Loadshedding Situation to Improve Within Few Days: Minister

Federal Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir Friday said that the loadshedding situation in the country will improve from Sunday owing to improved availability of RLNG and furnace oil for power plants.

Addressing a news conference along with Minister of State Hashim Notezai in Islamabad, he pointed out that the country is currently facing excessive loadshedding due to a shortage of fuel and closure of certain power plants owing to maintenance and technical faults.

According to media reports, power breakdowns ranging from six to 10 hours in urban areas and over 10 hours in rural areas have added to the misery of citizens in extreme heat.

Several power plants with a total capacity of over 5,500 MW are closed due to a shortage of fuel including RLNG, coal, and furnace oil while plants with a capacity of around 2,000 MW capacity have been shut down for routine and technical maintenance, he said.

The minister that said from May 1, the situation would gradually improve as electricity from Engro Power Plant and Port Qasim Power Plant would come into the system.

He said the previous government did not ensure adequate availability of fuel for the power plants which has caused the excessive loadshedding. “Teams have been formed so that the situation does not get worse in the coming days,” said the minister. We have canceled holidays of power sector employees on the occasion of Eid, he added.

The minister further said that steps have also been taken at the power distribution companies (DISCOS) to ensure that the situation does not deteriorate further during the holiday period. He said the DISCOS have been asked to ensure the availability of extra transformers to meet any emergency situation.

The minister said that the government will need Rs. 107 billion by May 25 while another amount of Rs. 85 billion will be required by end of June to manage higher supplies of fuel for power generation. He said that the government needs a total amount of Rs. 332 billion to augment the system and overcome the loadshedding.

The minister said demand has gone up by up to 3000 MW during the last few days which has increased the demand and supply gap. He said the hydel generation will begin in June which will significantly improve the supply.

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