The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Wednesday reserved its judgment about Rs. 4.33 per unit additional charge to consumers on account of monthly fuel price adjustment for the month of November.
NEPRA held a public hearing, chaired by NEPRA Chairman Tauseef H. Farooqui, on a petition of the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) for an increase in power tariff under the monthly fuel cost adjustment for November 2021.
CPPA requested NEPRA to increase the per-unit cost of electricity generated by Rs. 4.33. The reference fuel price for the month of November is Rs 3.74 per unit. If the application is approved, consumers will face an additional burden of more than Rs. 40 billion.
The CCPA’s request states that 8.24 billion units of electricity were generated in November. The production cost of electricity came to Rs. 66.52 billion.
In November, 33.21 percent of electricity was generated from water and 16.26 percent from coal. Furnace oil generated 1.71 percent while domestic gas generated 12.89 percent. 14.25 percent of electricity was generated from imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), while 17.51 percent of electricity was generated from nuclear fuel.
During the hearing, Chairman NEPRA asked about the violation in merit order which put an extra burden of Rs 62.3 million on the consumers. According to the CPPA briefing, 14 percent more electricity was generated in November this year than the same month last year.
It was informed that rising fuel prices internationally put an additional burden of Rs. 26 billion which is being translated into Rs. 4.33 per unit cost increase. NEPRA officials informed the hearing that the shortage of RLNG has caused a burden of Rs. 55.7 million.
Chairman NEPRA also asked why 11 percent less electricity was generated from coal. National Power Control Center (NPCC) officials informed the hearing that a 660 MW unit of Hub Power is on scheduled outage and ENGRO Thar Coal and other coal-fired power plants are closed.
The officials informed that the scheduled plants closures are already planned and therefore less electricity was generated from coal-fired power plants. Chairman NEPRA said that according to the ground realities the scheduled closure of plants can also be changed and the relevant officials should consider the generation of electricity through cheaper sources.
The chairman, while expressing displeasure over the generation of electricity through costly power plants, said that the CPPA only wants to generate electricity and they do not bother whether the electricity being produced is expensive or not.
He ordered to conduct a three-year performance audit of each plant, its merit order number and the efficiency of electricity being produced. Chairman NEPRA also directed to share the closure schedule of all power plants with the authority.
He also commented on his bill for November, which included the fuel cost adjustment (FCA) of Rs. 4.75 billed in November. He said, “I was shocked to see my bill, it was less electricity cost and more fuel cost adjustment”.
He also asked the consumers to lodge complaints with the authority if they feel any anomalies in their electricity bills.