K-Electric, the electric supplier of Karachi, has announced to continue nighttime load-shedding due to curtailed fuel supply.
Earlier, KE had assured Sindh Government that it would not do load-shedding during night hours however the company retreated from its commitment.
In several areas of Karachi, the power outages are extending up to 12 hours, particularly between 11pm and 7am, for which KE blames inadequate fuel supply for power generation.
In a statement, the electric company said, “In light of the ongoing power supply constraints, K-Electric today announced a rationalized load-shedding schedule for its customers. The revised schedule is effective July 1, 2022. This step is being taken to provide relief to customers experiencing nighttime load-shedding.”
The shortfall in KE territory has increased from an average of 250 MW – 350 MW to almost 450 MW – 500 MW due to rising temperatures and curtailed fuel supply.
Moreover, the shortfall persists round the clock making nighttime load-shedding unavoidable.
“KE is also facing a power supply constraint due to reduced gas supplies from SSGC, which is down to approximately 90 MMCFD versus the 200 MMCFD gas that was supplied last year.”
“Consequently, two plants in KE’s system, one at SITE and one at Korangi, with a combined generation of 200MW, remain non-operational.
The release of KE dues from the government against tariff claims will enable KE to pay fuel suppliers in full and negotiate for more gas,“ the statement read.
As per KE spokesperson, “This revision in timing is in line with our discussion with various stakeholders including the Ministry of Energy Sindh as well as Commissioner Karachi.”
“We are making every endeavor to seek support in mitigating these issues, he added and said, “Unfortunately, at this time there is a power shortfall at the national level as well as the shortage of gas and RLNG in the country.”
“We are grateful to the Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Sheikh for his pledge to solicit additional power and gas to further reduce nighttime load-shedding. In the meanwhile, and due to limited and finite energy sources, we have redistributed the load-shedding timings amongst the customers.”
“The updated schedule of the new load-shedding regime has been made publicly available on KE’s website. Consumers can use their account numbers to find their individual schedules. KE is also duly communicating to registered consumers via KE’s SMS service. With that said, the uninterrupted power supply will continue to feeders powering Karachi’s industrial zones and strategic feeders including those energizing KWSB and strategic installations such as Karachi Airport,” the spokesperson added.
The load-shedding schedule in place is applicable on a daily recurring basis. Interruptions in power supply due to necessary maintenance on the network, or due to technical faults should not be equated with load-shedding.
With reports of protests being received from across the city, the spokesperson stated, “This is a difficult time for the country in terms of the power supply situation. Global economic challenges are creating vulnerabilities in the fuel supply chain, which is also affecting K-Electric. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience being caused to our consumers. While we recognize the right to protest, at the same time we request our citizens to maintain peace. Over the last 30 days, various KE offices have been the target of protests, which are impairing KE’s ability to conduct its operations in the city.”
The utility appealed to the citizens of Karachi to limit the impact of the shortages by continuing to reduce the usage of electricity by at least 20% and switching off all non-essential items.
JI stages sit-in
Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) staged a sit-in outside KE’s head office on Friday. A huge number of protesters gathered at the location and chanted slogans against the company.
JI Karachi Chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman demanded the government take notice of the worst load-shedding in the megacity and called for putting an end to it.
He accused all major political parties of siding with KE owing to which they were silent on the issue.
Rehman said KE had usurped Rs42 billion and demanded the company’s audit of the last 17 years.