K-Electric openly challenges unfounded allegations by ministry officials

KARACHI: K-Electric has expressed its concern over statements on the extension of the 650MW electricity agreement. The Sindh High Court already issued a restraining order against any reduction or discontinuation in the power supply, so it is important to start by mentioning that any reductions or attempt thereof made by NDTC is contempt of court.

KE disagrees with the statistics provided by the officials, describing it as inadequate and falsified information.Some malignant individuals are taking advantage of the situation and blowing it out of proportion to victimise K-Electric.

Press statement added among the leading attacks hurled towards KE is that the organization has sufficient generation capacity can meet Karachi’s needs if utilized fully. This is being used to make KE sound like it is artificially creating a crisis.

KE Spokesperson said that “We could simply ask why the rest of the country, with an approximate installed capacity of 20,000 MW is not operating at full capacity.” This is because of a difference between installed and gross dependable capacity. InstalledCapacity is determined by the generator’s manufacturer and indicates the maximum output under ideal conditions of fuel handling, feed water pumps, combustion air fans, cooling water pumps, pollution control equipment, and other electricity needs. With the passage of time, the generation power of any unit depreciates and machinery loses its efficiency, performing at a decreasing rate.

In the last 5 years the new KE management has added new generation capacity of 1000 MW despite the misconceptions being created. Today, KE’s capacity stands at 1700 MW, not 2400MW as grossly misquoted by ministry officials. It is also important to note that the regulator has failed to issue a generation license to convert two furnace oil based units of 210 MW each to coal at Bin Qasim 1 for the past 24 months. Had NEPRA responded in a timely manner, KE would currently have an additional 420 MW of cheap electricity ready to supply. They have failed to support the utility in finding an effective solution to fulfil future energy demands, and yet have the gall to threaten to deduct a further 650 MW!

Statement added that KE’s peak demand was around 2200 MW in 2009, which is now 3000 MW, and is growing every year. Despite addition of new generation plants to the fleet, in last 6 years the demand has gone up in the same ratio. KE’s prompt actions avoided a worsening of Karachi’s power situation, because not a single megawatt had been added to the grid in the past decade. The newly installed generation units of 1000 MW are gas-fired. The government failed to provide allocated and committed 276 MMCFD of gas supply and unfortunately KE has only received 160-165 MMCFD gas in last 5 years.

It is noteworthy to mention that some government officials show a further disregard for the National Energy Policy when they ask KE to alter the segmented and scheduled load shed plan, forgetting that the Energy Policy states an endorsement of this plan implemented by KE. On the one hand, the Government is openly endorsing KE’s policies, while on the other it is targeting the very company which introduced such a model. As the government embarks on an aggressive privatization campaign, targeting the only privatized entity portrays a negative image to existing and potential foreign investors which the country needs most at this particular point in time.

Ministry officials have also misquoted the capacity of KANNUP; the Minister’s statements about capacity being 140 MW are incorrect. The actual capacity is 80 MW, and it is typically down for maintenance for more than 6 months. Even when it is operational, it only produces 60 MW. These numbers can be verified by the government owned plant.

650 MW is very well the lifeline of Karachi and its adjoining areas including industrial zones of Karachi and Hub, and a smooth supply is necessary. Any negative outcome will have serious repercussions on not only KE, but the financial hub of this country which is in dire need of revenue generation. NNI

About the Author