Power outages all set to return

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LAHORE: Load shedding is all set to return from the last week of December as canals would be closed from December 26 causing hydel power generation to fall sharply while supply of gas to power stations would also be affected, Pakistan Today learnt on Monday.
Sources said there would be at least four to six hours of load shedding from the last week of this month, as electricity generation would be reduced from 20 to 25 percent, adding that water release in the canals would also decrease.
The Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) was getting more than 5,000 megawatts (MW) from hydel power plants, around 1,000MW from thermal and more than 4,500MW from independent power producers (IPP). The demand of electricity during the winter remains more than 11,000MW.
With the closure of canals, hydel power generation would drop to 2,000MW causing a direct shortfall of 3,000MW.
“Around 25 percent of the shortfall is predicted, which would result in power load shedding of at least four to six hours,” an official said, adding that if gas supply to power producers is also suspended , the situation would deteriorate once again plunging the city into long hours of load shedding.
The Sui Northern Gas Pipeline (SNGPL) is facing a shortfall of more than 500mmcf which is 20 percent of its production with supply to the industrial sector already suspended.
Sources in the SNGPL said it was very likely that SNGPL would now close gas supply to power producers.
Confirming that there would be load shedding due to the closure of canals, PEPCO Public Relations Director General Shafqat Jalil however, said he was confident that the situation would soon be under control.
“We have alternative plans to cope with the hydel power shortfall, as generation is better than that of last year,” he said.