ISLAMABAD: There is no shortfall of electricity in Pakistan nor is there any load-shedding being carried out at present, Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan claimed on Friday, adding that the distribution companies (DISCOs) were only implementing load management.
Responding to questions after addressing the Senate, Ayub said Pakistan was generating enough electricity to meet the consumers’ demand. However, the DISCOs were carrying out load management based on Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses recorded on each feeder and in compliance with the Cabinet’s directives, he added.
The minister said shutdowns were being executed on 11-kilovolt (kV) feeders for scheduled annual maintenance, duly publicised in advance via the media. To monitor the load management, he said an automatic metering system had been installed on all grids and feeders across Pakistan.
The hourly schedule of load management was being fed into the system and all feeders were monitored round-the-clock this way, he added.
Anyone could check the load management schedule and actual load-shedding status by using the Roshan Pakistan website or mobile application, he said.
Ayub also informed the Senate that the government was providing 290 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) of gas against the 190-MMCFD quota — besides a provision of 80% residual fuel oil (RFO) of total production — to the K-Electric to curtail load-shedding in Karachi.
In response to a question, he said the K-Electric was a private company and its total power demand stood at 3,400 megawatts (MW).
The government, he added, was ready to provide additional power to Karachi’s sole power supplier from the national grid station but no investment had been made in the company’s distribution system over the past 10 years.
The minister said the K-Electric and the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) were also being pressed to set up 500-kV grid station and distribution points.
Over 23,000MW was being transmitted through the DISCOs, he said, adding that almost 80% of the feeders had been cleared from power pilferage and efforts were being made to clear remaining ones.
Replying to another question, the minister said some lineworker and assistant lineworker posts were vacant in various DISCOs and the process to fill them had already been started.
Ayub also mentioned that the PTI-led government intended to hand over the Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) to the government of Balochistan. Renewable energy projects — including solar and wind ones with a capacity of more than 8,000 MW — were to be set up in the province, he added.
With regard to the Reko Diq case, an arbitral tribunal of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had awarded the Tethyan Copper Company Limited (TCC) $4.087 billion as compensation in a ruling against Pakistan, he said. However, the total amount including the legal costs and interest totaled $5.912 billion, he added.
Ayub noted that Pakistan submitted an application to annul the award. The ICSID Secretariat registered the application on November 18, 2019, and provisionally stayed its enforcement, he added.
Since the legal recourse against the ICSID Arbitral Tribunal’s Award and ICC proceedings were yet to follow and being a sensitive issue, open/public discussion on the case does not seem appropriate/advisable, he added.
He said TCC had initiated enforcement proceedings in several jurisdictions, however, as the Award stands suspended because of the provisional stay on its enforcement, the risk of Pakistan’s vulnerable assets abroad has been safeguarded.
Pakistan’s legal team, headed by the office of the Attorney-General was contesting enforcement proceedings and considering further legal remedies to permanently safeguard Pakistan’s interests, he added.
To a separate question, Omar Ayub the work for construction of 220 kV Double Circuit Transmission Line Dera Ismail Khan – Zhob has been commenced on May 31, and the tentative date for the completion of the project was November 16, 2021. The PC-I for construction of 132 KV Grid Station at Kan Mehtarzai with allied 132 kV Double Circuit transmission line had not yet been approved from CDWP (Central Development Working Party).
As and when the project got approved from competent forum and funds made available the construction of the said grid station would be executed by QESCO.
He said work for construction of 220 kV grid station Zhob had been awarded to M/s China Energy Engineering Group Jiangsu Power Design Institute Co. Ltd. under ADB Loan.
However, work could not be commenced due to non-acquisition/handing-over of land which was pending with Deputy Commissioner/Collector Zhob although the payment amounting to Rs80 million had been made.