Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Punjab to create an electricity transmission company

LAHORE: Punjab has accelerated efforts on the National Transmission and Despatch Company’s lines to establish a provincial power transmission and dispatch (T&D) company (NTDC).

In this regard, the provincial energy department has initiated a summary that seeks approval to set up the Punjab Provincial Grid Company and is currently being reviewed by the provincial cabinet, Dawn has learned.

“Sindh has established its own transmission company already. We must have an equivalent arrangement under the 18th Amendment. We are following abreast of the summary which has been sent to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for grant of approval,” Punjab Energy Minister Dr Akhtar Malik said.

According to the summary, Pakistan’s total energy demand recorded in 2018-19 was 25,627MW including 14,472MW consumed by Punjab alone. The province’s energy demand is projected to cross 24,000MW by 2027-28.

Likewise, 68 per cent revenue generation comes through an enormous number of consumers based in Punjab. The province accounts for 66pc of the entire electricity consumers within the country.

Rapid development of commercial estates and special economic zones (SEZs) in Punjab has prompted a rise within the demand for electricity. The amended Nepra Act 2018 has created a chance for T&D of electricity through multi-buyer arrangements like bulk power consumers and wheeling etc. so as to capitalise these arrangements and to accommodate the energy needs of Punjab, there’s an urgent requirement to provide sustainable and affordable electricity to the top consumers particularly to industries and agriculture sector in Punjab, the summary read.

After promulgation of the 18th Amendment, provinces are fully empowered to determine a provincial grid company and lay transmission lines within the utilization of province under Article 157 (2)(C) of the Constitution. Moreover, in pursuant to clause 18(A) and 18(B) of the amended Nepra Act, the provincial governments are allowed to determine grid companies subject to the approval and licensing by the federal regulator.

The overview mentions that the provincial T&D company was set up by the Sindh government and received a transmission licence from Nepra on November 5, 2019. Similarly, the KP has also begun work on registering a similar company.

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