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Power shortfall reaches 4,500MWs

The electricity supply shortfall reached almost half of the generation, official statistics of power demand and supply reveal.

The electricity generation plummeted to just 9,300MWs in the country while the shortfall hovered around 4,470MWs on December 17, showing a widening gap between demand and supply. The demand calculated by the Ministry of Water and Power stood at 13,770MWs, which is about one thirds higher than generation.

The present dependable electricity generation capacity remains over 14,000MWs. However, due to low hydrological conditions and shortage of fuel for thermal plants, generation of power has been reduced to less than 10,000MWs. In contrast, power generation has seen a steep fall in recent weeks. On December 12, the power shortfall was just 2,700MWs and in just a week, it climbed to 4,470 MWs. Departments concerned failed to increase thermal generation in the meantime and the deficit continued to rise.

Thermal power generation, sources said, has been marred by both short supply of fuel and natural gas. Gas utilities have been left with no option but to cut off the supply of gas of independent power producers due to nonpayment of dues. On the other hand, fuel supplies could not be increased as per the demand due to a cash crunch.

The hydel generation’s contribution in the overall energy mix is decreasing due to a seasonal dip in river water. Outflow from the Tarbela Dam on the Indus river reduced to mere 30,000 cusecs on Tuesday from 69,000 cusecs recorded early December this year. Outflow from the Mangla Dam on the Jhelum river also reduced to 27,000 cusecs from 30,000 cusecs. The outflow from both dams will be reduced further till the third week of December up to the end of January 2013.

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