Nepra pins the blame for circular debt thumbnail

Nepra pins the blame for circular debt

The massive circular debt, amounting to as much as Rs2.28 trillion, is mainly because of line losses, insufficient recoveries and defaults, a report issued by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) stated on Thursday.

Nepra is delegated to regulate the power sector, including issuing licences, determining tariffs, monitoring for maintenance of proper standards and quality of services as well as addressing consumer complaints.

According to the Nepra report, the country’s transmission system was not able to maintain uninterrupted power supply across the country.

The report also stated that fines were imposed on distribution companies (Discos) and K-Electric on account of “violations of performance standards, distribution code and occurrence of fatal accidents”. Nepra, the report stated, had directed K-Eelctric for grounding/earthing all high-tension and low-tension (HT/LT) poles of is distribution system to avoid accidents

Nepra stated that it resolved 91.87% of consumer complaints it received.

During 2019-20, Nepra issued as many as 27 licenses to power producing companies with total installed capacity to generate 1,591.4 megawatts. These licenses included a 55MW coal-fired power plant, four hydroelectric power plants with a capacity of 294.1MW and a nuclear generation plant with 1,145MW capacity. At least 19 solar power plant were also issued licenses.

After the shortfall of residual fuel oil (RFO) at power plants in the summer of FY 2019-20, the Authority took up the issue with CPPA-G and directed it to regularly monitor the fuel stock position at all power plants and take necessary steps to ensure that sufficient fuel stock was available with them.

Citing the January 9, 2021 outage, it stated that the entire country was plunged into darkness  at 11:40pm after the power system collapsed.  The Authority took serious notice of this incident and formed an inquiry committee. In the light of the committee findings, Nepra issued a number of directives.

NTDC was directed to arrange a comprehensive study from a reputed international firm to mitigate the adverse effects of Power Swing and suggest Out of Step (OOS) Protection in order to avoid major power breakdown and blackouts.

NTDC & DISCOs were directed to conduct a study of 500kV/220kV and 132kV systems respectively to find out the defects & deficiencies and suggest remedies for prevention of faults and timely system recovery in case of partial and total breakdowns.

Legal actions was taken against CPGCL, Guddu, NTDC, K-Electric, and other power plants for their lapses, deficiencies and failures in the breakdown.

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