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Unscheduled load-shedding has resurfaced after a shortfall in electricity demand and generation crossed 6,000MW due to suspension of supply from two RLNG-fired power plants, a surge in demand and local problems in Discos.

Informed sources told Business Recorder that on Saturday generation was around 18,000MW whereas demand hovered around 25,000-26,000MW which implies that the shortfall was not less than 6,000MW despite substantial generation from hydel sources.

According to sources, Discos are not being supplied the required quota due to which unscheduled load is being unleashed in different parts of the country. However, a spokesperson for Water and Power Ministry said the demand was 22,500MW against generation of 18,225MW, showing a shortfall of 4,250MW. Of this, 650MW electricity is also being supplied to K-Electric without any formal agreement.

Another official stated that main reason for the unscheduled load shedding was local problems which included faults in transformers or grid stations. It is not only the general public which is complaining against prolonged outages but former Water and Power Minister, Khawaja Asif has started complaining about unscheduled load shedding. He has conveyed his concern to the Ministry of Water and Power.

The sources said two RLNG-fired power plants ie Bhiki and Haveli Bahadar Shah, are not supplying electricity due to technical issues arising out of their continuing reliability test runs, whereas 1,320MW Sahiwal coal-fired plant is just delivering 660MW electricity.

One of the power sector experts said that power generation was recorded at 16,000MW in the daytime and 18500 MW electricity only for four hours during peak hours against a demand ranging from 22,000MW to 25,000MW.

Another official said that due to extreme humidity across the country, consumers are using air conditioners excessively, which accounts for record load on the system. "Presently load on system is at its peak whereas generation is less than forecast," the official added.

When contacted acting Managing Director, National Transmission and Despatch Company, Zafar Abbasi, who replaced Dr Fiaz Chaudhry with purported "blessings" of Prime Minister''s Office, told Business Recorder that Balloki power plant is on a test run whereas the contractors have dismantled one turbine of Haveli Bahadar Shah power plant after 5000 hours running. However, both turbines of M/s Bhikki are operating at full capacity.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is also Federal Minister Energy and Planning, in his maiden speech in the National Assembly, had promised that there would be no load shedding after November 2017. However, he made it clear that electricity will not be provided to those areas where losses are high.

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