Discos’ technical losses stand at Rs56bn in July-May
ISLAMABAD: The Power Division has stated that technical losses of distribution companies were Rs56 billion during July-May of the current fiscal year and the only solution to losses is to focus on transmission and distribution system.
A subcommittee meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Power, presided over by Nauman Wazir Khattak, Thursday expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the Power Division to prevent unabated theft and line losses in the sector and stated that huge losses incurred by the sector are being charged from consumers.
The committee did not agree to the claim of Power Division about Rs56 billion technical losses during July-May of the current fiscal year and decided to call National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in the next meeting to check veracity of the figure. However, the Power Division official contended, “There is only one solution to power sector and circular debt and that is to focus on transmission and distribution system; otherwise, the losses will continue to be transferred in the circular debt.”
The Power Division officials also pointed out that interference in the affairs of power sector in appointments of BoDs and selection of chief executive officers was also a factor behind poor performance. They sought committee’s help to improve DISCOs’ performance by ensuring appointment of BoDs and CEOs of DISCOs purely on merit for a minimum fixed tenure of two years.
The Power Division stated if the committee gets these things done, it will be the single largest contribution to improve performance of the power sector.
Breakup of Rs56 billion technical and line losses was given to the committee included; Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO), Rs5.797 billion, Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO), Rs33 million, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company, Rs541 million, Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), Rs746 million, Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO), Rs3.105 billion, Peshawar Electric Supply Company Limited (PESCO), Rs26.718 billion, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company HESCO, Rs7.816 billion, Sukkur Electric supply Company (SEPCO), Rs10.374 billion, and Quetta Electric Supply Company Limited (QUESCO), Rs.954 million.
The Power Division also suggested short-term and long-term technical measures to eliminate theft and line losses and wanted; (i) network reconfiguration; (ii) better management of distribution transformers; (iii) load balancing and load management; (iv) capacitor installation; (v) and improving joints and connections as well as regular maintenance of distribution network and retrieval of data of every replaced static meter to deal with technical losses on short tem basis.
While long technical measures to eliminate theft and line losses included: (i) mapping of existing distribution network; (ii) introduction of low loss transformers; (iii) distribution system management; (iv) and introduction of advance metering infrastructure (AMI) as well as introduction of pre-paid metering.
The administrative measures to eliminate theft and line losses suggested to the committee by the Power Division included; (i) frequent checking of high consumption connections, both industrial and commercial; (ii) correct meter reading by printing meter reading image on the electricity bills; (iii) and speedy replacement of defective meters as well as disconnected premises should not be allowed to use electricity from any other source and amendment in the Electricity Act to enhance the punishment. The proposed administrative measures to deal with losses and power theft also included regular rotation of meter readers and meter inspectors, disciplinary action against employees involved in theft and lodging of FIRs against those involved in power theft.