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Power Division calls meeting today to discuss Karachi power crisis

ISLAMABAD: The Power Division has convened an emergency meeting of the K-Electric, Petroleum Division and National Electric Power Regulatory (NEPRA) on Karachi power crisis on Friday (today), on the directives of Power Minister Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, a statement said.

The meeting would be held at 1:30 pm today at the committee room of power division in Islamabad.

The KE, the power utility supplying electricity to Karachi, has been asked to immediately convene its Board meeting with reference to NEPRA letter to deliberate and resolve the problems of load shedding in Karachi on permanent basis, the statement further said.

The government has convened meetings of stakeholders today to find out a way out of the power crisis currently crippling public life in the port city.

Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmad Leghari will preside over the meetings after Nepra recommended the government to enhance gas supply to KE to ease the crisis. Yet the power regulator blamed the KE for failure to utilise its full available capacity on alternative fuel.

The Power Division has also asked the utility to immediately convene a board meeting of K-Electric to deliberate and resolve the problem of loadshedding in Karachi on permanent basis.

Gas company the SSGC has been reluctant to enhance gas supply to KE until resolution of issues relating to it Rs 80 billion receivables, upfront payment of Rs7bn security deposit (equivalent of 3-month gas bills for 190 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) and signing of a formal gas sales agreement for the exact gas quantities.

The SSGC management said, the gas supply could be improved to KE in the interest of consumers subject to security deposit, valid agreement and an acceptable mechanism for clearance of outstanding dues like any other consumer.

The Power Division said it had called the meetings following Nepra’s recommendation to enhance gas supply for power generation in Karachi. The regulator had advised the government, for immediate restoration of gas supply of 190mmcfd to KE.

NEPRA is separately initiating legal proceedings against KE for violations of various responsibilities including non-utilisation of its full power generation capacity and carrying out load management beyond its claims and in addition to load shedding on account of gas curtailment.

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