Power generation through inefficient plants; Reason for increased cost of electricity: NEPRA


National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has accused National Power Control Centre (NPCC) of giving preference to inefficient power plants due to which the consumers are paying billions of rupees extra for purchase of power.

Power generation through furnace oil is very expensive as compared to coal fired or RLNG power plants and cause increase in total fuel cost by around Rs 7.2 billion. Nepra, in its comments on energy purchase data submitted by the CPPA-G for September, 2019 said that total utilization factor of thermal power plants during the entire month remained at 58.53 per cent.

The regulator observed that due to less capacity utilization of efficient power plants, optimal dispatch was given to the following power plants ranked at the bottom of the merit order i.e. Kapco, Liberty Power Tech, Habbco Narowal, Attock Gen, Fauji Kabirwala, Kohinoor Energy, Atlas Power, Nishat Chunian, Nishat Power and Lalpir Power etc. These plants have been ranked between serial number (51-84) of the economic merit order for September, 2019 with energy purchase price (Rs 11-16/kWh). Furthermore, considerable dispatch was also being given in September 2019 to inefficient power plants of Gencos (Jamshoro & Muzaffargarh) ranked at the bottom of merit order, having efficiency (27-29 per cent) and energy purchase price of Rs 20-22 kWh.

By reviewing the utilization factors of power plants, Nepra has observed that capacities of Liberty power, Habibullah coastal, Foundation Power and Engro Powergen which are efficient gas based plants (ranked at the top of the merit order) have been underutilized. The utilization factors of these power plants remained at 71.38 per cent, 29.66 per cent, 77.18 per cent and 63.99 per cent respectively in September

Capacities of RLNG based (high ranked efficiency more than 60 per cent), Haveli Bahadar Shahm Balloki and Bhikki power plants have not been optimally utilized. The utilization factor of these power plants has been observed as 52.41 per cent, 74.80 per cent and 77.44 per cent respectively in September 2019. Furthermore, Orient, Saphire, Saif and Halmore which are economical RLNG based power plants (having 51.2 percent efficiency) have also been under-utilized. The utilization factor of these power plants remained at 62.38 per cent, 24.52 per cent, 71.60 per cent and 65.17 per cent respectively during the month.