KE granted 20-year renewal by NEPRA

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has granted K-Electric (KE) a 20-year renewal for its power distribution and supply licences, marking a crucial development for the utility.

The decision follows KE’s request for a non-exclusive licence, strategically timed ahead of the impending liberalisation of the power sector.

KE’s previous 20-year licence concluded in July 2023, prompting Nepra to issue an interim distribution licence for six months, which was set to expire in January 2024.

During a hearing on November 28, 2023, representatives from the Industrial Estate affirmed substantial improvements in KE’s performance. Notably, the authority is contemplating the grant of a distribution licence to KE under the amended Nepra Act.

While acknowledging that KE’s performance may not align with global industry practices, Nepra also recognised KE as one of the top-performing Distribution Companies (DISCOs) among its peers.

Chief Financial Officer of KE, Aamir Ghaziani, highlighted the utility’s achievements, including the addition of 1,957MW of efficient capacity, notably the BQPS-III, operating at an efficiency of around 59%. Consequently, the overall efficiency of the generation fleet improved from 30% to 42%, and losses were reduced from 34.2% to 15.3%.

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Ghaziani reported that over 70% of feeders are now free from load-shedding, with industrial feeders enjoying 100% exemption. He highlighted that at the time of privatisation, KE was a loss-making entity with outdated generation facilities operating at an efficiency of as low as 25%. Post-privatisation investments exceeding Rs544 billion resulted in significant improvements.

In this context, 1,957MW of efficient capacity was added, leading to an overall improvement in the generation fleet efficiency from 30% to 42%. Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses were reduced from 34.2% to 15.3%.

He said that more than 60,000 smart meters were installed as part of KE’s modernisation efforts.

Looking ahead, KE plans to add approximately 1,282MW of renewable energy capacity by FY2030. Investments related to the power evacuation of these projects are integrated into the Investment Plan.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2024.

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