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K-Electric – A case of power misuse?

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June 26, 2020 (MLN): K-Electric has been on the receiving end of a lot of flak lately, as the citizens have been slamming the company left, right, and center for making them suffer in excessive power outages and load shedding.

Giving justification for the same on its official social media handles, K-Electric informed that with the onset of extremely hot and humid weather in Karachi, the company’s peak demand had crossed 3450 MW.

Moreover, it stated that the unavailability of the required level of furnace oil in the market has resulted in up to 800 mt shortfalls daily. This has been in the news and the Government is taking action by allowing imports.

It also said that a reduction of 50 mmcfd RLNG by SSGC, as well as the impact on Power from the wind corridor due to low wind speed, has further added to the company’s challenges. All these factors have curtailed the company’s supply-side from 3150 MW to 2800 MW, the company’s statement added.

Nonetheless, K-Electric has been updating the ministry on power situation and given the decision by the ministry to import furnace oil, the situation is likely to normalize in the coming days.

However, from what it appears, a lot of people are not buying in these excuses, as they are continuously blasting the company for not properly utilizing their profits made during the previous year to provided non-stop electricity to its consumers. For the unversed, K-Electric made a net profit of Rs. 17.27 billion during the year 2019.

Following the justifications issued by K-Electric, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) company quickly released a statement of facts pertaining to the power supply in Karachi, stating that it has provided more than 61,400 Metric Tons of furnace oil to K-Electric and its IPPs till June 24, 2020, which is also being augmented with a daily supply of gas.

Due to the increase in demand, PSO said it was working closely with the Ministry of Energy in making efforts to get the necessary permission to import furnace oil to meet the additional demand for K-Electric.

Similarly, Sui Southern Gas Company also issued a statement saying that K-Electric had been misleading the citizens of the city by shifting the blame of power outages on the company.

SSGC’s statement said: ‘To help run its gas-fired plants, KE recently asked SSGC to enhance its routine summer gas supplies from 190 mmcfd to 240 mmcfd. Two days later, KE asked SSGC to further enhance gas supplies to 290 mmccfd. For 15 days, SSGC complied to KE by arranged RLNG from other sources in the best interest of the people of Karachi’.

‘KE is falsely claiming that SSGC has curtailed its gas supply, when presently it is supplying KE with 240 mmcfd gas, which by the way is 50 mmcfd more than the routine load of 190 mmcfd. Note that the only GSA between SSGC and KE is only for 10 mmcfd, signed several decades ago!’, the statement added.

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has taken notice of the news appearing in Media regarding excessive/un-announced load shedding by K-Electric in Karachi. Besides, it has come to the knowledge of the Authority through media reports that inflated electricity bills are being charged to the consumers of K-Electric.

In this regard, strict directions have been given to the K-Electric to take remedial measures and submit a detailed report to the NEPRA immediately.

Furthermore, the consumers who are receiving excessive bills have been advised to file complaints with NEPRA Regional Office Karachi or through online at NEPRA’s website along with documentary evidence, so that their issues could be taken up with K-Electric for redressal.

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Posted on: 2020-06-26T18:13:00+05:00