DISCOs Likely to Burden Power Consumers with Extra Rs. 2 Per Unit for August Bills

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) is likely to allow DISCOs [distribution companies] up to Rs. 2 per unit increase in the power tariff under monthly Fuel Charges Adjustments (FCA) for the month of August.

In a public hearing on Central Power Purchasing Agency’s (CPPA) petition for tariff increase under monthly FCA, NEPRA questioned as to why power plants with low-efficiency rates were operated during the month of August. The hearing was held under the chairmanship of NEPRA Chairman Tauseef H. Farooqi.

In a petition submitted to NEPRA on the behalf of DISOCs, the CPPA-G said that for the month of August the reference fuel charges from the consumers were Rs 4.7334 per unit while the actual fuel cost was Rs. 6.8053 per unit, therefore it should be allowed to pass on the increase of Rs. 2.0718 to the consumers under FCA for August 2021.

NEPRA questioned as to why Rs. 10 billion extra was spent on power generation from furnace oil in August. It was informed that power plants received 300 mmcfd less gas than the demand for power plants.

The regulator also questioned why power plants with low-efficiency rates were operated during August.

The NEPRA Chairman said that the regulator would not put the burden of those power plants that were operated on expensive fuel on the consumers. “Why does CPPA not provide us with the data we are asking for?” he asked.

The authority noted that they could allow an increase of Rs. 1.95 to Rs. 2 per unit in tariff. NEPRA decision is likely to burden the power consumers of additional Rs. 30 billion to Rs. 35 billion (in tariff/taxes). NEPRA has reserved the judgment and will announce it later.

As per the data submitted by CPPA-G, the total energy generated during August was 16078.09 GWh at a basket price of Rs. 6.4122 per unit. The total cost of electricity was Rs. 103.097 billion. According to the CCPA-G data, net electricity delivered to DISCOs was 15,590.87 GWh with the total price of Rs. 106.100 billion at a rate of Rs. 6.8053 per unit. The CPPA-G in its tariff petition said that the reference fuel charges for August 2021 were estimated at Rs. 4.7334 per unit, whereas the actual fuel charges were Rs. 6.8053 per unit, hence it was pleaded to allow an increase of Rs. 2.0719 per unit.

According to the data submitted to NEPRA in August 2021, hydel generation was recorded at 5594.30 GWh or 34.79 percent. In July, the hydel generation was 4,694.67 GWh or 29.94 percent of total generation. Coal-fired power plants contributed 2293.83 GWh or 14.27 percent of total generation at a rate of Rs. 9.0322 per unit, HSD contributed 19.84 GWh or 0.12 percent at Rs. 22.6251 per unit. RFO based generation was 1,627.56 GWh or 10.12 percent at Rs. 18.2403 per unit.

Electricity generation from gas-based power plants was 1,313.21 GWh or 8.17 percent at Rs. 8.3082 per unit, RLNG contributed 2895.92 GWh or 18.01 percent at Rs. 13.4401 per unit.
The generation from nuclear power plants was 1,630.19 GWh or 10.14 percent at Rs. 0.9986 per unit and electricity imported from Iran was 45.24 GWh at Rs. 12.3557 per unit.

The power generation from bagasse was recorded at 24.06 GWh at Rs. 5.9822 per unit. The power generation from different sources (mixed) was 16.98 GWh at a price of Rs. 4.6705 per unit, while generation from wind was recorded at 549.95 GWh or 3.42 percent and solar generation was 67.01 GWh or 0.42 percent.

Faiz Paracha is a seasoned broadcast journalist with over 15 years’ experience in reporting and e...