PM orders minimum load-shedding in summer, strict action against theft

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Wednesday directed for minimal electricity load-shedding in the summer so that consumers did not face any inconvenience.

Chairing a high level meeting here at the PM House, he also directed for strict legal action against those involved in gas and electricity theft.

Leakage from the system was unacceptable and emergency measures should be taken to stop the theft, he added.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of State for Water & Power Abid Sher Ali, Secretary Water & Power, Secretary Petroleum and senior government officers.

The Prime Minister, who was briefed regarding the overall electricity and gas network and distribution system in the country, said his government had made legal measures more stringent against electricity and gas theft.

During the briefing on electricity theft, the Prime Minister was apprised that smart meters at 11 KV grids had been installed. He directed that electricity dues should be recovered on priority and a report in this regard be presented in a week.

He directed for action against heads of distribution companies, who were not performing. He was also informed about the load-shedding schedule planned for next four months.

The meeting was informed that Pakistan had a total gas network of 146,628 km with 7,005,417 consumers. Out of the 2,715 mmcfd in the year 2012-13, 764 mmcfd was supplied to domestic consumers, 112 mmcfd to commercial consumers, 320 mmcfd to power sector, 89 mmcfd to fertilizer, 463 mmcfd to industry and captive sector, 274 mmcfd to CNG while 375 mmcfd was un-accounted for. In addition, 1,021 mmcfd was dedicated for power and fertilizer plants.

The Prime Minister was apprised that the un-accounted for gas (UFG) was calculated as the difference between total volume purchased and sold to consumers by gas utility companies during a financial year. He was informed that 30 to 40% of the total UFG was from leakages and same percentage from theft and 20 to 25 % was due to meter errors.

In the year 2012-13, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) network had UFG of 210 mmcfd (12%) whereas Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGC) had 115 mmcfd (10%) of UFG in its network.

The Prime Minister was informed that various short-term measures such as theft control, pressure profiling, leak rectification and replacement of defective meters had been taken to control UFG.

In addition, medium and long term measures including segmentation of distribution network, pipeline rehabilitation, improvement of measurement accuracy and cathodic protection of steel network were being adopted.

The meeting was apprised that measures had also been taken including installation of cyber door-locks on meters of industrial and CNG consumers, installation of bulk meters in no-go areas to quantify gas theft by non-customers, and bulk and CNG customers connected through dedicated metered lines for monitoring.

Discussions were also held on Gas (Theft Control & Recovery) Ordinance that would be used to put an end to gas theft.

Source: APP