The K-Electric (KE) has assured Sindh Governor Imran Ismail of ending load-shedding in the next 48 hours after the power utility was promised additional supply of gas and furnace oil to increase power generation.
The assurances were given to the governor by CEO KE Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi in a meeting held today at the Sindh’s Governor House.
The development could bring a sigh of relief for the Karachiites who were facing immense difficulties due to intermittent but incessant power outages in the sweltering summer for the past few days.
The power issue has exacerbated the water shortage problem in the city as many people cannot operate their pumping machines in the absence of electricity.
“Loadshedding will start reducing after 24 hours and will end in next 48 hrs,” Govorner Ismail said after the meeting and added that the federal government will provide additional furnace oil to the KE.
He said that additional gas up to 100 mmcfd from the Sui Southern Gas Company will be provided to the KE to ease the pressure of furnace oil shortage.
Governor Ismail said that due to “non-upgradation of [the] system”, the company is unable to utilise 500MW of electricity in addition to 650 MW being provided from the national grid.
The CEO KE has been directed to ensure the up-gradation of their system, he said.
The issue of frequent power cuts, which was initially reported from the slum and underdeveloped areas of the city, have now engulfed the entire Karachi, including the upscale localities such as Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and PECHS.
Meanwhile, the blame game between K-Electric, the Sui Southern Gas Company and federal and provincial governments continues without resolution.
Citing reasons behind the load-shedding, KE, the sole power supplier to the city, said that they had been receiving 50 mmcfd RLNG less from the SSGC while the peak demand had crossed 3,450 megawatts in the city with the furnace oil also short in the market.
The SSGC, however, categorically refuted the KE’s claim and said that it had been supplying an additional 50 mmcfd RLNG to the power utility.
During this tussle between the gas and power utilities, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Sheikh lambasted the federal government for the power crisis in the city, saying that it has been the latter’s incompetence that has deprived the Karachi residents of power during the lockdown period when the power consumption in factories and markets is already low.
The Sindh energy minister took strong notice of the load-shedding in the city and said it was the incompetence of the federal government that had been making the people of Karachi suffer.
“Who is responsible for the shortage of furnace oil and gas?” he asked and demanded an inquiry into the matter. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) should inquire into why the furnace oil was not imported before summer, Sheikh said.
Due to the lockdown, he said, there was already a decline in business activities and low power consumption in factories. “Despite all this, the increase in the duration of load-shedding is sheer incompetence of the federal government,” he remarked, adding that there was fear of a further increase in COVID-19 patients in the city due to the load-shedding.