14 IPPs 'agree' to provide cheap electricity
Fourteen wind power plants have signed an agreement with the federal government to provide people cheap electricity and another five will follow the suit on Monday.
On Saturday, government and IPPs’ representatives held talks on payment of arrears, power tariff and forensic audit of the power plants. The IPPs, which have signed the agreement with the government, are public, private and those built under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative.
According to an agreement reached between government representatives and the IPPs, wind energy tariff would be Rs14 per unit instead of Rs25 per unit. The agreement would save the government Rs700 billion.
According to the sources, the dollar rate would remain static at Rs148 until completion of the agreement. Two power plants installed under the 1994 power policy have signed the agreement. Five more power plants installed under the 1994 power policy would sign the agreement on Monday. Those who have signed the agreement are Engro, Hubco, Nishat Energy, Attock, Orient, Liberty and Saif Group.
The sources said the committee had the powers to order forensic audit of the power plants, but it chose talks over audit. According to the sources, power plants are ready to return the government Rs104 billion and they would pay this amount through the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).
Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz has said that supply of cheap electricity to people is top priority of the government. He said the government could not nullify the agreement with the IPPs unilaterally therefore the taskforce formed by the prime minister reviewed the power agreement. None of the governments in the past held talks with the IPPs to provide people electricity at a low price, he said, and added that in the past power generation plants were installed without any planning.
Announcing the decision in a presser, Special Assistant to PM on Power Division Shahzad Qasim said the government has linked the profit on local investment to rupee. He said: “We have successfully held talks with the IPPs and signed a renewed deal with them,” he said, adding that under the agreement the equity would be paid in rupee instead of dollar. He said that NEPRA would examine the performance of the power units run by the IPPs.