Massive Rs 2.04 per unit hike in power tariff


The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Wednesday approved a massive increase of Rs 2.04 per unit in the electrify tariff to the inefficient power distribution companies (DISCOs) under the monthly fuel adjustment charges for July.
The increase in tariff would be applicable on all consumer slabs except lifeline consumers from next month. The increase was allowed even though it was pointed out that DISCOs had not achieved the required reduction in transmission and distribution losses set by the regulatory authority. DISCOs were required to reduce their line losses by three percent, which they claimed was missed by only half a percentage point as they achieved 2.5 percent.
The argument of the Central Power Purchasing Agency for increasing power tariff was based on the figures that 32 percent or three billion units of the total nine billion produced in July were generated through furnace oil. However, NEPRA expressed concern over the performance of a generation unit at GENCO III Faisalabad which was operating on 20 percent efficiency. NEPRA wanted that the Ministry of Water and Power should intervene to divert the fuel supplies to some other efficient unit.
NEPRA again expressed concerns over not utilising the 232MW Karkay Rental Power Plant. It was generating 39MW at a cost of Rs 35.55 per unit. The NEPRA chairman asked PEPCO authorities to take up the matter with the Ministry of Water and Power for the full utilisation. The rental power plant was supposed to start power supply from November last year but due to fuel oil constraints, it was producing far less while charging its full monthly rental. An official source said the massive increase in fuel adjustment charges by NEPRA was a signal that it was ready to toe the official line as during the meetings of ministerial committee on power, NEPRA was severely criticised by ministers for not taking a holistic look while notifying tariff.


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