ISLAMABAD: On Monday, The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) approved pricing the hydel tariff at Rs9.118 per kWh, temporarily.
The high tariff is being charged to give interest on the taken debt and make payments to the loan.
Since October 17, 2019, the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP) is selling its electricity at a provisional tariff and will be continuing the same process charging the highest tariff of Rs9.118 per kWh. This will enable the project to keep functioning and delivering the required payment for the loans.
The tariff is priced to repay interest on debt and compensation of Rs317.367 billion, which was taken from external and local sources to meet the cost price of Rs428.296 billion to construct this project.
The regulatory body issued its verdict stating that this price is open for adjustment later. NJHP, the seller might receive a waiver of the terms of third-party validation (TPV) by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council / from a relevant agency or conduct the TVP.
Moreover, the verdict addressed NJHP to file a tariff petition with Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) following one of the two options given. Nepra has made its decision known to the federal government for further notice.
For the past 30 years, NJHP had previously authorized a levelised tariff of Rs10.3 (cents 6.2440) per unit. On June 21, 2021, the regulator held a public hearing on the tariff petition to decide the tariff for the project for the future.
The governing authorities remarked that, a TPV requires to be done for the project, which has not been initiated even after three years of the approval.
NJHP replied by sharing copies to Nepra of the addressed numerous letters to respective forums like the Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms, and Planning Commission to discuss the problem of TPV. According to the Planning Commission, NJHP notified that the consultant hired for conducting TPV is at the appointment step.
Nepra will continue to hold on to its stance, which is seen from the project’s tariff decisions dated back to November 19, 2018.