6400MW Deficit to bring in more Load-Shedding
LAHORE: The national power demand, excluding K-Electric, on Monday crossed 20,000MW mark, with generation hovering around 13,600MW – leaving a deficit of over 6,400MW and necessitating over eight hours loadshedding in urban and much more in rural areas.
According to generation chart, the hydel component contributed around 6,000MW as water releases both from Tarbela Dam (95,000 cusecs) and Mangla lake (60,000 cusecs) brought much needed relief to power planners.
The contribution from the Independent Power Producers, which were generating 7,300MW till two days ago, dropped to 5,665MW and government’s own thermal units slid to 1,929MW against 2,450MW till last Thursday. If one includes K-Electric, the total national demand would swell to 22,700MW.
“So far, the limited relief is provided by base temperatures, which has been hovering in mid-20s degrees Celsius,” says an official of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC).
Though peak mercury hits mid-40s during the day in most parts of the country, evening and night are still relatively tolerable. Once this temperature jacks up to the mid-30s degree Celsius, as historically happens at this time of summer, things would unravel quickly for power planners. This relief has brought down peak hours demand and allow the planners to avoid forced loadshedding. Once base temperature is up, thing could quickly get out of hand, he feared.
“The government needs to look into over 2,000MW drop in thermal generation in the last few days,” demands a former head of Pakistan Electric Power Company. The hydel relief has quickly been neutralised by the thermal drop. The ministry should arrange light sulphur furnace oil for Kot Addu Power Plant, which on Monday was generating only 700MW, instead of 1,250MW. Out of four plants – Saif, Saphire, Orient and Halmore – only two are being provided with half of required gas and other two are completely shut for paucity of fuel. Thus, instead of 840MW, they are contributing only 210MW. Another three plants – Japan, Sapcol and Saba – which can contribute another 350MW, are having legal and payments issue with the government and have been closed for a while now. Since these plants are already there, their issues need to be resolved and be brought online for national requirements.
All these issues need to be resolved on an urgent basis before hot and humid weather sets in, creating additional problems for everyone. The hydel contribution can go up only 600MW, the rest of generation has to come from other sources – gas or furnace oil, or expensive diesel, he suggested.
Nandipur, which was supposed to have turned online during April, is still awaited, says an official of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco).
Of two plants at Uch, power from only one can be evacuated. There is no denying that power planners are struggling and are managing better than last year, but all these issues should have been resolved, especially when furnace oil and diesel prices are down. The Faisalabad unit should have been running on diesel, if not gas and so would have been Nandipur Power Plant, which has, at best been intermittently brought online.
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