ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Cabinet has decided to install only indigenous fuel power plants in the future to meet the growing electricity requirements of the Country.
The decision was made when the Cabinet met in Islamabad on Monday under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
In the meeting, a detailed briefing was given on the current load shedding in the Country.
Later, briefing the media persons, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the existing electricity generation capacity is 23,900 megawatts whilst the demand reached the historic level of 30,000 megawatts last month.
The Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir said that the Karot hydropower project of 720 megawatts under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has now been made operational.
Khurram Dastgir said that the Cabinet was informed that the projects of 4,623 megawatts initiated by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) back in 2013-18 will become operational by next year.
The minister said that a total of 7,000 megawatts of electricity will come to the system including from these projects as well as solar power and private net metering by next year which will help address the issue of load shedding.
Referring to the increased inflow of water into Tarbela, he was confident that the electricity production from this source will reach to the maximum of 3,500 megawatts in the next few days whilst generation of 1,100 megawatts from K-2 nuclear plant will also start in the same period which will help reduce load shedding to a great extent and help provide relief to the people during Eid Ul Azha.
The minister for power said that the government is also considering a comprehensive policy on solar energy. He said that the focus will be on large scale plants as well as supporting the small consumers to install small plants. He said that the government buildings will also be converted to solar.
To a question, Khurram Dastgir said that that as per directions of the prime minister, the government is putting its efforts to improve the management of DISCOs. He said that for this purpose, the use of modern technology is indispensable. He said that a plan will be framed for installing smart meters for automatic bill generation from January next year.
The minister said that under the vision of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to support the poor segment of the society, the government has decided not to apply any increase in prices of electricity to the consumers who use less than 100 units.
Khurram Dastgir said that a reform package will be announced soon to replace free electricity of WAPDA employees to incentivize salary.