Power division to announce long-term action plan to tackle energy crisis

After meeting PTI's 100 days agenda, Power Division is mulling a long-term plan for power generation, distribution and transmission

ISLAMABAD: Energy Ministry’s Power Division has been mulling to undertake work on long-term planning up till the year 2040 for power generation, distribution and transmission to make the system efficient while making the energy production competitive and affordable.

Official sources informed Pakistan Today that the Power Division has now initiated working on long-term planning up till the year 2040. They said that power division has been devising a long-term comprehensive plan to improve power generation, distribution, and transmission system of the country and to permanently put an end to the energy woes of the country. They said during the next 100 days of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, power division will introduce its plans for power generation, distribution, and transmission. Performance of power division from September to November 2018 has remained satisfactory under the PTI government as it had got appreciation from Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking steps against the power theft, reducing line losses and recovery of outstanding dues during the first 100 days of PTI government in the center, said sources.

During the first 100 days of the PTI government, power division under the leadership of Minister for Power Division Omar Ayub Khan had taken initiatives to improve the generation, distribution, and transmission system of the country. Power division launched anti-power theft campaign, formed special task forces in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , reduced the gap between National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and government tariff, crackdown on irregularities and corrupt practices, ensure relief for the poor, support for agriculture and industrial sectors, advanced metering infrastructure, removing constraints for efficient transmission, improvement of distribution system and solarisation of agriculture tube-wells in Balochistan etc.

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According to Power Division, after completion of 100-days of PTI led government, a task force on energy reforms has been constituted to address the power sector issues.

Under the anti-power theft campaign with the main slogan of zero tolerance for overbilling and corruption, some 267,571,528 units had been charged in all power distribution companies (DISCOs) so far, the data revealed.

A commercial loan of Rs35.8 billion was acquired to reduce the circular debt burden further, while the government is in process of obtaining Islamic financing of around Rs100 to Rs200 billion against the assets of DISCOs and GENCOs through Islamic banking.

Some 6,880 cases were registered against power pilferage besides arresting 1,088 accused. Giving the breakup, out of the total, some 251,297,525 units were charged in Punjab, 6,554,684 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 9,050,764 in Sindh and 668,555 in Balochistan.

Regarding relief to the poor, agriculture and industrial sectors, the government did not increase tariff for consumers using up to 300 units besides approving a subsidy for farmers of Balochistan on agricultural tube well.

Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU) is fully functional and accessible at PM Office to facilitate the general public and to ensure prompt redressal of grievances. Power Division has also implemented Customer Complaint Management System (CCMS) which is based on latest Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and all the DISCOs are connected through this system via a web portal and mobile calls/SMS.

For improvement of the distribution system, short, medium and long-term planning is being done to invest in 132KV grid stations improving their capacity by adding power transformers, improving HT to LT ratio to international standards and rationalizing feeder lengths to overcome losses, tripping and overloading.

Similarly, for five main export-oriented industries, the power tariff has been capped at the rate of 7.5/unit US cent.

Moreover, for bringing improvement in National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) system, Chakdara 220 KV grid and transmission line have been made operational, extension work at Mardan 220 KV Grid and D I Khan KV line has also been completed while grid will be made operational in next 10 days. Reconducting of Tarbella Burhan Transmission Line is also in progress and will be completed in December 2018. Also, work will start on Port Qasi Transmission Line from December 26, 2018, onwards on the plant goes on shutdown.

Power division has been working on energy policy towards clean, green and indigenous power.  It is relevant to mention that power division has planned to install Aerial Bundle Cable (ABC) to help in controlling the menace of kundas (hooks) and reducing line losses in high loss areas. Power Division has planned to install ABC in PESCO and SEPCO areas in the first phase and the same will be rolled out in remaining DISCOs targeting high loss feeder.

It merits mentioning here that the Prime Minister Imran Khan on his Twitter account posted, “I want to congratulate the Power Minister and his Ministry. One of the reasons for expensive electricity and load-shedding is power theft.”

According to the power division, out of 82,189 complaints received from September 01, 2018 to November 23, 2018, by Customer Complaints Management System (CCMS), 81,174 complaints resolved as only 1,015 complaints are pending. Similarly, total cases reported across Pakistan were 6880, as a number of 3810 FIRs were requested while 1441 cases were registered, 1,088 persons arrested, and Rs267,571,528 amount of detection bill charged.

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Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is an investigative journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]
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