The recent load shedding, in spite of the surplus electricity, caused the merger of two power sector agencies, Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) and Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB).
The decision was taken in the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) meeting headed by the Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar on Thursday.
Ali Raza, the Secretary of Power presented the reason and the meeting which was opposed by the Federal Minister for Railway, Azam Swati, and Tauseef H Farooqui, the Chairman National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).
The reason for the power failure, the country faced in the form of load shedding a few days ago, was presented by the Power Division.
Govt okayed proposal to merge AEDB and PPIB power agencies
The Committee agreed to the proposal, presented by the Power Division to merge the AEDB and PPIB power agencies and recommended its submission to the Federal Cabinet for formal approval. The suggestion of the merger was approved about five years ago by the then Federal Cabinet but it could not be materialized due to the change of the government.
According to the report of the Power Division, electricity shortage and load shedding were due to the combination factors including a drop in electricity generation at Tarbela and fuel supply disruption faced by the Coal Power Plant at Sahiwal due to train accident along with the localized transmission constraint. The higher demand for electricity by the industrial sector and unusual rise in temperature of the country also caused the shortage.
Chairman NEPRA did not agree to these reasons and said that the closure of some power plants against the advice of the regulator was another important reason and the non-availability of liquefied natural gas (LNG) when it was needed.
Meanwhile, Azam Swati, the Federal Minister for Railway too did not agree to the points, presented by the Power Division. He said that the railway track was repaired well in time and he personally ensured the first coach carrying coal was cleared within the period of 24 hours.