WEB DESK: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Tuesday approved the highest-ever refund of Rs 4.11 per unit for consumers of power Distribution Companies (Discos) for January 2016 under monthly fuel price adjustment mechanism.Presided over by Chairman Nepra, Brig. Tariq Saddozai (retired).
The Authority also announced that it would take legal action against Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA)/ National Power Control Centre (NPCC) for purchasing electricity from power plants which produce expensive electricity and not sharing real time data with the regulator despite repeated reminders. CPPA, in its tariff petition, recommended a refund of only Rs 3.38 per unit in January.
According to the applicable criteria tailored in the light of agreements with the lenders including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, only those consumers are qualified for refund who consume above 300 units a month which implies that lower income groups are not eligible for refund. The new tariff is also not applicable on K-Electric consumers.
Hearing the CPPA’s tariff petition filed under the monthly fuel price adjustment mechanism, Nepra officials said that consumers of Discos will be refunded Rs 20 billion for January in February bills. According to the CPPA, fuel cost of electricity delivered to Discos was Rs 6.4817 per unit in January 2016 against a reference price of Rs 9.8670 per unit. Total energy generated from all sources was 6,770 GWh in January 2016 at a cost of Rs 37.5 billion. However, the CPPA delivered 6,503 GWh to Discos at a cost of Rs 42.151 billion. The financial impact of transmission losses has been recorded at 3.79 percent or 256.43 GWh. However, the CPPA failed to submit total amount of transmission losses but said per unit cost of transmission losses stood at Rs 0.2560 per unit. In January, hydel generation was recorded at 842.95 GWh which was 12.45 percent of total generation, HSD 367.30 GWh (5.43 percent share) at a cost of Rs 12.42 per unit, RFO 338.4 GWh (50 percent of total generation) at a cost of Rs 6.27 per unit, gas 1717.8 GWh at a cost of Rs 6.0162 per unit and nuclear 280.64 GWh at a cost of Rs 1.12 per unit. Pakistan imported 33 .33 GWh electricity in January from Iran at a cost of Rs 10.6 per unit. Cost of electricity mix has been calculated at Rs 7.81 per unit.
Nepra rejected a claim of Rs 4.42 billion of CPPA due to purchase of expensive electricity from Nandipur Power Project. According to Nepra officials, CPPA produced expensive electricity from Nandipur Power Project on open cycle due to which fuel cost increased and said that the CPPA will not be allowed to pass on Rs 4.42 billion to consumers.
Chairman Nepra expressed serious displeasure at CPPA/ NPCC for getting electricity from expensive thermal power plants and directed Nepra officials to take a strict legal action against the responsible organisations. He argued that in December 2015, CPPA/ NPCC produced expensive electricity from diesel and furnace oil fired power plants and did not run those plants which produce cheap electricity. Nepra had given instructions to CPPA in January to desist from repeating this in future but it was not implemented.
Senior Member Nepra Khawaja Naeem stated that NTDC had been directed to provide access to real time data of power plants and merit order regularly but it was not honoured. Nepra officials maintained that electricity can be produced from Saba Power, Japan and Sepcol power at Rs 5 per unit but no one was bothered to do so and these plants were dysfunctional.
“These plants which are near the load centre are the property of Pakistani nation because the price of these plants has already been paid,” said the officials. NTDC has been directed to sit with the management of the three power plants and submit a report to the regulator. Chairman Nepra quizzed why electricity is not being purchased from 747 MW Guddu, Engro and Foundation’s plants. General Manager NPCC, Muhamamd Ilyas replied that these plants were closed due to problems in transmission line, adding that the issue will be resolved in three months. Nepra also directed CPPA to hold an inquiry on increase in transmission losses and charge-sheet the concerned officials and submit a report to the regulator.