Why currently 8 to 10 hours of power outages in cities and 16 to 18 hours in rural areas?

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At this time electricity load shedding in pakistan is main problem. Industry and daily consumers are effecting by it severly. Power consumers from Karachi to Islamabad are currently worried about the long duration of load shedding. The government and power distribution companies announce electricity load shedding in pakistan  and on the other hand, unannounced load shedding has made people’s lives miserable because of the high temperature in the country present. According to media reports in Pakistan, there are currently eight to 10 hours of power outages in cities and 16 to 18 hours in rural areas due to the widening gap between the country’s supply and electricity demand.

According to experts in the power sector, the demand for electricity in the country is at its highest level at present. There is insufficient production to meet this growing demand. The government is experiencing heavy load shedding. Experts attributed the rise in demand to rising fuel prices, such as coal, RLNG and furnace oil, which caused power plants to run out of capacity. Because buying expensive fuel requires financing that is not fully available.

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What is the cause of the power crisis?

According to the load management report submitted by the electricity distribution companies on Thursday, the country’s shortfall in production is 4719 MW, while the line losses were 2554 MW. Thus the overall shortfall is more than 7000 MW. According to an expert, “Currently there is a shortage of more than 7,000 MW in the country due to which the duration of load shedding has increased significantly.”

He said that the total capacity of Pakistan to generate electricity from various sources is around 36,000 MW, but never has the capacity been developed, which is due to many reasons.  The price of coal now crossed 300 dollars per tonne as against 100 dollars some time ago. Similarly, the price of imported gas at which Pakistan bought spot cargo was 27 per MMBtu. “Under Pakistan’s long-term contract, the price was 13 dollars. Furnace oil prices have also risen sharply as global crude oil prices are currently at record highs.

It isn’t easy to generate electricity from expensive fuels as it requires a lot of capital. Power plants do not have enough cash flow to buy expensive fuels and run them at full capacity. At present, power plants running on coal, gas and furnace oil in Pakistan are running at less than their full production capacity, while the sources of power generation from water are also generating very little electricity.” The power generation capacity of Mangla, Tarbela and other hydropower sources is 9000 MW, but at present, they are running at half capacity, i.e. generating 4,000-5,000 MW of electricity due to which water in them is less. 

The country’s plains are experiencing intense heat; the upper areas are not yet warm enough to melt glaciers. At the same time, coal-fired power plants are running at 25 percent capacity. In the present government, Federal Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir had on various occasions declared the responsibility of load shedding in the country as non-purchase of adequate fuel by the previous government.

The government purchased spot cargo from RLNG in May to generate electricity.“Five spots of cargo were procured in the month of May at exorbitant prices to increase power generation.” Despite the purchase of this gas, the reason for load shedding is that the demand has increased while the power generated from water is also decreasing, and on the other hand, the price of coal has also gone up. “Gas has been purchased, but expensive gas cannot be bought too much because the power generating companies do not have the required amount of capital to run the factories at full production capacity to meet the increased demand.”

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