KE seeks Nepra’s support to get additional power


ISLAMABAD: Karachi Electric (KE) has sought National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (Nepra’s) support to get additional 400MW electricity from the national grid which will partially help meet power demand-supply gap for 2021, sources in Nepra told Business Recorder.

In a letter, KE has requested Chairman Nepra to extend support in terms of getting the required approvals in time so that the necessary rehabilitation works can be started and completed in a timely manner, which would enable KE to utilize excess capacity available in the National Grid and avoid adverse implications of widening power demand-supply gap in the coming years.

The power utility has also shared the letter with the Chairman Nepra, written to Power Division in which there is a reference to a letter sent on July 13, 2020 and the subsequent meeting with NTDC on Tuesday July 14, 2020 regarding different options to draw additional power from the national grid.

“Among others, a solution was discussed whereby additional drawal of 400MW through the rehabilitation of NTDC’S 220kV Double Circuit between Jamshoro Grid (NTDC) and KDA Grid (KE) was explored in addition to extended supply of 700 MW from NKI Interconnection through “Cross Trip” scheme,” the sources quoted the KE as saying in its letter to Power Division.

KE maintains that while this is the most technically feasible option to partially meet the demand supply gap next summer, after the commission of the first unit of BQPS III, some improvisation and quick upgrades will have to be undertaken by NTDC. The required work can be completed within next ten months and would result in taking total supply from the National Grid to 1,100 MW from the existing interconnection points.

According to the KE, in the meeting, NTDC agreed to evaluate the possibility and carry out necessary rehabilitation on this interconnection before next summer to ensure power can be safely evacuated from this with contingency margin. It was conveyed in the meeting that NTDC may face challenges in the tendering and procurement process, which may go up to one year, delaying the rehabilitation work by several months. To this end, KE agreed to procure the hardware material as per agreed list on NTDC’s behalf and the payment / settlement / adjustment mechanism may be agreed later.

“We also request NTDC to ensure timely appointment of contractors / subcontractors to perform the rehabilitation works on delivery of hardware material by KE to ensure the completion of works latest by March 2021,” the sources quoted CEO KE as saying in the letter.

In addition to this, KE also discussed a detailed work plan during the meeting whereby KE will carry out a system study (Specifically Stability Study) regarding the import of 700-800MW through NKI and 300-400MW through Jamsharoo KDA circuits to be undertaken by a consultant. It was agreed that the said study will be carried out by KE within a period of three months.

The power utility argues that it is very crucial that all approvals for this project are fast tracked, given the urgency of the matter. These include approvals by the Ministry and the CCoE so that NTDC can start work by November 2020 and meet the completion timeline of March 2021.

“KE is able to order the material however we request NTDC/ CPPA to confirm that it has approvals to rehabilitate the lines and provide the additional supply to KE. Please note that even with the current plan, these hardware will be required to be airlifted to enable NTDC to complete the rehabilitation on or before the next summer (May 2021) so that the growing gap in the supply and demand can be partially filled,” KE reportedly stated.