Worst Electricity Load Shedding can be Expected During the Caretaker Government is In Charge

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In Pakistan the main task that care taker governments have to take on is getting the next General Elections done in free and fair manner. They are given about two months to prepare before elections and about one later for transfer of Pakistan to next Party.

There is so much happening with regards to elections and political parties, it  is very difficult to put attention on other matters. However, stable things keep running, but things like provision of non interrupted electricity is complicated in a way, that the governments leaving the power leave the power sector in big circular debt. This debt accounts for non payment of fuel to companies like PSO and also non payment to IPPs (Private Power Plants). So after they leave there is very less margin, so any more debt on fuel companies or IPPs, destabilize the whole system. In that case caretakers do not have enough power to release funds to bring things back to normal.

Recently before Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) left the office, the circular debt of power generation and distribution had climbed up to 922 billion. Almost double as compared to when the PML-N had come into the power. So not only we are standing at shaky situation but also the affects can already be seen.

Electricity Load Shedding PakistanThough there is chance of load shedding going to worse in next couple of months due to excessive circular debt. Already, the frequent tripping of electricity is started due to imbalance of generation and total load. These are the peak heat days, so does there is peak demand for power now a days, so maximum power generation plants must be running to meet the demand. According to PML-N in the recent promotions for elections, established that Pakistan already had power generation capacity of about 18000 Megawatts (MW) and they have added more capacity of about 11000 MW in these previous 5 years. By that logic we must now have capacity of 29000 MW right now.

But here is what happens, due to this circular debt PML-N led government left for us, it is impossible to run all the power generation plants. That means less electricity and more load, which translates to feeder level tripping of power. Hence, lots of unscheduled load shedding.

So finally what we have established here is, firstly PML-N in contrary to their promises were unable to finish the load shedding fully before leaving. And secondly they left us with lots of circular debt which could be huge problem specially during these days of caretaker government in charge, when releasing funds to coverup is not that easy.

Zero Load Shedding Claims of PML-N Led Pakistan Government Face Melt Down as soon as heat increased towards the end of May 2018

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One of main reasons because the people choose PML-N in general elections of 2013 was that they were fed up with load shedding and the empty promises made by Zardari led PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party) government. People had to bare 8 to 12 hours of load shedding in whole tenure of of PPP.

However, a main pillar of the election campaign of PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz) was to end the load shedding. Now load shedding in Pakistan do not entirely happen due to the lack of Power Generation Plants but a big factor in this regard is circular debt. The debt payable each month by WAPDA to firstly the fuel providers like PSO and secondly to Individual (private) Power Plants (IPPs). Now wapda is the main distributor of electricity in all over country and working with several sub entities to distribute electricity in each city like IESCO in Islamabad and LESCO in Lahore etc.

Now circular debt happens each month when WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority) and its entities are unable to do the recoveries efficiently against the distributed power. Reason for those inefficient recoveries range from line losses to electricity theft.

When in 2013 PML-N took charge that circular debt was about 400 to 500 billion. They approached the problem of load shedding with respect to less power houses, all energies are used there and nothing special was done to curb the debt. Now fast forwarding to 5 years later, just few days ahead of end of term of PML-N, circular debt ballooned up to massive 922 Billions.

This very fact of increasing of Circular debt from 4/5 hundred to 922 billion in five years tells the whole story as, the PML-N did not thought through. They as well kept making those empty promises. They did added several new power plants to grid. But they were unable to think about all aspect.

With circular debt this high, this is obvious that a number of power plants will not be running, reasons include, fuel suppliers will cut the supply or cut to less quantity until the outstanding dues are clear, also several IPPs will push on for payment until they get full payment.

Now here is what would have happen on May 30th 2018, when weather got hot and load shedding gone through the roof with several areas facing 8 to 10 hours, several facing 4 to 8 hours of load shedding. The heat goes up on 30th 2018, so does the demand of electricity all over country, now government is already producing less electricity due to less fuel supply and shut off power plants due to circular debt, but that supply was coping with demand some how.

Now later on when heat and demand increase, it got difficult for government to meet demands with those few running power plants, so their claims face a melt down and on same time people face load shedding.

Even the zero load shedding claims of government are Mal-formed, they have actually divided feeders (Smallest distribution area unit name for electricity in Pakistan) into categories on base of line losses. The lowest losses feeders (under 10%) are Category one, 10 to 20% losses feeders are category 2,  20 to 30% come under category 3 and so on. So in cold months (which are also off-peak electricity demand months) only those feeders coming under category one had no load shedding. Category 2 had 2 hours of load shedding and third having more. Used same formula of more load shedding for feeders having higher category. Categories go up to 10.

Now line losses or theft is thing, which had to be dealt with by government. Unable to do that, they started punishing people on this and made line losses a base to do more load shedding in several areas.

So keeping in view, what we just learned in above two paragraphs, technically load shedding never ended in Pakistan in PML-N era, even in those cold months. And now in hot months, government, despite all those promises, finding it hard to cop with rising demand and hence resorting to Load Shedding once again.

Electricity Load Shedding Continues in 2018 in Pakistan Despite all those Promises

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In 2013 before coming into power, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) leader made many promises with people of Pakistan to end the load shedding for once and for all from the country. The Promises made by Shehbaz Sharif to end electricity load shedding ranged from six months to two and half years during his election campaign.

However, later after coming into power, the big brother, Nawaz claimed that the promises made during the election campaign were made in “Joshe Khitabat”, means there were emotions involved and in flow of speech he did made those promises. But also Nawaz Sharif and his team re-iterated that realistically the problem of Load Shedding will be solved three years time for sure. Which completed in about May 2016.

Fast forward to here in 2018, electricity load shedding still prevails. Even in off peak season of winter people had to bear the load shedding. In Jan, Feb and March and now on start of April, where I live we have experienced load shedding of two hours daily. And these are even off peak months.

Despite all the promises, which were not fulfilled obviously till now, short fall at the end of March 2018 was reported as 3000 MW, country wide, as per reported by dunya news here. Also another article of Pakistan Today here claims that shortfall may go up to 6000 MW very easily near or in the peak season, when heat is on top.

It is 2018, when people are thinking as big as colonizing the mars, probes from earth are gone as beyond as they are exiting the solar system, there is a country which is still fighting to fulfill its power needs, despite humongous potential of getting electricity using wind energy and many other sources. In such situations, we need to keep changing the people we choose to rule the country, until we find the ones who do get the real work done. Pakistan Zindabad.

Pakistan Govt makes New Records of Electricity Load Shedding in Winter Season in Jan 2015

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Workers Working in light of candle during power cut
Workers Working in light of candle during a Power Cut or Electricity Load Shedding

Pakistan is the country which faces the power cuts through out the year due to gap in production and demand. But normally due to low demand people have to (thankfully) bear nominal electricity load shedding in winter season. This has been the case from decades. But this time things gone sideways, mismanagement of PMLN (Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz) made the power disappear in the month of January when winter is on its peak and power demand is near bottom line.

As of today People of Pakistan are facing loadshedding of 9 to 13 hours per day in cities and more than that in villages. k2This Power crisis was caused due to the Oil crisis which was also created due to the mismanagement of party in power, PMLN, when they did not put orders to purchase the Furnace Oil and Petrol, keeping in view the increasing demand of people.

Other reason is, they are ripping off the people by trying to not run the furnace oil generators and relying more on hydro electricity plants. Than people are charged as if all the electricity is generated on Furnace oil and that all collected money is used to cover the corruption and mismanagement of resources.

Second year of PMLN in power, is going to end soon but things only gone worse so far. We have power, gas, electricity and petroleum crisis now, some of them are the ones we were never used to, about couple of years ago, if you ask me. They include the gas crisis for domestic use, petrol crisis like the one we seen few days back and importantly the long hours of load shedding in winter season.

People already are fed up with the management skills possessed by self proclaimed experienced team of PMLN. If the PMLN wants any chance to be elected again, they will have to set their priorities straight and before anything else they would need to control the energy crisis. They are not being able to fulfill the basic needs of people, let alone putting the country to way of progress.

Here is the reality check, according to a wikipedia article, Pakistan have power plants which have capacity of producing 22000 Megawatts of electricity but our current government is having problem fulfilling the country’s winter needs, which range from 9000 to 14000 Megawatts at most in winters. Not only this, in jan 2015 we have also experienced the countrywide blackouts of several hours which were result of overloading few power plants due to unavailability of Furnace oil due to only reason, that govt forgot order the delivery on time.

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Flawful energy conservation plan leads to confusion and differences among Pakistanis

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Regarding the energy conservation to cope with current energy crisis of country government came up with idea of having weekly holiday on Saturday as well along with Sunday and also they decided to close all markets and commercial centers after Maghreb prayer or Sunset in other words.

Now all organizations and banks etc are banned from opening on Saturday. Which in some areas is harming people as well. But irony started when the differences between provinces came in. Every province government have started taking the issue their own ways. Punjab and Khyber pukhtoon-kh0wah have decided to remain open on the Saturday on other side Sindh decided to have a holiday and Bilochistan remained in situation of uncertainty about the holiday.

Now to start with I am not in opposition on Saturday’s holiday, as everyone needs two days rest in week to start with the next week’s work. But the ‘government planning only additional holiday and early business closures’ was the worst thing to do in order to conserve the energy or to deal with energy crisis. Plus if they had given holiday then things must have been same in all over the country not different in different areas of Pakistan. Its the biggest failure that different areas in same country are having days off differently. In one area two holidays and in other one holiday in a week.

This whole idea of days off and daily early business closures to conserve energy is full of flaws. If you have to deal with energy crisis and do something for people of Pakistan, then plan the new power production houses and make them happen. Keeping in mind the natural resources which God have blessed this country with, which can be used in order to deal with energy crisis, the current closure initiative from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government is nothing but a fluke.

There are some businesses and specially shopping centers/malls which do most of their business after the Sunset. As people get free from their day job, they are free only after sunset, so they can go out with family, go to shopping etc but government somehow made sure that this don’t happen as well as businesses don’t grow in these bad times.

In 21st century when world is going towards and successfully implementing the 24/7 business, Pakistan is moving towards further closures. In this country businesses hardly have 8 to 10 hours and even some times much less than them, the PPP government have now made sure to steal back few more hours from businesses.

PPP government must understand that 21st century is not in any case the century of energy conservation but it is the century of providing the enough energy which keeps the wheels spinning. Its not century of closures but the century of setting up the new power production houses. Country like Pakistan which have huge coal reserves, conditions favoring the production of energy through water, wind or even solar energy, one of world’s largest gold reserves and much more. How on earth this country could be struggling to fulfill its energy needs.

The credit of whole energy chaos and differences goes to the current PPP government, their incompetent people don’t know how to deal with the energy crisis and shutting down the country instead of giving new power production houses. Plus the current power production capability of Pakistan is much more than current requirement but due to corrupt elements in country administration and incompetent people in power the required amount of electricity is not being produced.

I am not sure how everyone in power all over Pakistan plan to keep the people of Pakistan on their side in next elections, as things have gone from bad to worse in last few years and no serious efforts are done to cope with the countless and still increasing problems of People of Pakistan. May God Bless this Country.

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