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Power outages in summer to be reduced: Abid Sher Ali

14 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Government is working on different hydropower projects that would add 2500 MW power to the national grid during the ongoing year, consequently reducing power outages to eight hours.

State minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said this while addressing to the journalists at Tarbela dam, He said that government would enhance load shedding in the areas where bills are not paid and minimize it in high recovery areas.

Government has decided to work out a policy to cut power supply to the consumers who do not pay bills in a bid to exempt those consumers from load shedding paying 100 per cent bills.

At the occasion, he announced that in coming summer season power outages would be minimize to eight hours rather than of 18 to 20 hours as in last season.

He said that government had stopped power supply in area of Bannu where power losses stood at 99.9 per cent and however, people in that area had high jacked the power station in an attempt to restore power supply.

To a query Abid Sher Ali said that during current fiscal year government would provide total subsidy of Rs 240 billion adding that, out of it, Rs 142 to 147 billion subsidy would be given in power sector despite increase in electricity rates. Government has paid Rs 127 billion subsidy in its first six months of current fiscal year 2013-14.

He said that government was also working on LNG import which would enable the country to add 2000 to 3000 MW power in the national grid this year by operating those plants which were shut down due to non-availability of gas.

Government paid huge amount of Rs 480 billion under circular debt that was enough to complete mega power project in a country to produce cheaper electricity.

The minister informed that Tarbela 4th Extension project which would be completed in year 2017 and government is negotiating with World Bank for providing loan for 5th Extension Tarbela dam project which would be completed in the same year.

"The total hydro power generation capacity is 6800 MW and government would be able to produce 6208 MW by only Tarbela dam after its extension," Abid said adding that government was seeking a loan which would be repaid in three years. "Tarbela dam extension projects will result in additional earning of Rs 30 billion per annum.

He said that Prime Minister had released Rs 20 billion funds for 969 MW Neelum Jhelum hydropower project and 63 per cent work on this project had been completed.

He maintained that government was also working on 4600 MW Dasu hydropower project for which World Bank would provide $ 700 million loan. The work was also underway on 4500 MW Diamer dam for which government had released Rs 17 billion.

End.

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