PM orders ‘minimal’ power outages in summer


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday directed “minimal” power outages during summer so that the consumers do not face any inconvenience.
Chairing a high-level meeting at the PM House, Nawaz ordered legal action against gas and electricity thieves. He said that power theft is a heinous crime, which is unacceptable and that urgent measures should be taken to bring an end to it. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of State for Water & Power Abid Sher Ali, Secretary Water & Power, Secretary Petroleum and other senior government officers.
The PM was briefed regarding the overall electricity/ gas network and distribution system. The PM commented that his government has devised the essential legal measures that are to be taken into account against any power theft. Sharif was informed that smart meters for 11 KV grids have been installed. He directed that electricity dues should be recovered on priority basis and a report in this regard be presented in a week. He further directed for action against ‘negligent heads of distribution companies.’ Sharif was also detailed about the loadshedding schedule planned for next four months.
During the proceedings of the meeting, it was revealed that Pakistan has a total gas network of 146,628 km with 7,005,417 consumers. Out of the 2,715 mmcfd in the year 2012-13, 764 mmcfd were supplied to domestic consumers, 112 mmcfd to commercial consumers, 320 mmcfd to power  sector, 89 mmcfd to fertilizer, 463 mmcfd to industry and captive sector, 274 mmcfd to CNG while 375 mmcfd were unaccounted for. In addition, 1,021 mmcfd were dedicated for power and fertilizer plants. 
Nawaz Sharif was briefed that the unaccounted for gas (UFG) was calculated as the difference between total volume purchased and the total volume sold to consumers by gas utility companies during a financial year. He was informed that 30 to 40 per cent of the total UFG was from leakages and same percentage from theft and 20 to 25 per cent was due to errors in the meters.   
In the year 2012-13, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) network had UFG of 210 mmcfd (12 per cent) whereas Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGC) had 115 mmcfd (10 per cent) of UFG in its network. The PM was informed that various short-term measures such as theft control, pressure profiling, leak rectification and replacement of defective meters had been taken to control UFG.  In addition, medium and long term measures including segmentation of distribution network, pipeline rehabilitation, and improvement of measurement accuracy and protection of steel network were being adopted. The meeting briefed that measures had also been taken including installation of cyber door-locks on meters of industrial and CNG consumers, installation of bulk meters in no-go areas to quantify gas theft by non-customers, and bulk and CNG customers connected through dedicated metered lines for monitoring. In addition during the meetings discussions also took place for Gas (Theft Control & Recovery) Ordinance that would be put in use for ensuring an end to gas theft.

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