ISLAMABAD: (APP) Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Thursday expressed confidence to overcome load shedding by 2018 with the production of additional 11 ,000 MW power through under construction power projects .
"It is a possibility and I am confident it will be done by 2018. Since 2014, we are supplying uninterrupted power and gas to industry and the same will be case with domestic consumers," he said speaking in a private news channel programme.
When asked if there can be any technicalities in achieving this target, the minister said, even if in any worst scenario or any calamity (which I do not expect), we are able to produce 7000 to 8000 MW power, we shall be able to bridge the gap in supply and demand.
He said this year's peak demand was noted at 22000 to 23000 MW and if we calculate estimated 3000 to 4000MW additional demand till 2018, even then we shall be able to overcome load shedding .
He said two projects with the capacity of 3600 and 1300 MW shall be operative in single cycle before the 2017 summer season and would be functioning in combined cycle at the start of 2018.
Answering a question about transportation of fuel for the plants, the minister said, Pakistan Railways has ensured transportation of coal for the Sahiwal project. "Seeing the capacity of Railways that can only fulfill needs of Sahiwal plant, we did not take risk for coal plants at Rahimyar Khan or other sites."
He said Sahiwal plant is completing ahead of schedule and the Chinese government has also appreciated the hard work and commitment of the Punjab government.
When asked about capacity of transmission lines to carry the load, the minister said, for 3600MW capacity Balloki and Bahadurabad plants, transmission line is already there while the Sahiwal plant is also close to load center. "Therefore, there is no question of transmission problems. We already have our system there and it will cater to the needs for additional load."
The minister said with the passage of time there will also be improvement in transmission lines. Our Jamshoro and Guddu transmission lines have capacity to carry the load of 1320 MW to be produced from Karachi plant while for Chashma and Neelum Jhelum plants, the system is already in place.
Answering a question whether the existence of circular debt was failure of the government, he rejected the impression and said, "It is not a failure. We need to analyze this phenomenon.
This amount relates to state departments or the provinces."
He said even in the earlier payment of Rs 480 billion, the major chunk went to state owned entities as he rejected the allegation of that time about making the payment to favorite IPPs.
"The share of IPPs and private sector was nominal as major chunk had gone to state owned entities like Pakistan State Oil."
"Now again, these are internal payments. The situation is not so alarming as being portrayed rather it is well under control. It is a matter of subsidy and recoveries from state institutions and the provincial governments," he clarified.
The minister offered to brief those experts who have doubts about these projects and said, he and his ministry was available any time to brief them and update on the actual situation.