K-Electric Limited (KE) has planned to invest Rs. 9.5 billion, in addition to the budgeted investment of Rs. 24.4 billion for rain mitigation measures after the board of directors gave its approval according to a notification issued to Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). The previously budgeted investment was allocated for the up-gradation of infrastructure and the advancement of protection in the distribution network.
According to the notification, the project plan was approved by the board of directors on Friday after a special committee constituted by the board presented its report on the company’s performance and challenges during rain. The board also approved the engagement of external consultants to review the project plan and further strengthen its execution.
The up-gradation project will include raising of distribution equipment foundation levels in areas water-logged during recent rains, waterproofing of identified substations, replacing old equipment and main cables at key identified locations, and increasing the capacity to augment the dewatering efforts made by civic agencies.
It is pertinent to mention that the city received unprecedented rainfall of 730 mm during this monsoon and KE wasn’t able to keep its system fully functioning, therefore it is important that upgradations are made to improve the availability of power to citizens. To this end, the utility will carry out all necessary actions to ensure enhanced service.
The company is also making a substantial investment in high loss areas under its flagship Sarbulandi Project, which constitutes about 40% of the city, to improve service delivery and safety of the residents. These investments will also ensure the deployment of theft-resistant Aerial Bundled Cables (ABC) in these areas, which will improve the safety standards and will bring more people to the legal network.
The special committee recommended formal engagement with and cooperation from all concerned stakeholders for taking timely steps before the next monsoon season such as clearance of the inter-city drainage systems and removal of encroachments to ensure that KE’s ability to provide power is not impaired during rain.
The committee also recommended seeking regulatory support from NEPRA on approval of infrastructure investments filed during Mid Term Review of KE tariff. Furthermore, the special committee recommended the federal government’s support for the allocation of adequate gas with appropriate pressure and additional power from the national grid to ensure the maintenance of the policy load shed regime in the city.