Pakistan, Iran ‘set to settle’ power issues over Mekran split – Pakistan
Pakistan and Iran are all ready to discuss the issues related to the interruption of electricity supply from Mekran division and the payment discrepancy for the 104 MW electricity supplied by the Iranian side .
A Pakistani team comprising the Chief Secretary of Balochistan, officials from the Electricity Division and Ministry of Energy of Balochistan will attend a meeting scheduled for April 12, 2022 in Taftan with Iranian authorities.
The following agenda items will be discussed with a view to reviewing the status of decisions taken at a virtual meeting held on February 23, 2022 and proposing a way forward.
Agenda items to be discussed at the meeting include: (i) the fluctuation of the existing electricity supply of 104 MW; (ii) the 220 kV Polan-Gwadar transmission line project; (iii) the 132 kV Polan-Gabd transmission line project; and (iv) energy payment issues.
Talking about the fluctuation of the existing electricity supply of 104 MW, the sources indicated that there is a variation between 20 and 70 MW of supply from Iran, especially during the peak summer months. because of their internal problems. The Iranian side will ensure the maximum and uninterrupted supply of electricity to the Makran division within the framework of the existing agreement.
Pakistan has appointed Balochistan’s Energy Secretary as a focal point and has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to communicate with the Iranian side through diplomatic channels, while the Iranian side has yet to share the name of their focal point. .
The agreement on the 220kV Polan-Gwadar transmission project for the import of 100-MW was signed on February 7, 2007 between NTDC and M/s TAVANIR, Iran.
The length of the transmission line in the region of Pakistan is about 75 km and in Iran 51 km. The Iranian side has completed its part of the transmission line and the NTDC has also acquired land for the construction of a network station in Gwadar.
According to the contractual agreement, the Iranian Export Development Bank (EDBI) is to finance 70% of the total cost of the project and the construction contract has been awarded to M/s SUNIR, an Iranian company. The project was delayed due to sanctions against Iran.
The sources said a series of meetings were held with the Iranian side to revive the project. Mr/s TAVANIR offered to finance the project through its claims on existing supplies and to finalize the financing model with EDBI. The financing model proposed by the M/s TAVANIR is under discussion with the Iranian side.
However, the project has not yet been revived.
The sources further said that during the joint meeting on February 23, 2022, the two sides accepted the proposal shared by the government of Balochistan to explore the possibility of obtaining the electricity supply through a transmission line. 132 kV line from Polan/Gabd on the Iranian side for rapid relief to the residents of Makran division under an interim agreement pending the completion of the 220 kV transmission line.
As part of this proposal, the energy division is to construct a 54 km long double circuit 132 kV transmission line from the Iranian border to Gabd and Jiwani and extend for the second conductor to Pasni, this which would represent about 200 km.
On February 23, 2022, it was decided in a joint meeting that the Iranian side would provide the details of the draft Polan-Gwadar 110MW proposal (technical and financial model. M/s TAVNIR had transmitted during the meeting to share the proposal technical and financial and written commitment within a week, but it has not yet been shared due to Nauroz’s vacation in Iran.
Pakistan will request Iran to promptly share the technical and financial proposals so that the Pakistani side can contribute and take the necessary steps for the approval of the proposal by the relevant forum.
The Iranian side claims that claims for electricity supplied to Pakistan amount to $66 million, while the Pakistani side claims that they amount to $62 million. According to the Iranian side against the monthly payment of 12 million dollars according to the decision, Pakistan pays 1 million US dollars per month, which makes the amount of claims increase further.
CPPA-G shared a payment statement, according to which it paid approximately $48,316,093 in the past year.
Further, it states that the delay in payment is due to the return of checks from accounts designated by TAVANIR in Pakistan. The sources said that M/s TAVANIR and CPPA-G have been asked to reconcile their figures of payments made so far.
Both entities will offer a financing model in which payment could be made easily and quickly. The CPPA-G will ensure the payment of current and unpaid debts according to the arrangement agreed with TAVANIR.
The story was originally published in Business Recorder on April 11, 2022.