PEPCO keeps the heat up


LAHORE – The power load-shedding increased up to 6 to 10 hours as Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) failed to meet the country’s electricity demand on Saturday. Electricity was shut down for an hour after every three hours and besides scheduled load-shedding there were unscheduled closures of 10 to 20 minutes. The power shortage for the first time in the season crossed 2,700 megawatts (MW) leaving the consumers in the dark. PEPCO promised better summers for the consumers but could not keep its word even at the start of the hot season. Sources said though the electricity demand rose slightly, the shortfall has touched 2,700MW and in the coming days the situation would become worse. They said people should get ready for a harder summer.
During the last three days there has been a sharp decrease in hydel generation while power generation from Independent Power Producers (IPP) also dropped. The electricity generation on Friday remained 11,295MW while the demand touched 14,005MW thus the shortfall was 2,710MW. On the same day, hydel generation remained 3,425MW whereas it was 3,760MW on Thursday thus power generation dropped by 335MW. Similarly power generation through IPPs on Friday remained 5,390MW while it was 5,814MW on Wednesday thus 424MW less electricity was produced.
Sources said the power demand would increase in the coming days and it could touch 17,000MW-1,8000MW level while generation would remain less than 16,000MW as PEPCO failed to fully utilise installed capacity thus the shortfall of at least 2,500-3,000MW would remain in the system and it would be bridged through at least six-hour closures. They said around 300-350MW shortfall means one hour of load-shedding, therefore there would be no relief. “PEPCO officials’ claim of better summer is only a lollypop for the consumers and in reality there will be no relief for the consumers,” said an official, adding that the consumers had to face long load-shedding hours despite an electricity price increase of up to 25 percent.