Winter 2015 have been worse in terms of load shedding. There have been massive load shedding, despite the fact that winters have off-peak demand for electricity. And despite all those pre-election claims of PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz) about ending the load shedding, the situation just gone worse in winters. We witnessed load shedding of 8 to 14 hours and sometime worse.
Now we are on verge of summer 2015, when the demand of electricity is on its peak. It is just mid of April 2015, the weather have just started to get hot and load shedding is already increased to 10 to 16 hours in normal routine. Which is as same as about last year, there seems to be no progress at all. Pakistan’s peak requirement of electricity normally in summers is no more than 18000 MW (Mega Watts). According to a Wikipedia article about power plants in Pakistan, Pakistan have installed capacity of generating more than 23 GW (Giga Watts), which is 23000 MW.
So, there are other factors which government have not been able to manage in almost two years of its tenure, which include the circular debt as well as provision of fuel to power generation plants.
Circular debt keeps getting bigger when government does not ensure the recoveries against the electricity it provided to certain individuals or organizations. When PMLN came into power, WAPDA (Water and Power Distribution Authority) was facing circular debt of about 200 billion Pakistani Rupees, Government paid that from treasury and lessened the debt to near none. But than again they did not made prompt recoveries to keep it none, it grown and grown again.
One other reason is, according to same Wikipedia article mentioned above, lots of Pakistani power generation plants run on Natural gas. So as we know, Pakistan have lately been facing the shortage of Natural Gas, some of these plants have not been running. There were several import options being considered when this government came into power. One notable is Pakistan and Iran pipe Gas Pipe line. Half of work had been done, reportedly the Iran side of Pipe was complete. But PMLN led current government did not pursued the project, eventually ending in severe gas shortage, which affected power generation too.
Also, to deal with that gas shortage PMLN government did worked on importing LNG (Liquified Natural Gas). It was delayed very much but in the end, it was success and ship actually came in and docked to port to offload Natural Gas. Now government have also allowed private parties to import LNG. But than again the question is, why even after import of LNG is started, we have to face load shedding?. Why is it not provided to all those plants to generate the electricity to meet our needs.
What I think from all this scenario is, PMLN led government is saving on fuel, by not running or running less of power plants run by Oil and Gas. Their Number One priority is NOT the power. They are more indulge on other stuff like roads and transportation. That is all good but in today’s era, Load Shedding of Electricity must not simply exist in any part of world. From all over 200 countries of world there are only two to three countries which face this today. Pakistan have all the resources to keep running electrical appliances of people round the clock.
If government is really serious in resolving the power issue, Pakistan will not have an hour of electricity load shedding in year 2016. But if you ever witnessed in 2016 or later, please understand, we were being mislead and no one put attention on solving this humongous problem of people of Pakistan.
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