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18 power plants ‘shut’ on technical grounds



ISLAMABAD:

The Power Division on Thursday informed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that there was currently no shortage of electricity in the country and power plants were closed because they either did not have fuel to run them or they faced technical difficulties – holding the “incompetence” of the previous PTI regime responsible for the problems faced by the sector.

PM Shehbaz was further informed that 18 power plants in the country were not functioning for the last one year because of closed units or technical faults.

The Power Division added that these power plants were closed because of faulty wiring or their belts were broken. It added that seven other power plants were shut because they did not have fuel. Nine other plants were closed because they had not paid their bills.

The premier was further told that the previous PTI government had not fixed the technical faults in time or replaced spare parts.

Most of the defects are administrative in nature and some are related to policy decisions.

The 18 power plants include Port Qasim, Guddu, Muzaffargarh, Kot Addu Power Company and Jamshoro.

The seven power plants shut down because of the lack of fuel include Nandipur and Sahiwal, which generate electricity using cheap coal.

A total of nine power plants have been shut down since December 2021 because of their failure to pay bills and lack of money to buy fuel. They have a total electricity generating capacity of 3,535 MW.

The 18 plants closed because of technical faults could generate a total of 3,605 MW of electricity.

PM Shehbaz expressed his displeasure over the situation and directed that the technical defects should be rectified immediately.

Read NEPRA may increase K-Electric’s tariff by Rs1.29

“The people are suffering from power outages. Such negligence is unbearable” he added, directing the authorities concerned to take immediate action.

Separately, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has taken notice of the power outages in the country. It had held the shut power plants responsible for the problem.

NEPRA has summoned the heads of power plants closed because of fuel shortage or technical glitches at its headquarters on Friday (today).

It has also called the National Power Control Centre (NPCC) and Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA-G) to the huddle.

The authority has also summoned distribution companies including K- Electric on April 19 over consumers’ complaints.

PM Shehbaz also presided over a huddle of economic experts to chalk out a strategy to lift the country out of its financial woes.

He directed his economic team to formulate an economic reforms strategy on an emergency basis.

The prime minister ordered the authorities concerned to take steps on a priority basis to improve the overall economic situation of the country as well as to control the rising inflation.

The finance ministry gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister, who expressed his concerns over the worrisome economic indicators.

PML-N leaders including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Miftah Ismail, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Zubair Umar, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Tariq Mahmood Pasha and Bilal Kiyani also attended the meeting.



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