ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) did not approve the 2021-2030 Long-Term Indicative Generating Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP) on Monday after provinces, especially Sindh and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, expressed their concerns that the electricity division had not taken into account their priority projects. before bringing the matter before the Council of Common Interests (ICC).
Planning Minister Asad Umar convened a one-point meeting on the CCoE agenda and invited provincial energy ministers to finalize a draft plan before formally seeking its approval from the CCI in within two weeks.
Stakeholders were told that the ICC should also decide the issue by the first week of September given the urgency of the $ 800 million loan programs (including one for the energy sector) that were due. be approved by the Board of Directors of the World Bank.
After listening to the objections raised by the provinces, Mr. Umar asked the secretary of the Energy Division and the provincial representatives to hold two or three consecutive meetings on the subject during this week in order to address as many issues. as possible so that a consolidated position can be finalized at another CCoE meeting on Thursday this week.
Asad calls on the division of power and the provinces to settle their differences
Provincial ministers of Balochistan and Sindh participated in the meeting via video link while KP finance minister Taimoor Jhagra was physically present. He told the meeting that some issues relating to small hydropower projects and transmission lines needed to be addressed first because clarity was lacking in the draft prepared by the Electricity Division.
On June 29, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) referred the unapproved IGCEP to the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) who prepared the long-term project planning document after being informed that the CCI had decided on June 21 that “the IGCEP assumptions are approved by the ICC”.
Based on the ICC decision, Nepra stated that the IGCEP which had been submitted to it for approval could not be considered by it. Nonetheless, Nepra had said that during extended public hearings on IGCEP, various stakeholders, including provinces and industry, had highlighted five areas. He asked the NTDC to present these five areas to the ICC for consideration.
The NTDC had been invited to present projects that have reached financial close or obtained funding agreements, projects already under construction, projects with approved PC-I documents to the relevant forum at the federal and provincial levels, projects already having a production license and tariff approved by NEPRA and strategic projects under G2G initiatives.
The NTDC had been informed that the revised IGCEP in light of the assumptions approved by the ITC would be resubmitted to Nepra for formal approval within 30 days of the assumptions being approved by the Board.
Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh told Umar that his province had no objections to a project proposed by another province. However, the Sindh government was not significantly committed to its plans and reservations on key assumptions, he added. The provincial energy minister said it seemed the federal government did not like the Sindh government’s difficulties as the Electricity Division tended to fall short of its commitments, which created misunderstandings.
The source said Shaikh stressed that his province had no objection to a project proposed by another province, but that any change in policies approved by the ICC could only be changed by the council and no subordinate forum. or lower.
He said Category III wind power projects were not allowed and the Oracle Thar Coal project was also not included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said solar projects in Sindh had stalled for about four years as federal government commitments on alternative and renewable energy (ARE) policy were not honored.
The source added that the Energy Division had held consultative sessions on IGCEP 2021-30 but questions remained unresolved. Three provinces, other than Punjab, have requested that all provincial ARE projects with a production license and tariff already granted by Nepra be included in the IGCEP. The list includes a dozen wind and solar renewable energy projects of around 600 MW.
Posted in Dawn, le 24 August 2021