The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has announced electricity import regulations in the light of increasing power demand in the country. Distribution companies are also interested in importing electricity from abroad which makes these regulations all the more important.
To this end, the authority has formulated the Nepra (Import of Power) Regulations 2017. These rules and regulations will provide a framework for electricity import in Pakistan.
NEPRA has also requested feedback on the Import of Power Regulations from the all the stakeholders within one month.
Import Regulations to Apply on GB and AJK
The regulations will apply on electricity import from other countries as well as areas where NEPRA’s rules don’t apply including Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and others.
An importing party or buyer will now have to file an application for rate determination at NEPRA. Those rates will be used to negotiate an electricity import deal with the supplier.
A power import deal is already approved by the government and in process. The project called Casa-1000 will have Pakistan import 1,300 MW of electricity from Central Asian states.
Transmission lines spanning 1,200 kilometres will be laid down and electricity will be imported from the first week of May to the last week of September. This is to ease the load on local power plants in the summer months. 1,000 to 1,300 MW will be imported from Republic of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan into Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most of it will be used by Pakistan, with Afghanistan expected to be using 300 MW of the power. Pakistan is already importing more than 100 MW from Iran.
The government is planning to increase the import by several times to catch up with the increasing electricity demand in the country. At times the power deficit reaches as high as 6,000 MW.
Why Electricity Demand is Rising
The reason for the increase in electricity demand is due to economic growth as is evident with CPEC and other related projects coming to fruition. The demand from the industrial sector is expected to increase substantially in the next 5 years if current growth trends were to continue. Another reason for increasing demand is extending the national grid to previously un-powered rural areas and increasing pace of urbanization.
Via The News