The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) proposed on Thursday an Rs0.89 per unit increase in the electricity tariff in the context of January’s fuel price adjustment.

NEPRA Vice-Chairperson Saifullah Chatha presided a hearing of a plea filed by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) on February 19 requesting an increase of Rs0.92 in the electricity tariff.

During the hearing, NEPRA officials said that running power plants outside the merit order had imposed an additional burden of Rs3.90 billion on consumers.

“The reason for the increase in the cost of power generation was the unavailability of gas, which was worst in January,” the official added. “If gas had been available, there would not have been a blackout on January 9.”

NEPRA added that 450 million cubic feet per day (MMcfd) gas was required for power plants in January whereas 110 to 154 MMcfd gas was supplied till January 24.

The gas supply for power plants was reduced to zero on January 9, due to which expensive electricity had to be generated from furnace oil.

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NEPRA’s proposal to increase Rs0.89 per unit in the electricity tariff would impose an additional burden of Rs6.90 billion on consumers.

Earlier, it was reported that, according to CPPA, more than seven billion units of electricity were produced in January costing about Rs51,660,000,000, at [an average of ] about Rs5.75 per unit.

“Expensive furnace oil generated 12.06 per cent of electricity in January,” CPPA said. “About 16.51 per cent of electricity was generated from domestic gas and 11.34 per cent from imported LNG [Liquefied natural gas].”

The agency added that the price of electricity generated from furnace oil stood at Rs 12.34 per unit for the previous period. Coal generated 31.38 per cent of electricity in January whereas 10.55 per cent of electricity was generated from nuclear sources costing about Rs1 per unit.

“In January, the reference fuel cost was about Rs 5.75 per unit,” the CPPA added.

Nepra will hold a hearing on the matter on February 25 at the CPPA’s request.