Electricity generation surge 3.0 percent in July 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s overall electricity generation surged 3.0 percent to 14,231 Gwh in July 2019 as against 13,751 Gwh in the corresponding period last year, data released by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) suggests.

“Slender rise in power generation during the month is attributed to improvement in hydel and coal based generation, which exhibited a hefty increase of 19 percent and 17 percent in July,” an analyst at Pearl Securities said.

Coal based power generation incremented 17 percent in July as government is committed to increase reliance on low cost power generation.

Hydel power generation increased 19 percent owing to maximum power generation from Tarbela Hydel Power Station, Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project and Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project.

Fuel oil (RFO) based electricity generation declined 39 percent in July due to government’s shift towards other sources of power generation, which are significantly cheaper than RFO based generation.

With the exception of coal based plants who recorded 7.0 percent in their cost of generation in Jluy to Rs5.62/Kwh, cost pertaining to other sources of power generation recorded notable rise during the month. Cost of RFO based electricity generation surged 10 percent to Rs14.92/kWh, cost of gas based generation surged 27 percent to Rs6.38/kWh and cost of RLNG based generation surged 15 percent to Rs14.29/Kwh in July.

Share of hydel power increased to 32.5 percent in overall electricity generation in July 2019, while share of coal based generation arrived inched up to 14.3 percent. Moreover, RLNG share remained flat at 24.7 percent, whereas RFO share plunged to a meager 5.5 percent and share of gas declined to 11.8 percent during July 2019.

Analysts believe RLNG, coal and hydel based generation would continue to increase their foothold in country’s overall generation mix. However, with IMF restrictions hindering issuance of Rs200 billion Sukuk issue by the government, the delay in resolution of mammoth circular debt will not only lead to accumulation of receivables but also impact the liquidity position of producers negatively.

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