Power generation falls by 8.21 percent in March amid falling demand

Consumers likely to pay additional Rs27 billion in May bills as CPPA-G seeks hike of Rs2.94 per unit in tariff

ISLAMABAD   -   The power generation has declined by 8.21 percent in March 2024 as com­pared to the corresponding period last year mainly due to falling demand in the country. However, the cost of generation has increased as by 1.13 percent to Rs 8.3109 per unit in March from Rs 8.2173 per unit during the same month previous year.

The electricity consumers are likely to pay an additional Rs 27 billion in their May bills, as CPPA-G has sought a hike of Rs 2.9402 per unit in tariff on ac­count of fuel charges adjustments for March 2024. In a petition submitted to National Electric Power Regulatory Au­thority, on behalf of Ex-Wapda Discos (XWDiscos), the Central Power Purchas­ing Agency (CPPA) said that the refer­ence fuel charged from the consumers during March was Rs 6.4417 per unit, while the cost of the energy delivered to Discos was Rs 9.3819 per unit. Thus, it requested an increase of Rs 2.9402 per unit over the reference charges on ac­count of FCA for the month.

The increase also includes the pre­vious adjustments of Rs 7.615 billion or Re 0.9492 per unit. The petition, if accepted in full by Nepra, will burden the electricity consumers with an ad­ditional burden of over Rs 27 billion (FCA+GST). To consider the petition, NEPRA will conduct public hearing on 26th April 2024. Despite the fact that no electricity was generated from high speed diesel, furnace oil or im­ported coal, while the cost of RLNG based electricity also declined by 8.71 percent in March as compared to the corresponding period last years and cheap hydropower generation jumped by 10.76 percent, the cost of genera­tion had gone up in March 2024 vis-à-vis March 2023.The main reason for the increase was raise in the genera­tion cost of local coal, nuclear based power plants and Iranian electricity which had gone up by approximately 93.37 percent,43 per cent and 30 per cent respectively in March 2024 as compared to the same period last year.

However, as compared to the month of February 2024, generation increased while the cost of the generation had gone down in March 2024. The breakdown of the data, submitted with NEPRA, re­veals varying costs across different gen­eration sources, ranging from Rs 1.5488 per unit for nuclear to Rs 30.3729 per unit for electricity imported from Iran. As per the data shared with NEPRA, the CPPA-G informed that total of 8023 GWh was generated in March 2024, at the to­tal cost of energy was Rs 66,680 million or at Rs 8.3109 per unit. The generation in March was around 8 percent less than the generation of 8741 GWh during the same month last year. Net power deliv­ered to Discos was 7756 GWh at Rs72, 764 million or at Rs 9.3819 per unit with 2.96 transmission losses.

The data revealed that power genera­tion from hydel source was 2,217 GWh in March, constituting 27.63 per cent with zero cost of power generation. The local coal generation cost increased by 35.53 percent from Rs12.3794 per unit in Feb­ruary 2024 to Rs 16.7779 per unit. From local coal, power generation was down by 13.28 percent to 862 GWh in March from 994 GWh in the previous month. 

The electricity generated with lo­cal gas was 795 GWh (9.91pc) at Rs. 13.6857 per unit. RLNG based 1658 GWh or 20.67 per cent electricity was generated at Rs. 22.1917 per unit dur­ing the month. RLNG-based generation in March 2024 increased by 14.34 per­cent from 1,450 GWh in February. The RLNG per unit generation cost declined by 8.66 percent in March to Rs22.026 per unit from Rs 24.2952 per unit dur­ing the previous month. Likewise, 2,070 GWh or 25.79 per cent power genera­tion was from nuclear based plants at Rs. 1.5488 per unit, and imported Ira­nian energy cost Rs. 30.3729 per unit during March. Generation from nuclear sources increased by 24.70 percent from February 2024’s generation of 1,660 GWh. Power generation from ba­gasse was 78 GWh in March or 1.41 per cent at Rs 5.9822 per unit. The electrici­ty generated from wind was recorded at 205 GWh, 2.55 per cent of total genera­tion and solar 110 GWh or 1.37 per cent of the total generation in March 2024.

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