Saturday, January 28, 2023

There is no relief from load shedding in Pakistan even during Ramadan

In Pakistan, load shedding has been particularly severe during the holy month of Ramadan due to a lack of available fuel for electricity generation as well as the failure to maintain some of the country’s most critical power plants.

The duration of power outages has increased to 10-12 hours, making the lives of the general populace miserable, especially during the times of iftar and sehri.

According to a representative from the power division: “Moreover, reduced hydropower generation as a result of the failure of water flows into the system and the absence of a rainy season, combined with an increase in demand for electricity due to an increase in mercury levels, which has increased to 19,000MW during peak hours, has exacerbated the electricity availability crisis. The demand, on the other hand, is 16,000 megawatts (MW) during the day.”

According to official figures, 12,000 megawatts (MW) of power is produced throughout the day and 16,000 megawatts (MW) during peak hours from iftari to sehri, despite the fact that the country has an installed capacity of more than 39,000 megawatts.

All urban areas, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Sialkot, have been severely affected by load-shedding, which has lasted between 4 and 10 hours in urban areas and 10 to 12 hours in rural regions. As a result of a 300 MW drop in electricity supply from the national grid, 3-4 hours of load-shedding are being implemented in Karachi at this time.

Load-shedding is currently taking place between 10 and 12 hours a day in Interior Sindh. Power outages in Rawalpindi often last between 4-and 5 hours. Residents of Faisalabad, Gujranwala, and Sialkot, as well as those in their surrounding rural areas, are also experiencing power outages lasting 4-10 hours. However, other places are experiencing load shedding as well, but at a manageable level.

The load-shedding period in Lahore and its suburbs is between 4 and 10 hours. Power outages in the authority of MEPCO have escalated to a maximum of 12 hours. In Balochistan, the number of hours spent without electricity has increased to 10-12 hours. Power disruptions are also expected to last between 6 and 12 hours in KPK.

According to the water resources ministry, Wapda has an installed capacity to generate electricity of 9,400 MW, of which 4,700 MW is generated during peak hours and 3,400 MW is produced on an average basis. During peak hours, the hydropower generation is 4,700 MW, and the average production of hydel is 3,400 MW. Because of the lack of improvement in water flows, the system receives only an average of 762 MW from Tarbela Dam, 433 MW from Mangla Dam, and 111 MW from Warsak Dam. The Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project, on the other hand, generates an average of 968 MW of electricity, while the Ghazi Barotha hydropower project generates an average of 644 MW.

For the last four months, starting on December 12, 2021, Liberty Power of 210 MW, Rousch Power of 410 MW, Nandi Power of 525 MW, FKPCL 140 MW, and nine units of Faisalabad GTPS have not been able to produce energy due to the non-availability of RLNG at their respective power plants.

The HCPC, which has a capacity of 120 MW, has likewise been unable to operate since October 4, 2019, due to the expiration of its gas supply agreement. Due to a shortage of furnace oil, two units of the Jamshoro Power Plant with a combined capacity of 549 MW and four units of the Muzaffargarh Power Plant with a combined capacity of 840 MW have been out of commission since April 8 and 9, 2022.

Because of a shortage of imported coal, the coal-fired unit-2 of the Sahiwal power station has been unable to provide the required 621 MW of electricity since April 20, 2022. However, 18 power plants with a combined capacity of 3,605 MW have been rendered non-operational due to technical issues and a lack of preventative maintenance.

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