ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has slapped a fine of Rs 10 million on M/s National Transmission & Despatch Company Limited (NTDC) on account of undue delay in power evacuation projects (i.e. transmission lines for power plants) and development works (i.e. 500kV & 220kV grid stations). NDCT is being headed by a Joint Secretary of the Power Division.

The Authority has taken a serious note of abnormal delay in completion of interconnection arrangement for 404MW Uch-II power plant (i.e. 220kV Uch-II to Sibi, Transmission Line, 125 km). Uch-II is one of the cheapest gas-based power plants currently operating on interim arrangement. The plant was commissioned in April 2014 and has been underutilized due to incomplete interconnection arrangement. A similar case is that of 747MW Guddu new power plant which was commissioned in April 2014 and is still operating on interim arrangement despite the lapse of almost four years.

Furthermore, as per contract 220kV Mansehra, 220kV Chakdara, 220kV D. I. Khan and 220kV Nowshera grid stations were required to be completed by December 2016. However, these grid stations are still not completed; consequently certain areas of KPK which include Mansehra, Hazara, Swat, D.I Khan are facing low voltage and power supply constraints.

According to Nepra, 500kV Rahim Yar Khan grid station is delayed by 6 years, 220 kV Dera Murad Jamali grid stations is delayed by four years and 220kV Ghazi road Lahore grid station is delayed by more than 1 year. The work is ongoing on these grid stations. Moreover, 220kV Chishtian and 220 kV Gujrat grid stations have been completed with a delay of three year and two years, respectively.

Nepra maintains that delay in projects has not only caused serious technical and financial complications but also resulted in low voltage and extended hours of load shedding.

NTDC being a National Grid Company within the purview of Section 18 of the Nepra Act is responsible for operating and providing safe, reliable transmission and interconnection services to power plants. Moreover, the Authority, in its instruction of September 11, 2015 directed NTDC to expedite work on all delayed projects and ensure their completion as per contractual completion dates. However, NTDC failed to fulfil its obligation under Nepra Act and also failed to comply with directions of the Authority.

Explanation followed by a Show Cause Notice was issued to NTDC on 16.11.2016 and 5.5.2017, respectively. A hearing of NTDC was also held on August 29, 2017. —MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN