Pakistan: 70% of HESCO consumers to face punitive load-shedding


HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco), which powers almost half of Sindh, has announced collective punishment for around 70% of its over one million consumers. The company has divided its 478 electric feeders, connected with 75 grid stations, in six categories on the basis of line losses.

“We can’t tolerate electricity theft, which is a crime legally and morally,” said Reham Ali Otho, chief executive officer of Hesco at a press conference on Thursday. According to him, the load management programme has been rescheduled following the announcement by Federal Energy Minister Owais Khan Leghari.

The power distributer will inflict two to 12 hours of load-shedding in 323 power feeders which have been classified in the five slabs of line losses. The top slab of the feeders with less than 10% line losses have been spared from the load-shedding.

Hesco has 1,059,868 consumers including 82% domestic, 15% commercial and 3% industrial and agricultural consumers with 52% electricity connections in rural and 48% in urban areas. The annual growth rate of commercial consumers is calculated at 3.55% and commercial at 2.94%. Although together they comprise 97% of the consumer base, they utilise 68% of the company’s supplied electricity.

Two-hour load-shedding per day will be carried out in 116 feeders where the line losses range between 20% to 30% and four hours in 79 feeders reporting 40% line losses. People and businesses in another 91 feeders with 40% to 60% losses will suffer six-hour outages while the supply will remain disconnected for eight hours to 24 feeders and 12 hours to 12 feeders. Power theft in the last two categories is estimated to be between 60% and 80%.

Bill-paying consumers will also suffer punitive action as the company has no remedy to spare them by ensuring electric supply from an alternative source.

Hesco’s chief said the company is installing automated readers and aerial bundle conductor (ABC) cables in the region to curb theft. But he could not give a definite timeline for the project’s completion even though he claimed the old wires have been replaced with ABC cables in 80% areas. courtesy Tribune