Industries to face 1,400MW power shortage by 2010

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - Export oriented and labor-intensive industries of the country would be faced with power shortages by 2010 due to demand-supply gap of around 1400 MW, a senior official told the Daily Times.

He said that new power projects would take some time to cover the power shortage crisis. The main reasons behind the major power crisis are the power and gas shortage and non-construction of dams, he added.

The official said that Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) would add 2,000 MW power to the current power generation that stands around 10,000 MW surpluses by December 2009. However, the official added that the country would also be facing power shortage after adding 2000 MW power to the current power generation.

He said that 2,000 MW power would be generated by rental power plants with which the government has entered into agreements for three years including one year extended period to supply power.

At present, domestic consumers are facing 4-hour load shedding, textile industry 3-hour load shedding and steel melting and re-rolling units 7-hours loads shedding during the day. Total power generation stands at around 10,000 plus MW against the demand of 12300 MW.

However, according to the official, a relief for the domestic consumers and industry is in sight from February 11 by reducing load-shedding hours after increase in 10,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) water releases from Tarbela and Mangla dams. Pakistan Electric Supply Company (PEPCO) will reduce the load shedding hours from 4 to 3 hours for domestic consumers on February 11 and the reduction in load shedding hours for important industrial sectors is also under consideration.

Indus River System Authority (IRSA) made an increase of 5,000 cusecs water from Tarbela to 35,000 cusecs on February 8. It would add 108 MW power generation to the current power generation. After the further increase of 10,000 cusecs water from February 11, 216 MW power generations will further be added.

IRSA is releasing 57,000 cusecs water from these two dams that would be increased to 67,000 cusecs water on February 11. It would add power generation of over 216 MW to existing over 2,600 MW Hydel power generation.

In the medium and long-term power projects plan aimed at generating 5,842 MW power in future include 12 power projects to be initiated by independent power producers (IPPs) that would generate 2,376 MW power by 2010. These projects would be launched by IPPs during the current calendar year. Medium and long-term plans included five other projects aimed at generating 2450 MW power. Wapda is also working on small dams that would generate 516 MW power. Wapda in its long-term plan has also included 400 to 500 MW rental power projects that would be completed during the next six months.


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