ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday directed greater coordination among relevant departments and advanced planning to meet the situation caused by the dry spell and the smog that is causing tripping of power transmission lines.
Chairing a meeting to review power generation and demand-and-supply situation in the country at the PM’s Office, Abbasi was informed that apart from smog-related unscheduled outages, power was being supplied to all areas similar to the situation prior to October 30. It was informed that unprecedented early advent of smog was likely to continue due to the dry spell.
Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, Secretaries of Power and Petroleum divisions and concerned senior government officials were present during the meeting.
The prime minister was also informed about efforts to meet the challenge arising out of smog and weather conditions in the country.
In this context, the meeting was informed that a team of experts had been sent to China for studying Beijing model of transmission so that effective measures could be taken in smog-hit areas, a statement issued by the PM Office said.
The prime minister was briefed over the recent power outage that affected South Punjab, Upper Sindh and other areas of the country. The meeting was informed that acute water shortage also contributed towards reduced hydel generation.
On October 27, hydel generation stood at 2167 MW compared to 3088 MW on the same day last year. Low water availability, as well as minimum indenting by provinces, resulted in this situation.
In addition, non-availability of gas due to a scheduled outage of LNG terminal resulted in reduced generation from LNG-based power plants. However, effective measures have been taken to eliminate demand/supply gap which has resulted in the restoration of required capacity.
Prime Minister Abbasi was also briefed about the progress on discussions regarding converting tube-wells to solar power in Balochistan. The PM emphasised upon the need for early finalisation of the plan to save huge losses, being incurred by the provincial and the federal government while footing electricity bills and non-payment of dues on tube-well connections. He directed AEDB to develop a concept paper on urgent basis.
The PM also emphasised the need for long-term power sector program, with clear targets for induction of power from various sources and said it would enable the country to have reliable power at affordable cost throughout the year.