Overcoming electricity catastrophe becomes headache for Pakistan’s economy

By Syed Faizan Ali

Department Of Economics

University Of Karachi

Pakistan is in the hold of strict power dearth emergency that is impacting all other sphere of the economy and the certain segments of the society. Pakistan is plummeting wider and wider into the dearth. The electricity scarcement has hold out the record point. This position has forced the citizens of Pakistan to sustain the pressure of 8 to 16 hours load shedding which might more expand in the future.

Electricity is the ancillary origin of energy being release from unexceptional corporal conformation of energy. There are various defies and troubles exist in  this division. Some prevailing plans and schemes are reputed to be liable for this, consequently it is surmised that the covet outcome would be ratified when some of the prevailing plans and schemes would be accomplished. Correspondingly it has resolute to cast 6400 MVA of new 220/ 132 kV grids in forthcoming three years. The intricate controversy is that commensurate with NTDC, the yearly electricity demand rate of growth is concluded to drift nearly 5 to 6 % in later 10 years. With ongoing situation of enlargement it stares that crunch will not be defeated which in return will disturb the economic expansion of the country.

Pakistan’s electricity engenderation is eminently relies on imported oil as about $ 14.5 billion costing of oil is imported every year. Thus pronounced deviates from hydro to thermal origination, and further newly natural gas to fuel oil as the primary fuel for electricity generation have resulted fuels problems  in Pakistan’s power sector. These trends have contributed to an increase in power supply costs. No sizeable capacity in the power sector was added during the last 10 years, barring the 3377 mV added since 2008- 09. This addition could not make a positive effect on reduction in load shedding because of financial constraints and lukewarm progress of the public sector GENCOs. Pakistan is facing severe shortages, because of low hydel availability and higher air conditioning demand (500+MW) in winter and summer, respectively.

The quickest choices are to minimize the existing capacity which will effect in efficient improvements across the power production/ supply chain and continues and emphasized conservation both for gas and electric ties. An improvement of 5 to 10% can be gain if decisions are imposed.

The engestion of electricity in 2012 remsidue  76, 761 GW has equate to 77,099 GWh in 2011, while in July to March 2012-13 its consumption moves upward to 57,754 GWh from 56,930 GWh in corresponding period 2011-12  posting a fine  growth of 1.4 %.

Source: Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan

The installed capability in the PEPCO system is 20,986 MW as of June 2011; with hydro 6627 MV and thermal 14,359 MV. The hydropower capacity invoice for 31.5%, thermal 65.4% and nuclear 3.1%.

WAPDA is carrying on prerogative basis, the projects such as 969 MW- Neelum, Jhelum and 4500 MW Diamir Basha hydropower projects. Due to potent growing in fuel prices, the inexpensive hydropower obtained more enormousness then before the hydro generation computed for 3109% during July- March 2011-12. During year 2012-13 (up to March, 2013) it promoted 33.67% of the total generation.

The rage for hydro- thermal energy origination for the year 2012-2013 is given in the following:

Electricity Generation Hydro(Gwh) %age Thermal(Gwh) %age Total(Gwh) %change
July- March


22,273 -0.1 43,874 66.3 66,147 1.5

Source: Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pvt) Limited (PEPCO), National Transmission & Distribution Company Limited (NTDC)

The impersonation of transmission and primary lines network is very prominent to bring power from generation station to consumer’s network. The 132 kV transfiguration capacities which were 26569 in June 2010 have gone up to 30137 MVA in June 2012.As of March 2013, the number of consumers has been grown to 21.704 million. The vogue of flourishing in number of consumers during the last two year 2011-13 (July- March) is given in the following table:

Sectors Number of consumers


Numbers of consumers


Domestic 17,808,962 18,5623,80
Commercial 2,466,049 2,534,957
Industrial 284,049 294,660
Agriculture 282,639 297,932
Others 12,745 13,163
Total 20,854,444 21,703,092

Source: National Transmission & Dispatch Company Ltd, Water & Power Development Authority

Between the period 30th June 2012 to March 2013, 8995 was the progressive number of electrified villages. Even during the last years 2012-13, the consumption motif  stayed  the same having domestic stake industrial stake and agricultural, 43%, 26% and about 11% respectively.

The consumption of electricity by economic group for the last year 2012-13 is given below:

Source: National Transmission & Dispatch Company Ltd, Water & Power Development Authority

The PEPCO and DISCO’s have attempted to invoke many technical and superintendensive measures to upgrade operation and managerial expertness in order to truncate the power losses. They have given positive outcome in reduction of power losses and increase in revenues. Determined measures such as renovations, rehabilitation capacitor induction and reinforcing the transmission and allocation structure are the unceasing process to control/ reduce/ wastage of energy and power.

Finally this crisis has, more or less, plagued all sectors of Pakistan’s machinery spanning  from economy to trade, agriculture to social life, inflation to poverty and it is hindering national growth in a radical mode. Nonetheless, intimidate of energy crisis can be overwhelmed by government by adopting effectual policies and its strong implementation. Simultaneously, it is the duty of us, the citizens of Pakistan, to utilize the present energy astutely and prudently to play our due role for betterment of the country.