Due to higher demand and reduced generation caused by fuel shortages, and reduced gas supplies to power plants, Pakistan is experiencing 6-10 hours of electricity load-shedding in various areas.
As of April 25, generation was 17,976 MW, compared to demand of almost 21,000 MW, indicating a significant discrepancy between demand and generation. IPPs contributed 14,536 MW, Gencos contributed 837 MW, and Wapda hydel contributed 2,603 MW.
LNG-powered facilities are only receiving 500 MMCFD RLNG against a demand of 690 MMCFD, forcing the system operator, the National Power Control Centre (NPCC), to run furnace oil-fired facilities, which are much more expensive to run than natural gas and RLNG. Due to a lack of gas, Nandipur is working, however, Bhikki is not operating at full capacity.
Prime Minister (PM) Shahbaz Sharif and former Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar exchanged accusing remarks on Twitter.
“Mian Nawaz Sharif’s government halted the worst load-shedding in five years,” the Prime Minister declared in a tweet. The PTI administration failed to procure fuel on schedule or fix power plants. As a result, present load shedding is in effect. Power generation costs the population Rs100 billion per month due to inefficient plants. “We’re working on it”.
Former Energy Minister Hammad Azhar responded to Prime Minister, claiming that “there are only 5 power plants under repair, the most of them are in the private sector”.
Two PML-N LNG contracts defaulted in the recent two weeks, resulting in a fuel deficit and prompt system gas diversions. This is a textbook case of poor management that could have been averted.