12 فروری، 2015

Neighbours offer 6500 megawatts to Pakistan

 



China, Iran and India are said to have offered 6500 MW electricity to Islamabad to help it fight off a projected 8500 MW shortfall this summer, well informed sources told Business Recorder. "We have offers of 6500 MW electricity in hand from three neighbouring countries but no decision has yet been taken to import electricity from any country," the sources added. China and Iran are willing to export 3000 MW each to Pakistan whereas India has expressed willingness to supply 500 MW. 

Pakistan and India held a couple of rounds of talks on the modalities of electricity trade but failed to finalise any agreement despite the fact that the Pakistani cabinet had cleared a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). A Pakistani delegation, source said, will visit Iran during the third week of the current month to discuss electricity tariff. Electricity is already being imported from Iran; however, the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) has expired. 

Iran argues in favour of a hike in tariff but Pakistan argues that since price of oil has declined massively there is no justification for an increase in the existing tariff. The sources said both countries will also discuss details of Iranian offer of 3000 MW as no groundwork has been done on this proposal at this stage. Both sides will also discuss different options on the trade of 1000 MW electricity for which an MoU was signed by the then Managing Director Pepco, Rasool Khan Mehsud. 

"We have to see how Iranian electricity will be injected into Pakistan's transmission system, and what will be the final cost prior to entering into any agreement," the sources continued. According to sources, since the Central Asia South Asia (CASA 1000) project is at an advanced stage, Pakistan would seriously consider importing 1000 MW from Iran to meet Balochistan's requirements. 

"Pakistan has to maintain a balance of imported and locally generated electricity as import cannot be initiated blindly," the sources further added. In reply to a question, the sources said 1500 MW additional power will be added to the system this summer from 740MW gas-fired Guddu thermal plant and 400 MW Nandipur Power Plant which has been converted to furnace oil. The government also expects a few hundred megawatt electricity would be added to the system from solar park, in addition to procurement of electricity from dormant thermal Independent Power Producers (IPPs) at a fixed price. 

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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