KESC makes matters worse by warning citizens of 10 power-less hours


To make lives worse for the rain-battered people of the city, the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), claiming insufficient fuel supply, alerted the citizens on Tuesday that power load shedding may increase up to 10 hours a day within the next 24 hours while industrial consumers, currently spared from electricity outages, will also face load shedding.
The KESC also appealed for the intervention of Dr Asim Hussain, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Naveed Qamar (federal committee members) in providing the power utility with 276mmcfd natural gas or at least 200mmcfd plus 1,700 tonnes of furnace oil, as per the formula agreed in Ramazan.
In a statement issued by the KESC, the government was requested to continue with the same Gas Load Management Plan (GLMP) as in Ramazan in order to maintain normal load shedding and meet the 2,500-megawatt power requirement of Karachi in the remaining two months of summer
“If the approved 276mmcfd gas allocation cannot be supplied, a minimum of 200mmcfd needs to be supplied in addition to 1,700 tonnes of furnace oil at gas price to pre-empt increased load shedding and a significant increase in the consumer end tariff as the KESC is already purchasing furnace oil worth over Rs 160 million everyday that will continue,” it was stated.
The KESC claimed that during the past week neither was the gas supply increased nor furnace oil provided on gas price, yet the company maintained load shedding in the interest of the 20 million citizens. This, however, cannot be sustained further if the government does not fulfil its obligations and an increase in load shedding is inevitable across all residential, commercial and industrial customers.
Alleging that the approved quota of natural gas has not been provided on regular basis, especially during the last two years, the power utility asked the government to adopt an approach towards the power needs of the economic hub of the country and a major source of government revenues.
“We request the committee to ensure the supply of adequate fuel to the KESC keeping the larger public interest in mind,” it was stated.
As agreed in a meeting with the federal committee before Ramazan, the KESC paid Rs 3.5 billion to the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Rs 7.5 billion to the Pakistan State Oil, including Rs 1.4 billion of outstanding dues.
The KESC added that furnace oil is more than three times costlier than gas and further increase in its use would increase the electricity tariff to unaffordable levels. In August, the KESC purchased 65,000 tonnes of furnace oil at market price and 52,000 tonnes at gas price, totalling costs to over Rs 6 billion. However, the KESC prefers full supply of 276mmcfd gas instead of buying furnace oil at gas price.
The power utility urged that the government and federal committee take immediate steps to control the imminent power crisis in the city.