Wapda power cuts cause heavy losses

ISLAMABAD — The ongoing country-wide announced and unannounced power cuts by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is causing huge financial losses daily to commercial and industrial consumers across Pakistan.

By From A Correspondent

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Published: Wed 30 Aug 2006, 8:42 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:04 PM

Informed source said that WAPDA has regretted to drastically cut the on going announced and unannounced load-shedding across Pakistan due to what it termed "faults on transmission/distribution networks and routine maintenance shutdowns on power stations".

WAPDA officials have apprised the higher authorities that the country-wide distribution network has grown dramatically and was in need of rehabilitation in order to restrict the technical losses within allowable limits.

The menace of load-shedding, Wapda said, could gradually be phased out with increase in system capacity due to generation units established by Independent Power producers (IPPs) and the Water and Power Development Authority.

"But despite expansion in plant capacity, occasional system outages are attributable to factors like faults in transmission and distribution and faults in generating sub-stations", Wapda informed the Planning and Development Division, the details of which were also made available to this correspondent.

To meet the ongoing serious power shortages, Wapda has, however, proposed a number of small and medium hydropower projects. In this behalf, it said, the State of Azad Jummu and Kashmir has abundant hydropower resources that await to be developed for generating cheap electricity.

"For this purpose, it is necessary that hydropower generation projects are planned and built at streams and river flowing in the area".

Sources said that in the absence of bigger hydropower projects like Kalabagh and Bhasha dams, Wapda sought adequate financially support to undertake small and medium hydropower stations in Azad Kashmir. The economic feasibility of these hydropower stations, wapda said, have been carried out on the basis of benefits to the overall economy as a consequence of least cost optimum development of hydroelectric potential in the State of AJK.

Initially, Wapda has identified Sharian Hydro Power Station of 3.2 MW which will cost Rs259.107 million and whose details had been studied jointly by the experts of Wapda and Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. There will be considerable indirect benefits in the shape of development of the area, which will promote tourism, trade, commerce and local employment. The project is proposed to be accommodated in the overall development for installation of hydro power generation plants in AJK. The increase in consumption of electricity is directly related to the increase in per capita income of the population.

Moreover, the growth in population is also estimated at about 3 per cent in AJK. With the availability of electricity, socio-economic activities also increase in the project area that further raises the standard of living. Wapda has proposed to install 2 units of 1600KW at the power station to be developed on available potential of 'Palihasa Nar', a right bank tributary of Jhelum river. The entire project area lies within District Muzaffarabad.

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