KARACHI: K-Electric’s generation capacity continues to remain impaired owing to reduced gas supply from SSGC.
While the power utility is maximizing all available generation fleet to provide maximum relief to the people, adequate gas is imperative to normalize the power situation in the city.
In addition to supplying the city through power generated through own sources, the power utility is also using power from IPPs and national grid to provide approximately 2,300 MW power to Karachi. With adequate gas supply been available to KE during this time, the total available generation would have enabled KE to ensure that supply situation in the city remained normal. The urgent need of 190MMCFD gas required by K-Electric is further asserted in the summary of the report issued by NEPRA yesterday.
In its preliminary comments on the summary, K-Electric further highlights that the Bin Qasim Power Station-I is the only dual-fuel plant within KE’s existing generation fleet, having a dependable capacity of 989 MW and currently generating close to 800 MW. The plant has 6 units out of 5 are operational and one is undergoing maintenance.
The fact that this one unit is offline is already part of public record and mentioned in our earlier statements. It may be noted that under normal circumstances with adequate gas supply, maintenance would not have created any issue, as KE had enough generation capacity available which would have enabled it to manage demand before the start of peak summer season (i.e. May and June). KE continues to make all efforts to bring the said unit online at the earliest.
The facility of alternate High Speed Diesel involves technical parameters and considerations and as such currently, the gas fired plants are not in a position to immediately switch to any alternate fuel. The process to initiate this conversion / commissioning is lengthy and therefore an immediate solution to bring these plants online remains the provision of required gas.
The historic trend of natural gas supplied to KE which is backed by ECC’s allocation of 276 MMCFD gas supply to KE remains the primary reason for continued reliance on gas to power these plants.
The regulatory authority in its determination for Licensee Proposed Modification (LPM) in the matter of KE’s Generation License in 2013 also acknowledged SSGC’s commitment of supplying KE with 276 MMCFD of gas.
Had there been sufficient notice from SSGC to either reduce and / or not increase the gas to the optimum level, proper decision making would have been done to avoid the situation faced due to unannounced gas curtailment. —NNI