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KESC to generate and sell 300MW power to Punjab

The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) will now generate 300MW from furnace oil-run power plants and provide electricity to the Punjab to reduce power outages in the province, according to official sources.

This understanding emerged in a meeting of the Council of Common Interests’ committee on equitable distribution of electricity held on Monday, which was chaired by water and power minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar. Also in attendance were the chief secretaries of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, AJ&K and Gilgit-Baltistan as well as the additional secretary for the Fata Secretariat.

The KESC, which has 300 MW of idle generation capacity, has been asked to ensure generation from all its plants. The company is to use furnace oil to generate 300MW but will pay only the cost of the gas required to generate the said electricity quantity. The difference is to be paid by the Sindh government from the amount it owes to the Pakistan Electric Power Company.

According to official sources, this additional electricity will help reduce the power outages by one-and-a-half hours. The Central Power Purchase Agency provides 650-750 MW per day to the KESC and 300MW of this share is to be diverted to the Punjab. The extra 300MW generated by the KESC will be used in Karachi.

However, many fear that the decision might not be implemented and the Sindh government might just be feeding Punjab a sop. At the meeting, the representatives of the provinces also agreed in principle to invest in mega hydropower generation projects and promised to allocate a certain percentage of their development budgets for hydle, alternative and coal power projects.

It was also agreed that a police force headed by a DSP would be deputed at the headquarters of distribution companies in order to check power theft in their jurisdiction.Amongst other issues discussed at the meeting were the possible management of distribution companies by provincial governments, enforcement of the draft Electricity Act, 2012, participation of provinces in Thar Coal development, conversion of streetlights to solar mode and the National Energy Conservation Bill. The water and power secretary informed the participants that the committee’s recommendations would be placed before the CCI.

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