

Hydroelectricity generation burdens Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) with only six percent of the total power bills due to low generating costs even though it accounts for 35 percent of the total power generation, according to Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda).

A presentation by Wapda to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Water and Power showed that Wapda supplied 25,500 giga watt hours (GHW) of electricity to Pepco during July-April 2010-11, which was 35 percent of the total electricity received by Pepco for that period.

Since the electricity was supplied at a low rate of Rs1.19 per unit, the amount billed was Rs30.455 billion, which was six percent of the total power bills of Rs500.342 billion, the presentation said.

The power generation companies (Gencos) managed and run by Pepco produced 11,244 GHW of electricity during the same period, which was 16 percent of the total power received by the Pepco system.

However, the bill for the supply of this power was Rs105.710 billion – a little over three times the amount billed by Wapda for 2.2 times more power supplied. The rate at which the Gencos billed Pepco was Rs9.18 per unit.

The independent power producers (IPPs) supplied 35,783 GWH of electricity to Pepco, which was 49 percent of the total power received by Pepco. They billed Pepco at an average of Rs10.18 per unit and the total amount billed was Rs364.177 billion.

The billing was 73 percent of the total bills received by Pepco for power supplied from different suppliers. The Pepco received 10.6 times higher bills from IPPs than Wapda supplied hydro power although the electricity supplied was only 1.5 times higher.

The Wapda presentation also showed that the average cost of one unit of electricity to Pepco was Rs6.90. The burden on Pepco, however, increased due to its distribution and revenue collection inefficiencies.

The suppliers bill Pepco on an average Rs55.62 per month and the circular debt averages Rs24 billion per month, which means that the inefficiencies in the power sector are 44 percent, which by any standard are unsustainable.

The cushion provided by the low cost hydroelectric power would start diluting as new hydroelectric generation projects start operating in the coming years, the Wapda presentation said.

According to Wapda, the current cost of power generation from its 12 power generation projects is Rs1.05 per unit. Of the 12 hydroelectric projects, the cost of electricity produced at the 243 megawatts (MW) Warsak project is Rs0.42 per unit while its Rs0.52 per unit at the 1000 MW Mangla.

Further, the cost of electricity produced is Rs0.50 per unit at the 22 MW Rasul, Rs0.71per unit at the 3,478 MW Tarbela, Rs0.72 per unit at the 20 MW Dargai, Rs0.81 per unit at the 13.5 MW Shadiwal, Rs1.16 at the 1,450MW Ghazi Brotha, Rs1.18 per unit at the 14 MW Nandipur, Rs1.59 per unit at the 13.2 MW Chichoki, Rs1.83 per unit at the 184MW Chashma, Rs1.86 at the 72 MW Khan Khwar and Rs2.62 on various small hydroelectric projects of six megawatts.

The total power generation capacity of the 12 existing hydropower projects is 6,516 MW.

The Wapda presentation further showed that the per unit cost of electricity for the upcoming hydroelectric power would be Rs4.85 for the 121 MW Alai Khwar, Rs3.51 from the 96 MW Jinnah, Rs4.80 from the 969MW Nelum Jehlum, Rs5.05 from the 106 MW Golen gol, Rs7.45 from the 17.4MW Gomal Zam, Rs4.95 from the 4,500 Diamer Bhasha and Rs7.56 from the 83MW Kurram Tangi.

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