Electric Supply Company Limited Power plants trip due to low gas pressure

Karachi: Karachi Electric Supply Company has condemned extremely low pressure of gas that tripped the 220-MW Combined Cycle Power Plant at Korangi on Sunday night and then again on Monday morning.

KESC demanded immediate intervention from the Federal Government for resolving the crisis as the unilaterally decreased low gas pressure had drastically cut down power generation forcing KESC to enhance load shedding hours for residential and commercial areas to begin with.

KESC made all efforts to save Karachi citizens from enhanced load shedding and issued several appeals to the federal government to implement decisions of the ECC but to no avail. ECC in its meeting on June 30 2011 decided to adopt a uniform gas load management policy and to observe two day gas holiday across industries and CNG station and supply gas so saved to KESC.

It was also decided to curtail gas supply to fertilizer plants by 20 per cent. These decisions are, however, yet to be implemented.

KESC has once again requested the minister of petroleum, Dr. Asim to advise SSGC to implement ECC decisions so that KESC gets enough gas to maintain the past load shedding regime. Failure to do so, would result in massive supply constraints and residential, commercial and industrial customers will have to experience unprecedented load shedding duration.

KESC alerted the consumers about a possible increase in power tariff by about Rs. 2 per unit if the committed 276 MMCFD gas supply was not provided to the utility. On the other hand, if 276 MMCFD gas was regularly supplied to KESC, then the consumer end tariff could go down by Rs. 1.5 per unit.

KESC offered that in case 276 MMCFD gas was regularly provided then the utility was ready to pay Rs. 35 million a day to SSGC. The amount, totalling to Rs. 1 billion per month, would be paid in lieu of the additional gas supply. The payment would not only help SSGC out of the current financial crunch but would also protect Karachi citizens against the intensified load shedding.

KESC has expressed concerns that while SSGC is supply around 300 MMCFD gas to private industrial units and captive power plants, it has been ignoring the 20 million population of the city. Being a public sector company it has to be more considerate towards public needs specially when there are clear decisions by ECC and Sindh high court.

With the current supply level of gas and the power demand touching its peak, the power generation by KESC is not enough and KESC is forced to carry out 6 to 10 hours load shedding in residential and commercial areas. KESC fears that if the fuel supply situation does not improve quickly, industrial areas, that have been exempted so far, will have to be included in the load shedding schedule.

Rejecting SSGC’s statement on payments, KESC said that in August alone Rs. 3.5 billion were paid to SSGC against gas purchase of around Rs. 2.2 billion. KESC has fully honoured the payment planned agreed in the joined meeting that was held in the presence of Governor Sindh Dr. Ishratul Ibad, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim Hussain and Federal Secretary Finance Dr. Waqar Masood.

KESC has also offered to SSGC to double the payment for every molecule of gas supplied to KESC over and above 200 MMCFD, in shape of daily cash payment and then as part of normal payment cycle. However, SSGC has not responded to that offer yet.

It is to be noted that KESC pays the highest gas price and supplying more to KESC means more revenues for SSGC. KESC has hoped that the government would take immediate notice of the current situation and ensure a long term resolution to the fuel supply issue in Karachi.

Considering the scale of KESC’s power generation and its impact on lives of 20 million people, there is an urgent need of a more stable and reliable fuel supply mechanism in place. The current ad hoc practices are only detrimental to the country’s economy as Karachi is the backbone of commercial and industrial activities in Pakistan, the press release concluded.

For more information, contact:
Adil Murtaza
Assistant Manager, Media and PR
Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESC)
2nd Floor, State Life Building No 11, Abdullah Haroon Road, Saddar, Karachi
Tel: +9221 9920 7163
Cell: +92346 822 3641
Email: adil.murtaza@kesc.com.pk