The Massive Power Shortfall

The Massive Power Shortfall

Thursday, Feb 19, 2009

Muhammad Raza Khan

ISLAMABAD: The country may witness an aggravated energy crisis in the years to come as the proposed thermal power house at Chichuki Maliyan with a capacity to generate 500 megawatt electricity is in the doldrums, as the project has been withdrawn from Wapda in a strange development, The News has learnt.

Right now power consumers are facing a massive power shortfall of about 2,000 megawatt and this crisis will persist in the years to come as the Chichuki Maliyan power project will get delayed.

Earlier the government had decided that the Chichuki Maliyan power project would be initiated in the public sector and Wapda had been assigned the task.

Wapda conducted the international competitive bidding (ICB) and received the lowest bid from the Japan-based Marubeni Company. Under the agreement, the Marubeni Company was also to invest in the project and to this effect it had arranged a loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

Wapda was to complete the thermal plant at Chichuki Maliyan with 340 megawatt production in August 2008 and another 160 megawatt by Dec 2008, and it was strong perception that this project would give a massive relief to the common man and wriggle the country out of load-shedding and power crisis.

Confirming the shocking development, a senior Wapda official from Lahore said that the top decision makers in the country have taken a U-turn and decided that the private sector would complete this project of paramount importance. “But under the new decision, the project would be inordinately delayed,” he feared. The price of the project has also increased by Rs 100 million because of the delay, and this a very shocking decision. “The earlier cost of the project was Rs 2.6 billion.”

In the wake of the decision, Wapda had to stop all the spadework to initiate the project. “The government has taken the new decision as the Qatar Investment Authority...

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