KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said the dispute between two utilities K-Electric (KE) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has been resolved as the SSGC has been issued directives to ensure required gas supply for power generation.

“SSGC will provide 190 MMCFD gas to K-Electric for power generation and even more if needed,” PM Abbasi said, addressing a press conference at the Governor House, here on Monday. He said Karachi city would have electricity as well as water that is supplied using electricity. He said his Adviser on Finance Miftah Ismail was assigned to determine within 15 days vis-à-vis details of outstanding dues.

“The KE has given a written statement that all its furnace oil plants are working to full capacity, suggesting that additional load-shedding being faced by the city is due to reduced gas supply,” he said. However, he made it clear that areas where power theft is rampant, electricity supply cannot be guaranteed. He said enough electricity is available in the system but the issue of theft has to be addressed.

Abbasi said the country had electricity production in surplus than its demand but it cannot afford to bear the burden of those who do not pay their bills and, therefore, load-shedding would continue in areas hit by electricity theft.

“Power load-shedding in Karachi will end completely when 100 per cent of the bills are paid,” he said, answering a question.

The Prime Minister said Centre has done a lot more for the Karachi. “If Sindh seeks buses for the Green Line project, we are ready to provide them as well,” he said.

Dismissing claims of over-billing, Abbasi assured that KE was operating according to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) tariffs and cannot charge more or less than the approved tariff.

KE reported KSWB was required to clear Rs52 billion dues while SSGC said Rs 80 billion dues were outstanding against KE, excluding Rs7bn security deposit required for increasing gas supply from contractual 10mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) to 190mmcfd.

Earlier, prime Minster presided over a special meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) that was called to resolve the dispute between the SSGC and KE. It was decided that the gas company would begin supplying 130 mmcfd of gas to K-Electric on Monday. The power utility company was earlier being supplied with 90 mmcfd gas.  Apart from this, SSGC will also supply 60 mmcfd of LNG to K-Electric.