The electricity shortfall may reach 7,000MW on Thursday with Pakistan State Oil informing power generation companies about a further reduction in furnace oil supplies. The furnace oil stocks of PSO are reported to have fallen to 30,000 tons and a ship carrying the fuel is due on May 1. The shortfall was around 6,000MW till Monday, which was reduced to 4,500MW after increased water releases from dams. On Wednesday, the PSO informed Pakistan Electric Power Company that it was cutting oil supplies to the power sector by about half (to 10,000 tons from 19,000 tons) for the next three days. The daily furnace oil requirement of the sector is 36,000 tons. �In practical terms a 50 per cent reduction in oil supply means that power generation will suffer a further loss of 2,500MW,� says a Pepco official. If the current heat spell continues, the electricity shortfall will rise correspondingly and most parts of the country will be without electricity for around 18 hours a day. �The emerging situation is disastrous, because it will turn the entire generation plan topsy-turvy. There is no way Pepco can absorb that kind of reduction in oil supplies without plunging the country into darkness. The weather is turning hot and demand has already reached 16,000MW. �The company has so far been able to continue supply to some industries, but it would not be possible to sustain it if oil supplies declined to the extent the PSO has warned,� he conceded. PSO spokesman Mariam Shah told Dawn: �Yes, the situation has become critical for the company as its receivables have crossed Rs185 billion. All local refineries have stopped supply because of huge dues, leaving the PSO totally dependent on imports. �The company, as a matter of policy, cannot disclose exact quantity of its stocks, but situation is certainly grave,� she admitted. �The company has already warned the Karachi Electric Supply Company of reduction in oil supplies. It is left with limited stocks and is trying to distribute it among all as efficiently as it can to serve the sector better. The company has also sent SOS calls to everyone who matters, but in vain. �If someone wants uninterrupted oil supplies he must talk about uninterrupted payments as well. �The company has conveyed to the federal government that it will need another Rs159 billion to finance its import from May to August,� she said.
By: Dawn News