ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Wednesday allowed the supply of 150 megawatts of additional power to K-Electric in a bid to overcome power shortages in Karachi.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the ECC meeting to discuss various proposals and recommendations submitted by different divisions.
The ECC approved a proposal of the Power Division for additional supply of 150MW of electricity through the national grid to K-Electric in order to tackle power shortages in Karachi.
At present, the federal government is supplying 650MW to K-Electric from the national grid to meet energy demand of Karachi. After the ECC’s decision, the supply of electricity from the national grid will increase from 650 to 800MW with the addition of 150MW, an official said.
K-Electric spokesperson Khayyam Siddiqui told The Express Tribune that the additional power from the national grid would help K-Electric to continue to exempt residential areas from load-shedding during Sehr and Iftar timings in Ramazan.
“We are thankful to the authorities concerned, including the Ministry of Energy (Power Division), for their timely support,” he said. “We would now be working with the CPPA (Central Power Purchasing Agency) and NTDC (National Transmission and Despatch Company) to fulfil relevant procedural and technical requirements to connect the additional power with the K-Electric network.”
The power utility had taken various measures over the years to further enhance the reliability and availability of power supply, including the addition of 50MW through a solar-based independent power producer (IPP), the spokesperson said.
Moreover, he said, in the last two years, the transmission capacity of the power utility had been further enhanced through the addition of 788 megavolt ampere (MVA), and the distribution capacity increased by 406MW through the addition of 127 feeders and around 2,300 pool-mounted transformers/sub-stations.
K-Electric has invested more than $2.1 billion in infrastructure upgrade across the energy value chain over the last nine years and plans to invest $3 billion over the next few years, he revealed.
“Adding new generation capabilities and strengthening its transmission and distribution network are currently the K-Electric’s highest priorities,” said Siddiqui.
In order to provide additional power to the seven tribal agencies of ex-Fata, the ECC approved an additional subsidy amounting to Rs1.8 billion for the Tribal Electric Supply Company (Tesco) for Ramazan.
The Power Division informed the ECC that the government had been paying the electricity bills of domestic consumers of former tribal agencies through a subsidy of Rs1.3 billion per month.
According to a statement, the ECC also endorsed the proposal of the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) by granting tax exemption to the projects being constructed under the Saudi Fund for Development grant.
Moreover, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research secretary gave a presentation to the committee on the availability of wheat stock in the country.
The wheat procurement process was being conducted smoothly by the provincial government of Punjab and Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco), he said.
The committee approved the proposed procurement target of wheat crop for the year 2018-19 to the tune of 5.15 million tons with the financial limit of Rs158.5 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2019.