Power demand-supply gap again surges to 4,500MW level

Indus River System

LAHORE: The shortfall in electricity supply and demand again surged to 4,500-megawatt level on Sunday after hydel power generation dipped to 3,973 MW because of abnormally low water flow in River Indus and the Tarbela reservoir hit dead level, a Spokesman National Transmission and Dispatch Company Ltd said.

He said though the Indus River System Authority released all 49,900 cusecs of run of the Indus river water downstream Tarbela Dam for hydel power and irrigation purposes, but this quantity was insufficient to run all hydel power generation units at Tarbela at full capacity (3,600MW).Pakistan has a hydel power generation capacity of about 6,500MW via Tarbela, Mangla, Ghazi Barotha , Warsak, Chashma and other hydel stations during the monsoon season, he added

The spokesman said that hydel, thermal and IPPs power generation units produced about 12,000MW electricity against the demand of 16,500MW. Hydel power generation units contributed 3,937MW, thermal 1,735MW and IPPs 6,385MW electricity to the national grid. NTDCL supplied 680MW electricity to KESC.The electricity distribution companies (Discos) carried out 10-hour-long load shedding in cities and 15-hour-long shutdowns in rural areas of Punjab to meet the electricity shortfall.

Meanwhile, Wapda engineers said that water flows in the country’s four rivers remained “the lowest in a decade”. The water supply in River Indus, after touching a peak level of 57,000 cusecs at Tarbela on Friday, again fell to 49,900 cusecs on Sunday because of low temperatures in upper parts of the country, they said.Water inflow in River Indus May 20 was 49,900 cusecs against 152,100 cusecs on 20 May last year. Similarly, in River Jhelum, water inflow at Mangla Dam last year was 78,886 cusecs against 43,480 cusecs on May 20 this year.

They said that water inflow in other main sources of rivers Jhelum, Kabul and Chenab was also not picking up in the third week of May. The sowing of Kharif crops, including cotton, was being hampered because of lack of irrigation water, they said. Meanwhile, a weather report issued by the Meteorological Department said that Saturday’s trough of westerly wave had moved away. “A fresh trough of westerly wave lies over upper parts of the country,” it said.

According to the Met Department, rains/dust-thunderstorms were expected at isolated places of upper Punjab (Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha division), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat and Bannu divisions), Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Mainly hot and dry weather will prevail over other parts of the country.Rainfall (in mm) recorded at 1700 pst during last 24 hours:- Dir = 11, Lasbela, Parachinar & Chitral = 08(each), Mirkhani = 6, Drosh = 5, Bahawalnaggar, Khuzdar and Nawabshah = 3(each), Gupis & Peshawar A/P = 2(each), Peshawar city and Pattan = 01(each), Gilgit, Chilas, Jhelum, Padidan, Bannu, Murree, Dera Ismail Khan and Muzaffarabad = Trace(each). – Brecorder