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    Power outages get more frequent amid 9,000MW shortfall


    June 29, 2022 - The News International

     

      The increasingly under-stress national grid, on the back of dwindling power generation due to fuel shortages, Tuesday made rolling outages far more widespread amid the stifling summer weather.

      The officially-reported gap between demand and supply of electricity widened to nearly 9,000 megawatt (MW) for the first time, causing prolonged hours of loadshedding, spanning over 14 hours at many places, except Karachi. The K-Electric, on the other hand, also seems to be struggling in bridging the gap between demand and supply of electricity. People living in some areas of Karachi complained that they were braving 10-12 hours of outages in the city.

      As hydropower faltered due to low river flows, so did thermal power generation as natural gas also became a scarce commodity due to a dent in planned imports. On the other hand, demand for electricity surged to a mammoth 30,233 MWs while generation stumbled to just 21,322 MWs. The hardest-hit areas fall under K-Electric, Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) and Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco).

      According to the Load Management data reported by power distribution companies (Discos) at 2pm, June 28, 2022, people living in Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco) faced a shortfall of 1,049 MW, Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco) went through deficit of 850 MW in demand and supply of electricity, Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) 693 MW, Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) 603 MW, Tribal Electric Supply Company (Tesco) braved a shortfall of 592 MW, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) 582 MW, Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) 550 MW and Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) 392 MW.

      Insiders warned that power shortfall would further expand in coming days, keeping in view the low power generation and ever-increasing demand. In such a worrying situation, the gap between demand and supply may widen to 10,000 MW or 35 percent of the total demand.

      Infuriated over frequent power suspensions, people staged demonstration in various cities. Apart from Karachi, a protest was also held in Lahore where long outages made the masses suffer. In addition to planned outages, people are facing forced loadshedding, breakdowns due to overloading distribution system.

      In one such example, the power supply in Sami Town on the Canal Road has been cut off since 03:00am Monday night. Residents of the area went out to protest on Canal Road on Tuesday, chanting slogans against staff of Lesco and demanded immediate restoration of power.

      Meanwhile, K-Electric has announced revised loadshedding plan. According to an announcement made by K-Electric, a revision in its loadsheding plan has been done to manage the ongoing power shortfall in the city. As per the revised policy, 3 hours of loadshedding will be undertaken in low loss areas within KE's service territory.

      Talking about the ongoing regime, the spokesperson of KE further added: 'This revised plan will provide a relief of 1-2 hours to areas which are already impacted by loadshedding." The utility expressed its apologies for the inconvenience caused to its customers due to this situation and vowed to continue to undertake all possible measures for its mitigation.

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