LAHORE – The Punjab government, in another step to get autonomy in electricity, is all set to establish an independent electric power regulatory agency to determine cost and regularise other features related with power being produced within province, TheNation has learnt.

The PML-N led provincial government, by allocating Rs9 billion for various power projects in budget, has established Punjab Energy Department. Currently, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is working as an autonomous regulatory agency for country’s power sector.

An official of Energy Department, who seeks anonymity, told that department since its establishment had been facing several legal issues and that the Nepra was not cooperating with Punjab. For example, he said, a development project has been lying pended with Nepra since 2009 while issue of CJ Canal yet to be resolved.

“The draft for establishing an independent regulatory authority has been finalised and will soon be presented in Punjab Assembly,” he added.

“The Punjab electric power regulatory agency will be set to ensure provision of safe, reliable, efficient and affordable electric power especially for industrial consumers of Punjab,” he added.

The official said that since federal government allowed the provinces to develop power projects up to 50MW, they were working on several projects.

When asked about the progress of Energy Department, he said that they planned to produce 3,000MW electricity. Out of 38 projects, the feasibility study of 28 projects has been completed.

“A privately established plant of 8MW at Sharqpur Road would start its generation within two months and proposed regulatory authority would determine the cost of electricity of that plant,” he said.

He further told that they have had many innovative ideas and funds are being utilised in various proposed joint-ventures, public sector projects and energy conservation schemes.

He said electricity would be generated by using different means including coal, solar, thermal, bio-gas, biomass and hydel. As many as 45 sugar mills would generate 1,000MW electricity, 1,000MW by using local coal and rest of power would be generated through utilising other different sources, he said, adding that under collaboration of public-private sector, 800MW electricity would be generated from coal, 1,000MW from mix generation and 200MW from hydel means.