Power Generation in Private Sector

By Poonegar, S. R. | Economic Review, April 1993 | Go to article overview

Power Generation in Private Sector


Poonegar, S. R., Economic Review


Background

The Government of Pakistan is encouraging participation of private sector in all the fields of economy and specially in the energy sector, both in prospecting the resources and setting up power stations to meet the energy needs of the country. The Government is prepared to provide all possible facilities and assurances to the private Pakistani and expatriate investors who wish to participate in the endeavors of the Government to mitigate the present power shortage and to meet the fast rising demand for supply of power.

Presently, Pakistan is suffering from an acute power crisis. The total installed capacity of Pakistan is 8312 MW out of which hydel generation capacity is nearly 3000 MW and the remaining capacity is thermal. The population of the country is 110 million, which is increasing at a fast rate. The current peak demand is about 6400-MW and there is an annual increase of 10%. Due to enhanced village electrification programme aimed at delivering electricity to the teeming millions, this rate of increase may go up. Out of the total hydel capacity, 2550 MW is installed on the two large dams of Tarbela and Mangla. These dams were constructed under the Indus Water Treaty and are primarily designed to meet the irrigation requirements of the country. The power generation from these hydel power plants is thus sub-servient to the requirements of water for irrigation.

The capacity of hydel plants is highly susceptible to seasonal variations. The power generation fluctuates from 110% to 30% of the installed capacity between high and low water months. Thus the country is faced with shortage of power during the period from December to May each year. This situation has been existing for the last one or two decades.

The main reason for the chronic shortage in power supply is lack of financial resources for thermal power generation, to fill the gap produced by reduction of hydel capacity in low water months. Despite the fact that large allocations were made for power sector projects at the cost of health, education and communications sectors, the actual outlays have never been enough to meet the requirements. The need to save the social sectors from complete starvation and to remain within the ceilings for spending in the public sector laid down by the International Monetary Fund, the cooperation of the private sector is inevitable.

General Policy

At present two independent public sector agencies are functioning in Pakistan. They are Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC). There exists a weak inter-link of 220 k.v. lines between the two systems. But both are prevented from expanding their system by the shortage of funds with the Government. The lists of thermal and hydel power plants operating in WAPDA as on 30 June 1991 are given in Table-I and the thermal power stations of KESC are given in Table-II.

Table-I
WAPDA's Installed Capacity Hydel Power Station
                                Installed
                                 Capacity
                                     (MW)
Big Hydels (2790 MW)
1. Tarbela                           1750
2. Mangla                             800
3. Warsak                             240
Small Hydels                     (108 MW)
4. Dargai                              20
5. Malakand                            20
6. Rasul                               22
7. Chichoki Mallian                    13
8. Shadiwal                            13
9. Nandipur                            14
10. Kurram Garhi                        4
11. Renala                              1
12. Chitral                             1
Total Hydel                          2898
Thermal Power Stations
1. Guddu Steam & Gas Turbines        1249
2. Kot Addu Gas Turbine               800
3. Multan Steam                       266
4. Faisalabad Gas Turbines            200
5. Faisalabad Steam                   132
6. … 

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