Pakistan Battle Power Shortage

PAKISTAN is battling a chronic power crisis and has announced measures to combat the problem, and like recent actions in Venezuela some draconian measures.

Addressing a press conference following a three-day energy conference that deliberated on the severe power shortage crisis Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani announced measures to save 500 MW daily through a series of strict measures; settlement of Rs 116 billion circular debt, five-day working week and closure of businesses at 8 pm.

Gilani added there would be no unscheduled load shedding and promised a 33 percent cut in the scheduled load shedding. “We will cut wherever it is necessary and focus on meeting the energy shortfall,” the prime minister said.

The Prime Minister said the government would concentrate on industrial and agriculture sectors to ensure that electricity was provided so that there was no negative impact on the economic development. He said the government would undertake four-pronged measures including Conservation - to save 500 MWs; Short-term measures to operate 10 IPPs for an immediate addition of 300 MWs and 1305 MWs by end of year, while, 605 MWs to be added through Rental power;

Minister for Water and Power outlined how the government is taking direct action amongst their administration. He stated all lights at government installations, including the offices of President, the Prime Minister and other public offices, would be halved saving 70 MW. Plus no unauthorized official can use an air-conditioner, with an authorized official only being able to use it after 11 am.

Public measures include alternate street lights only being used, saving 314 MW while power to billboards, commercial decorative lighting will be cut off saving 70 MW. The weekly off for industry will be staggered saving another 150 MW a day.

He said Tubewells will not operate at peak hours from 7 pm to 11 pm allowing 250 MW, all shops to close at 8 pm, like the rest of the world, apart from bakeries, pharmacies and clinics. Marriage halls can allow a function only for three hours at a time and provincial governments will decide about their timings.

Wednesday 28th April 2010

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