NTDC moves against license granted to Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company

KARACHI: The National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) has filed a review motion against the license awarded to Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company (STDC) to act as a provincial grid company.

NTDC in its motion submitted the decision of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to license STDC is contrary to the Constitution of Pakistan and settled norms of law and justice.

“Grant of license to a provincial grid company and its subsequent operations would inevitably lead to interconnection at provincial and federal levels and has to be centrally and carefully planned. The actions taken by one grid operator may contradict/overlap with the actions of any other operator, thus requiring planning and policy formulation. Similarly, either one or both operators may attribute the responsibility of partial or full grid system collapses to each other,” it said.

“Unless such policy framework becomes effective, no license could have been granted to any provincial grid company,” NTDC submitted.

NTDC maintained that no rules have been framed to prescribe the eligibility criteria, minimum solvency requirements and the minimum resource requirements for a provincial grid company. “Therefore, the discretion of NEPRA to grant such licenses remains unstructured, which is contrary to the law”.

Moreover, STDC does not have sufficient experience in the transmission sector. It has undertaken only one transmission line project, which is insufficient to entitle it to act as a provincial grid company.

NTDC submitted that it has been given exclusivity in the service territory, and NTDC has organized its business and commercial affairs and taken decisive steps for laying down transmission infrastructure in the service areas, including in the province of Sindh.

“However, through the License and Determination, STDC has been granted the permission to provide transmission services in Sindh, including those areas in respect of which exclusivity vested with NTDC. It is submitted that the same constitutes a breach of settled principles of law and interferes with the vested rights of NTDC, which cannot be taken away in such a manner, contrary to its legitimate expectations”.

It submitted that NTDC has already planned the generation capacity expansion plan for next two decades. The planning includes optimum harnessing of wind potential in Jhimpir area, keeping in view overall power system stability. In this regard, many of the projects are in pipeline, and loans have also been finalized.

“To enable STDC to work on such projects will result in huge financial implications for NTDC, along with duplication of work”.

NTDC submitted that STDC might spill over additional powers to NTDC’s network, affecting overall dispatch of NTDC resulting in stability issues, and huge economic impacts.

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