Pakistan’s energy crisis worsens

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s power shortfall rose to 2,100MW because of suspension of 350MW supply from two 220KV Guddo-Sibbi and Uch-Sibbi towers and transmission lines which were reportedly damaged in a terrorist attack.

Cities, towns and rural areas across the country faced up to six hours of loadshedding, despite closure of public and private businesses on Sunday. But a spokesman for the National Transmission and Dispatch Company said the transmission lines and towers had been damaged by a windstorm, and not by terrorists. It caused disruption in power supply to large areas.

According to him, all power distribution companies (Discos) carried out four to six hours of loadshedding because of 2,100MW shortfall in the system. “On Sunday, the total generation stood at 11,200MW — 4,200MW contributed by hydel, 1,480MW by thermal and 5,460MW by independent power producers (IPPs).

Since the total power demand was 13,300MW, Discos had to carry out four to six hours of loadshedding in urban and rural areas to meet the 2,100MW shortfall, the spokesman explained.

He said repair of the damaged towers and transmission line was under way and they would soon be functional. People in major cities and towns have been enduring several hours of outages after a short-lived respite between May 10 and 13.

Meanwhile, talking to APP, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali claimed that the government was proactively executing diverse programmes to overcome the energy crisis. He said the crisis was because of years of neglect, ill-planning and mismanagement.

Pakistan has signed an agreement to import Thirteen Hundred Megawatt (1300 MW) electricity from Republic of Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic to overcome the country’s energy shortages. The project named CASA-1000 was signed in a two-day meeting of inter-governmental Council of Central Asia South Asia (CASA) Transmission and Trade project by Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan generate a surplus of electricity during the summer season which these countries cannot use or store. On the other hand, Pakistan has been facing severe electric power shortages for a long time. The CASA-1000 project will be a source of clean and renewable energy for Pakistan to meet its longstanding energy shortages.