ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) Wednesday approved a reduction of up to Rs 0.68 per unit in tariffs of Distribution Companies (Discos) for March 2021, under monthly fuel price adjustment formula.  

Presided over by Chairman, Nepra, Tauseef H Farooqi, the Authority showed reluctance in passing on impact of Rs 456 million to consumers which was made part of the requested increase due to use of furnace oil.  

The Authority was informed that SNGPL failed to ensure supply of RLNG for nearly two weeks as its LNG vessel was blocked in the Suez Canal. Its impact in tariff has been calculated at Rs 0.05 per unit. CPPA-G in its petition sought a reduction of Rs 0.6286 per unit in tariff.  The total impact of this reduction is likely to be over Rs 5 billion.  

During the hearing, Nepra Chairman also urged officials of National Power Control Centre (NPCC) and Central Power Purchasing Agency Guaranteed (CPPA-G) to coordinate with the technical team of Nepra to fine tune the data before presenting it to the Authority. Both the representatives of CPPA-G and NPCC agreed to prepare a “consensus” paper for the Authority.  

According to the data submitted to Nepra, in March 2021, hydel generation recorded at 1,740.58 GWh which constituted 19.42 per cent of total generation in the entire month. Power generation from coal-fired power plants was 2,734.39 GWh (30.50 per cent of total generation) at a rate of Rs 7.26 per unit, no generation from HSD, RFO- 67.98b GWh (2.62 per cent of total generation) at Rs 11.92 per unit.  

Electricity generation from gas-based power plants was 1,036.22 GWh (11.56 per cent) at Rs 7.65 per unit, RLNG - 1,892.77  GWh (21.11 per cent of total generation) at Rs 9.07 per unit, nuclear - 940 .16 GWh at Rs 1.03 per unit (21.11 per cent of total generation), and electricity imported from Iran was 38.70 GWh at Rs 9.3696 per unit.  

The price of mixed generation, ie, from different sources was 20.88 GWh at a price of Rs 5.1788 per unit, generation from baggasse recorded at 98.08 GWh at Rs 5.8922 per unit.  

The energy generated from wind recorded at 169.52 GWh, 1.89 per cent of total generation and solar at 66.37 GWh, just 0.74 per cent of total generation in March 2021.  

The total energy generated recorded 8,964.90 GWh, at a basket price of Rs 5.5455 per unit. The total cost of energy was Rs 49.715 billion. CPPA-G also sought a reduction of Rs 349 million in previous adjustments.  The sale to IPPs was also reduced by 39.85 GWh, the price of which was Rs 999 million while the cost of reduced transmission losses was Rs 410.4 million or Rs 0.1953 per unit.  

According to the CCPA-G data, net electricity delivered to Discos in August was 8,614.55 GWh at a rate of Rs 5.6146 per unit in March 2021, total price of which was Rs 59.482 billion.  

CPPA-G in its tariff petition argued that reference fuel charges for March 2021 were estimated at Rs 6.2295 per unit whereas the actual fuel charges were Rs 5.6146 per unit, hence a reduction of Rs 0.61 per unit was sought.  

During discussion, Nepra’s technical team stated that total financial impact due to deviation from Economic Merit Order (EMO) was Rs 676.8 million, of which Rs 220.43 million related to RLNG shortage whereas financial impact of underutilization of efficient plants was Rs 456.37 million.  

General Manager NPCC, Abbas Memon clarified that the main reason for not running RLNG based plants was non-availability of fuel, adding that to meet demand some furnace oil-fired plants were operated from March 18 to March 31 as the LNG shipment was stuck in the Suez Canal.  

Chairman Nepra directed NPCC to sit with Nepra officials and resolve this dispute by Friday (tomorrow) otherwise disputed amount will be passed on to the consumers.  

After hearing the arguments of stakeholders, Chairman Nepra stated that reduction will be between Rs 0.63 to Rs 0.68 per unit in March 2021. However, lifeline consumers will not be eligible for this benefit.—MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN