K-Electric, Karachi’s sole power producer, has failed to increase its generation capacity throughout the year, despite a constant increase in demand.
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (NEPRA) State of Industry Report 2019 made this startling revelation.
The low generation capacity, followed by an increase in demand, has compelled the power producer to import energy from external power sources.
According to the report, the power supply company failed to increase its installed capacity from 2,294 MW in the fiscal year 2018-19, which was the same during the FY-2017-18.
Since KE is responsible for maintaining integrated systems of generation, transmission, and distribution, therefore KE is required to look for other sources to meet the supply and demand gap.
The report mentioned that inability to enhance its generation capacity has made KE dependent on external sources.
During the last year, not only did KE import electricity from IPPs and CPPs such as Gul Ahmed, Tapal Energy, KANUPP, Anoud Power, FFBL Power, SNPCL, and Oursun Pakistan, it also bought 650 MW from the NTDC system. This is beside the agreements signed with three wind power plants for 150 MW.
The report mentions that the power company produced 10,727 GWh during FY 2018-19, 389 GWh more than the last year. However, KE also imported 7,769 GWh to cater to the increasing demand.
The performance of KE’s own power plants are un-satisfactory for last year as compared to allowed targets set by the Authority in respect of heat rate/efficiency and auxiliary consumption despite that reasonable O&M had been allowed to KE under MYT.
This may be because KE failed to overhaul/repair some units in time, said the report.
The report cited historical records to highlight that K-Electric underutilized its power plants but continued hours-long load-shedding in the country. In addition to that, KE kept its power plants on standby for an extended period during the last year and wasted the potential to generate a significant amount of economic energy.