A recent report shows that Pakistanis faced power cuts of up to seven to ten hours on Sunday. The shortfall gap fluctuated between 5000 and 7000 megawatts during the day.
Sources from the Ministry of Water and Power stated that demand has now crossed 20,000MW while generation capacity is between 15400 to 15700MW. With the resulting shortfall, consumers have been left to bear the brunt the of the heat.
The gap in the demand and supply has soared alongside the temperatures due to a heatwave in the Southern region of the country. Areas in Sindh and southern Punjab experienced temperatures of up to 47 and 48 degrees Celsius. Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad experienced temperatures as high as 37, 43, and 46 degrees Celsius.
A spokesperson from the Ministry said that Sunday was the first time in almost two weeks that scheduled load shedding had to be conducted. For almost a fortnight before this, lower temperatures meant that customers had some respite.
Interestingly, on Sunday, the demand-supply gap was the highest it had been in four years. The situation had been the same in May of 2013 but had improved with the new government. At that time, the shortfall fluctuated between 4000 and 6000MW.
Furthermore, the spokesperson also asserted that the duration for these power cuts was different for distribution companies. However, the average time length was restricted to six to eight hours this past Sunday. This is not including the high-loss and low-recovery areas where companies had to cut the power for longer.
According to him, no company had cut the power for longer than necessary and there was absolutely no “forced load shedding”.
Another official also revealed that there was nearly 1000MW of unaccounted for draw of production by certain distribution companies, which is against their original allocated shares and is a result of non-metering and communication gaps.
Various parts of the country have reported different durations for the power cuts they experience but urban areas generally had a lower length for power cuts (8 hours) than rural areas (18 hours).
Ministry sources also revealed that the hydropower plants produce and add a maximum of 4280MW to the national grid while public-sector production companies generate 2877 MW with other independent producers (IPPs) producing nearly 8300MW.