The recently released report titled: “Performance evaluation report of public sector GENCOs FY14-16” by the power regulator Nepra, has whitewashed the claims made by the government of the brilliant performance of GENCOs. The report actually establishes anything but that.

Most energy experts opine that the role of the government in the power sector is best kept to a minimum. This is not without justification given the poor performance of not only GENCOs, which come under direct control of the government, but also the transmission and distribution sectors whose health is equally dire.

According to Nepra, “In a nutshell, the data provided by GENCOs presents a poor state of affairs at GENCO’s power stations resulting from equipment deterioration, lack of scheduled & preventive maintenance, insufficient technical expertise and poor management.” As the power ministry does not believe in providing timely disclosure of data to the regulator, reports mostly come with a lag. This one is based on data acquired for the FY14-16, but sources tell BR Research there has been little improvement since then. The government has instead chosen to focus on setting up R-LNG power plants which are currently experiencing teething issues. Although, Nepra notes that improving GENCOs performance is vital since they can still provide a significant share of overall power requirement.

Findings of the report establish that during FY14-16, all GENCOs consumed excess auxiliary power over the allowed limit with an energy loss of around 668 M.KWh during service mode. Almost half of the 668 M.KWh loss was due to TPS Muzaffargarh (GENCO-III)!

In addition, the availability factors (AF) for various GENCOs were below the guaranteed availability. For example, Nandipur power plant remained around 71 percent in 2015-16 against the guaranteed availability of 82 percent while Guddu 747’s AF remained around 65 percent against the guaranteed availability of 80 percent. Lakhra Power Station (GENCO-IV) performed the worst with an AF of 26 percent in 2014-15 and 25 percent in 2015-16.

Various GENCOs also remained on standby mode for most part during the years 2014-15 and 2015-16 which resulted in lost potential to generate a significant amount of economically efficient energy. This column will comment on further findings from the report in the coming days.