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Penalising inefficient generation firms Experts differ from CCI.

Penalty for inefficient generation companies has been recently increased from Rs300,000 to Rs100 million by Council of Common Interests. Presently there are three generation companies (Gencos), which are responsible for administrative, financial and operational control of all plants in the country except Karachi where power plants are managed by KESC.

However, some experts differ with CCI's mind set. They believe that before talking of ineptness and inefficiency of these companies, we must define 'inefficiency' which may be because of old and outdated equipment to incompetent and unwilling employees.

Another conspicuous reason of inefficiency, said a veteran is due to unpalatable official lacunae, dismay and doldrums, because of which the companies are restrained from taking bold decisions for improvements.

As a matter of fact, many of thermal power plants being run by gencos are quite old and dilapidated, have become white elephants and gas and oil guzzlers. These include thermal plants of Faisalabad, Multan, Sukkur, Kotri and Hyderabad and also Russian made Guddu plant.

Gencos have so far failed to take any measure to replace or renovate these power plants, maybe due to lack of policy and inadequate funds, he added. Actually gencos are bearing the high cost of operation and maintenance from meagre output. Acute dearth of trained and expert manpower in gencos is another salient cause of decline in their efficient performance, said another engineer familiar with the situation.

Many thermal engineers have left the country in search of better wages as gencos have failed to create appropriate job attractions, a big factor behind lack of interest by the current staff in honing and harnessing their prowess.

In fact, this bleak scenario is prevalent in the whole of Pakistan Electrical Power Company (PEPCO) which owns both gencos and discos. The situation calls for serious thought for filling the gap created by the exodus of engineers and technical staff.

It was suggested by two senior engineers that PEPCO should look for ways and means to bring back engineers, if it wants to improve things, not only in generation but also in distribution companies, which too are in shambles.

Official limitations and hardships have to be addressed for better functioning of both gencos and discos. So penalising for inefficiencies could be a piece of cake sought for improvement, but is not the whole cake. They concluded.

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Title Annotation:Council of Common Interests
Publication:Pakistan Engineering Review
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 28, 2011
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