KARACHI, Sept. 12: Karachi Electric Supply Company has alerted consumers about a significant increase in load shedding of up to 10 hours a day within the next 24 hours due to insufficient fuel supply. Industrial consumers will also face load shedding which are currently exempted from load shedding. KESC appealed intervention of Federal Committee members (Dr Asim Hussain, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Mr Naveed Qamar) to help the utility in providing 276 MMCFD of natural gas, or with a reduced gas supply of at least 200 MMCFD plus 1,700 tons of Furnace Oil at gas price as per the agreed formula in Ramadan ul Mubarak. The intervention of the committee in this matter can help KESC to avert the imminent power crisis.
As discussed earlier with Federal Committee, KESC has again requested to continue with the same GLMP mechanism as in Ramadan in order to maintain normal load shed plan to meet the remaining two summer month power requirement of Karachi, which has almost reached 2,500 MW. If the approved gas allocation of 276 MMCFD could not be supplied, then a minimum of 200 MMCFD gas need to be supplied in addition to 1,700 tons of furnace oil at gas price to preempt increased load shedding and a significant increase in the consumer end tariff. KESC is already purchasing furnace oil worth over Rs. 16 crores every day, which will be continued.
However, during the past week, neither the gas supply increased, nor furnace oil has been provided on gas price. Yet, KESC has maintained the load shed so far in the interest of 20 million population of the metropolis. This however, cannot be sustained any further if the Government does not fulfill its obligations and an increase in load shedding across all residential, commercial and industrial customers is inevitable.
KESC further emphasizes that the approved quota of 276 MMCFD has not been provided to the utility on regular basis, especially during the last two years gas supply had been unstable and has gone down drastically. Government needs to adopt an approach towards the power needs of the largest city of the country which is also the economic hub and a major source of government revenues.
As agreed in a meeting with the Committee before Ramzan, KESC has paid Rs. 3.5 billion to SSGC and Rs. 7.5 billion to PSO including Rs. 1.4 billion of old dues. KESC has delivered on its promises with Federal Committee. We request the Committee to ensure supply of adequate fuel to KESC keeping the larger public interest in mind.
Alerting the consumers over the extra use of furnace oil, KESC stated that this fuel was more than three times costlier than gas and any further increase in its use would substantially increase the power tariff to unaffordable levels. In August alone, KESC purchased 65,000 tons of furnace oil at full market price and 52,000 tons at gas price, with total cost of over Rs. 6 billion. However, KESC has always preferred full supply of 276 MMCFD gas instead of supply of furnace oil at gas price.
KESC urges the Government and Federal Committee to take immediate steps to preempt the imminent power crisis in the city. Supply of 276 mmcfd gas or at least 200 mmcfd gas and 1,700 tons furnace oil at gas price would help KESC to supply uninterrupted power to Karachi industries and a controlled load shedding regime in residential and commercial areas.