The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Friday approved Rs2.868 per unit positive fuel cost adjustment (FCA), having an impact of Rs29 billion for March for Ex-WAPDA power distribution companies.
According to a notification issued by the regulator, the FCA shall be charged in the billing month of May 2022 to all consumer categories of XWDISCOs, except lifeline consumers. It said the FCA would remain applicable only for a month. However, it would not be applicable to K-Electric consumers.
The Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA-G) had requested a positive FCA of Rs3.1574/kWh, having an impact of Rs32 billion.
However, the authority approved a positive FCA of Rs2.8680/kWh, having an impact of around Rs29 billion.
On the other hand, the NEPRA approved a Rs1.386 per unit increase in tariff for K-Electric consumers for February under monthly FCA mechanism. The tariff increase would have an impact of Rs 1,586 million and is to be recovered in the billing of May, said a notification.
The KE had requested the FCA of Rs3.452/kWh having an impact of Rs3,950 million. However, the authority approved an FCA of Rs1.3863/kWh for the month of February 2022. The FCA’s shall be applicable to all the consumer categories, except lifeline consumers, according to the notification issued in this regard.
On the other hand, NEPRA on Friday imposed a fine of Rs50 million on the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) for its “inability to restore power supply in a timely manner” in the wake of the “total power system collapse” that occurred in January 2021.
According to the regulator, it took approximately 20 hours to restore the system.
In a press release, NEPRA said that it had taken serious notice of the incident and constituted an inquiry committee to investigate the matter in light of its laws, rules and regulations.
“The committee conducted the said inquiry and presented a detailed report to the authority on the basis of which the authority initiated legal proceedings against the NTDC,” the statement said.
It further stated that an explanation was issued to the company on April 1, 2021, followed by a show-cause notice on August 25, 2021.
Moreover, an opportunity for a hearing was also granted to the NTDC on January 12, 2022; however, the NTDC failed to provide any satisfactory response and was found guilty of violating the relevant provisions of the grid code. “Therefore, the authority has imposed a fine of Rs50 million on the NTDC,” the statement said.
The regulator also pointed out that it had initiated legal proceedings against the power plants concerned for their “lapses, deficiencies and failure” in relation to the incident. It said this was currently “under process and being dealt [with] separately”.
In January 2021, a major power breakdown had plunged the entire country, including major urban centres such as Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Multan, into darkness for up to 22 hours a little before midnight. At the time, then energy minister Omar Ayub Khan had attributed the breakdown to a technical fault at the Guddu power station.
A month later, an independent inquiry committee appointed by NEPRA found serious violations of safety and security protocols and severe deficiencies in the country’s power system operations, starting from generation facilities both in the public and private sector to the entire transmission network.