NEPRA has taken a landmark decision by approving the Detailed Design and Implementation Plan of the Competitive Trade Bilateral Contracts Market (CTBCM) to have the competitive wholesale electricity market operational by April 2022.
The main objective of the massive decoupling of the energy sector was to transform the industry into functionally more efficient entities by introducing competition into the market, and the CTBCM will ultimately help achieve this fundamental objective. CTBCM will initially serve the wholesale market, but will eventually pave the way for the gradual opening up of the retail sector, as well as trade with regional markets.
CTBCM will usher in a new era of transparency, predictability and credibility in which electricity will be traded like any other commodity. It has the potential to change the general technical, financial, commercial and legal climate, leading to much needed improvements in the overall governance of the wholesale market. CTBCM will provide essential options for large consumers to actively market electricity on the basis of competitive market principles.
This possible systemic improvement in the wholesale market will therefore have a spillover effect for other consumers, resulting in more competitive prices in the coming days.
The CTBCM implementation plan, endorsed by NEPRA, is in itself a big undertaking and a challenge that will be completed over the next 18 months to implement the CTBCM in April 2022. This reform plan involves actions ranging from from institutional strengthening to increasing legal and regulatory frameworks. Interventions that cover people, processes and technological aspects will provide open and non-discriminatory access to all market agents.
The CTBCM will also help improve security of supply, improve efficiency, extend payment discipline in wholesale market operations and improve conditions for moving away from the historical regime based on sovereign guarantees.
NEPRA will maintain rigorous monitoring of the implementation of the CTBCM to ensure its rapid and efficient implementation in order to achieve the desired results in terms of accessibility, reliability and sustainability of energy services in Pakistan.