Power division seeks approval from NEPRA

The problem of load shedding in the metropolitan city of Karachi has been a long standing issue which needs to be resolved in a priority basis. The government plans to make Karachi a No-Load shedding zone by 2024-25.

In this regard previously a power plant had been proposed namely the Datang Coal Project with a capacity of 700MW but due to the presence of surplus electricity in the national grid the project was shelved by the Cabinet Committee on Energy and additional supply of electricity to the KE from national grid was approved.

Currently two main issues are preventing the completion the proposed Inter-Connection Agreement (IA) between NTDC and KE. (i) firm capacity of 1,100 MW and 2,050 MW (2023); and (ii) cost of NTDC interconnection works.

NTDC maintains that in case of shortage of power in the power pool, in order to manage demand across country NTDC will not supply power to KE at firm capacity as per stated requirement and will subject KE to load shedding on pro-rata basis at par with other Discos. Therefore, NTDC’s stance is that any such commitment under the agreement may result in non-compliance of the grid station. KE maintains that in case firm capacity of 2050 is not possible due to possible shortfall in national grid then NTDC may commit lesser number as base-load capacity so that KE can plan for the shortfall accordingly.

On the issue of cost of NTDC interconnection works, the following two new interconnection lines are required to be developed to enable off-take of up to 2050 MW from national grid to KE: (i) 220 KV double circuit transmission line for looping in/out of Jhimpir-2- Jhimpir/ DSEZ(Gharo) single circuit at 220 KV Dhabeji Grid Station; and (ii) 500 KV double circuit transmission line for looping in/out of the planned 500 KV (K2/K3 plant) to Port Qasim coal-fired power plant single circuit at KKI Grid Station.

KE argues that responsibility of constructing the transmission line up to the point of connection as defined within the Grid Code lies with NTDC since the transmission network of overhead and underground lines of 500 kV in KKI and 220 kV in Dhabeji Grid Station and 500/220 kV transformers would all be NTDC assets, these should also be constructed by NTDC for inclusion in their assets.

On the other hand NTDC says that cost of construction of interconnection lines shall be borne by KE, since the system in question will only benefit KE. Moreover Discos and KE will also recover this cost from their consumers.