Amid a surge in demand for electricity due to scorching heat across the country, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar said that the government added 1,200MW of electricity to the national grid on Thursday.
In the past, the country’s chronic power crisis frequently triggered protests – sometimes with violent consequences – in summers, but the incumbent government claims to have overcome the shortages by setting up several power projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
According to experts, the demand for electricity is much higher compared to the projections of the government. The power companies resort to load-shedding in those areas where they suffer high losses.
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If these companies supply electricity to all consumers on an equitable basis without following the “pay bills and get electricity” formula, the overall power demand will be much higher. According to the Power Division, the demand for electricity is 24,100MW against electricity generation of 22,600MW.
“We are witnessing approx 15-20% more peak demand in power compared to last year,” the energy minister wrote on his official Twitter handle.
He said that the government has added 1,200MW of electricity to the national grid today and another 1,000MW will be added tomorrow. “That should eliminate most problems,” he further said, adding that extra 350 to 550MW being supplied to K-Electric too.
We are witnessing approx 15-20% more peak demand in power compared to last year. We added 1200 MW to the national grid today. Another 1000 MW to be added tomorrow. That should eliminate most problems.
Extra 350-550 MW being supplied to KE too.
— Hammad Azhar (@Hammad_Azhar) June 10, 2021
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The government claims that Pakistan has surplus power after the execution of several power projects under CPEC. However, all claims about overcoming load-shedding are exposed every summer when consumers’ demand increases.
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), meanwhile, summoned the chief executive officers (CEOs) of all power distribution companies as well as of K-Electric on Friday to justify the reasons for hours-long outages and to highlight the “remedial measures to eliminate prolonged load-shedding”.
In a statement, Nepra emphasised that all power distribution companies including K-Electric – the power distribution company that supplies electricity to Karachi – are obligated under the relevant provisions of their licences to provide uninterrupted and reliable power supply to their consumers.