In-efficiency, delayed decisions of PTI's govt main reasons for unabated load-shedding.

ISLAMABAD -- In sizzling summer, the country and the people have to bear brunt of power load-shedding is mainly due to in-efficiency of the former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for not taking timely decisions to arrange fuel for power plants besides intentionally slowing pace of work on Pakistan's cheaper and indigenous power projects.

Coupled with high and rising energy prices in the international market, Pakistan's power sector is almost in the operation theatre and simply keeps it going is a miracle of a kind not known before in this sector.

According to documents available with reporter, the previous government delayed 720 MW Karot Hydro and 1214 MW Shanghai Thar coal indigenous power projects on account of lack of ownership, project monitoring and failure to fulfill contractual commitments on already completed projects respectively, thus delaying financial close. The previous government either did not understand the CPEC's energy framework or was simply out there to strangle it to slow but sure death.

The government's failure to open revolving account for completed projects like Sahiwal Coal and Hub Power meant no further financing for energy sector under CPEC umbrella.

Similarly, another high RLNG based 1263 MW efficient Trimmu project has been delayed for more than three years due to ill-placed enthusiasm for witch hunt through NAB and then deliberate delay in achieving financial close.

Had the said three projects having accumulative capacity of 3200 MW been completed in time, load shedding in urban Pakistan would not have been witnessed despite high energy prices in the international market.

The PTI government also failed to enter into long-term LNG contracts when LNG price was lowest at the international market. There has been lack of planning to execute long term contract for purchasing RLNG.

During COVID-19 (Mid 2020) the RLNG prices went far lower in the international market, but that opportunity of buying RLNG at USD 3 to 5 per MMBTU was not availed by the then government and no long-term contact was entered at that stage.

If such contract had been signed, consumers would have received much lower...

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