Lower power-hydel generation upsets Senate panel

ISLAMABAD: A panel of Senate showed dismay, over delayed non-functioning of some generation units at Mangla Dam’s powerhouse on Tuesday. That has made cheaper energy inaccessible for the country. A report on timelines for introduction of aerial bundled cable (ABC) has been also been sought.

The Senate Standing Committee meeting on Power was presided over by Senator Fida Mohammad as Leader of the House Syed Shibli Faraz, and Senators Nauman Wazir Khattak, Agha Shahzeb Durrani, Dilawar Khan and Mohammad Akram,. The Power Secretary Ali Irfan, K-Electric’s chief managing operations, the managing director of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company and officials from the ministry and attached bodies also attended the meeting.

Irfan Ali briefed the meeting about the production of about 7,602MW against an installed capacity of about 9,77MW, including about 382MW being used in the private sector by the hydropower stations. He further told that the average daily generation is estimated to be 5,191MW of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and 252MW of independent power producers.

He further informed the meeting of the keenness of China State Grid to invest in Pakistan’s electricity distribution network through the ariel bundled cable (ABC) system, and Malaysia’s interest in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), as discussions for both, are in progress.

The committee expressed displeasure when informed of Mangla Power Generation System being inoperative for the past six months, as it set back the production by 400-500MW of cheap electricity. However, because of the absence of WAPDA and Irsa, not much could be done.  Both organisations have been directed to attend the next meeting.

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