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Iran threatens to cut electricity supply by Aug 11

Iran has threatened to cut electricity supply to Pakistan by August 11, if dues worth $41 million are not paid, documents available with The News reveal.

Iran has been exporting electricity through 132 kv transmission line from Jakigur to Mand. In 2006, Pakistan imported 39 MW and then 36 MW more were added from the Iranian side. Non-payments have landed the energy deficit country into more trouble, as the switching off by Iran will multiply power outages in Balochistan, reveals an official document available with The News.

Iranian energy company – TAVANIR – in its communication to Pakistan’s Foreign Office has said in plain words that it is going to cut the electricity supply of 74 MW by August 11 if its dues ($41 million) are not paid. Pakistan is currently importing 74 MW of electricity from Iran for the bordering areas of Balochistan and has not paid for the electricity imported since June 2011.

Iranian electricity is currently being imported at the rate of 8-9 cents per unit. A senior official on condition of anonymity said the government of Pakistan is willing to pay $41 million but in the wake of US and EU economic sanctions, it is difficult to carry out a banking transaction with Iran. However, the government has forwarded a proposal of State Bank of Pakistan to Iran suggesting a payment mode. He expressed his inability to disclose the proposal.

Meanwhile, the NTDC has placed the request with Iran not to cut the electricity supply hoping the issue will be resolved and the Iran will be compensated. It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan has already inked a deal with Iran for importing 1000 MW at 10 cents per unit.

“The tariff will be revised after every three years after the commissioning of the project.” The project to import 1000 MW electricity will materialise in four years. Under the proposed project, he said, Iran will build a powerhouse specifically for Pakistan in Zahidan and a 700kilometre transmission line will be laid from Pak-Iran border to Quetta.

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