Urban centers exempt from blackouts as deficit worsens

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LAHORE: The government has decided to exempt major urban centers from crippling power cuts as the electricity deficit is expected to worsen after a long weekend following the Eid al-Fitr holiday, hampering the economy and disheartening foreign investors.

However, power outages will continue in the most deficit neighborhoods. The situation is likely to get worse as summer intensifies, when air conditioners are running at full blast.

Reports citing sources with knowledge of the matter say the deficit, calculated at around 9,000 megawatts at the end of April, fell to 1,000 megawatts in the first weekend after Eid al-Fitr.

“Power generation currently stands at 22,000 megawatts against demand of 21,000 megawatts,” the sources said, adding that demand and supply from Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) also stood at 3 700 megawatts.

Meanwhile, pakistan today reported in April the The Lesco system was overloaded and the shortfall exceeds 1,500 megawatts.

“Lesco’s power supply quota remains at 3,400 megawatts against a demand of 4,900 megawatts,” the report said, adding that the overload resulted in an interruption in the supply of several network stations, causing power outages in the city.

It is likely that a new electricity supply schedule will be released on Monday keeping in mind the demand and supply of the commodity across the country.

Supply is expected to improve due to the operation of shutdown plants.

Interestingly, only a year ago Pakistan was producing more electricity than it needed. The large-scale construction of new power plants – largely coal-fired and financed by China – has significantly increased the country’s energy capacity.

“It’s true. We are producing much more than what we need,” said Tabish Gauhar, former special assistant to then-prime minister Imran Khan in power. Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Currently, the country derives 64% of its electricity from fossil fuels, another 27% from hydroelectricity, 5% from nuclear energy and only 4% from renewable energies such as solar and wind energy.


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