Pursuing a revenue target of Rs121 billion for the current financial year, the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has requested the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to increase the tariff of hydroelectric power by Rs0.47 per unit
During a meeting held in this regard, Wapda requested that the average tariff of 21 plants should be increased from Rs3.68 to Rs4.15 for the financial year 2022-23.
NEPRA Chairman Tauseef H Farooqui asked WAPDA officials why they needed Rs1,500 million to repair power plants. He also sought the submission of separate data for each project. The Nepra chief said there is a misconception that hydropower is cheap. Electricity was also purchased from some projects at Rs142 per unit, he added.
He wondered why Golen Gol Hydropower Project costs were increasing, adding that consumers were interested in electricity, and they did not know why projects were delayed and messed up. “Today, Wapda is giving electricity at the cost of Rs3.5 per unit,” Farooqui remarked.
“In this situation, we should have welcomed Wapda with flowers today,” he added. “If this electricity was not there, what would be the cost of electricity, only God knows.”
Wapda officials said that they could not build a dam every 10 years due to which they are facing circular debt today. Nepra then sought a written response from Wapda regarding receipt of Indus River System Authority (Isra) charges.
Appreciating the performance of Wapda for the production of cheap electricity, the Nepra chief also expressed displeasure with the low utilisation of hydropower plants. Farooqui remarked about the 12% utilisation of Tarbela 5th Extension, asking what would happen to the money given by the nation.
Nepra’s Member Sindh Rafiq Shaikh asked what the tariff would be for the 12% utilisation of the project, adding that the utilisation of hydropower plants had reduced, which had caused loss to the consumers. Wapda officials said that Irsa told them that dams were for irrigation purposes, not power generation.
They said that they are generating a unit for Rs40 while charging Rs3 for it. The Nepra chief said that it was not possible to meet the revenue requirements of Irsa and reduce units. Nepra is expected to announce its decision on the matter soon.
Originally published at tribune.com.pk