Kaya Bey: Last Resort for Electricity Generation in Pakistan?

Kaya Bey rental power plant for Karachi from Turkey

The national grid of Pakistan is one of the poorest managed in the world, and is unable to provide electricity for major cities, halting industrialization and daily lives. Our government has been constantly criticized on power strategies. Now, a last resort has been employed in an attempt to save some blemishes from the face of our Water & Power Minister, Mr. Raja Parvez Ashraf.

The ‘Kaya Bey’, a Turkish power ship has landed at the Karachi port, with promises of as much as 232 MW of electricity being added to the national grid. The size of the project can be judged from within the name “Kaya” meaning ‘rock/mass’, suggesting the scale to which it should play a role in healing the electric dullness of Karachi. Designed by the Turkish firm, Karkay Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim A.S, this is the world’s largest power ship. The plantation is fuel/diesel operated, but of course our government using their money in ‘other important matters’ the maintenance and operation tasks of Kaya Bey have been completely outsourced to a Pakistani firm in private sector – Orient Energy Systems.

But we must ask ourselves, is it really worth it? For a country with coal supplies so ample that 2% of our reserves in coal could generate power for the next 50 years, is this expense really worth the take? For how long will the government depend on other countries to do what it doesn’t want to? Yes we will have more power, but it’s coming at a very high cost- the high rent is not to be subsidized for by the government which means that the public, once again, ‘pays the price.’ According to PEPCO sources, an additional cost of 2 cents per unit will be employed every month, which could at the end of the 5 year rent clause spell an increase in power tariffs of about 15 rupees. Ultimately, it is the common man who pays for the government’s misery.

Can the current government even be trusted with the plant? The federal minister claims that within the past two years 1800 megawatts of power have been added to the national grid, whereas a former MD of PEPCO has released a statement concluding that this is false, and that though there has been an increase of 1800MW, the credit for that goes to the Musharraf regime, not the current government.

Where possible Hydro-electric Plants could have been setup with the same if not lesser amount of money for more power, in places such as Kalabagh, the government shows no incentive at all- not just power generation, but flood control could also have been exercised there. But as usual the government showed the ‘we want everything ready for us’ attitude. In no way am I suggesting that this plant is not beneficial, the government had better possibilities than to buy the world’s most expensive power-ship in times where 21 million are starving and looking for homes, rehabilitation and recovery from the very water that could have produced 100’s of megawatts of electricity had it been utilized well enough.

A controversy has sparked the arrival of Kaya Bey. While Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has claimed that it will provide electricity to Karachi, KESC officials have strongly denied that claim.

8 thoughts on “Kaya Bey: Last Resort for Electricity Generation in Pakistan?”

  1. Cheap Electricity From Kalabagh Dam a need of Citizens of Karachi.
    Disease of Provincialism in Politicians of NWFP and Sindh is mainly responsible for power shortage mayhem and the resultant chaos in the society due to tormenting blackouts and long power outrages.
    Importance of Electricity Versus Wastage of Water for Feudals.
    Why opposition on generation of electricity by Kalabagh Dam in which no water is wasted but provide option of safe storage of water for future use. Electricity is the need of each and every minute and moment of human life, people can not tolerate outage of electricity for one hour while agriculture land can tolerate need of water even many weeks, but why importance to agriculture of few feudals and no importance to electricity which is the need of each and every citizens of Pakistan generally and Karachi specially, because life of all citizens of Karachi(city of lights and Industry) revolves around provision of cheap electricity.

    • Children weeps in the night due to high temperature and mosquitoes bite due to outage of electricity,
    • Students can not study in night due to outage of electricity.
    • Industry can not run without electricity.
    • Machinery can not run without electricity.
    • Surgeons can not operate without electricity.
    • A patient on life machine can not survive without electricity.
    • Even in agriculture we can not use Tubewell without electricity.
    • Fertilizer can not be manufactured without electricity.
    • Pesticide can not be manufactured without electricity.
    • Sugar Mills,Cotton Mills,Textiles Mills.Flour Mills,Rice Mills can not run without electricity.

    Above points clearly indicates that use of water for generation of electricity is 1000 times better than wastage of water on land or in sea for few feudals, because water wasted in land or sea is not recoverable but water use for generation of electricity in Kalabagh Dam will be available for use for agriculture and Industry as it was suitable before generation of electricity and there will be no wastage of water.

     Sindh,Balochistan and Frontier are against Kalabagh

    because as per Sindh LOGIC Thar Coal is better than Kalabagh as Kalabagh will emmit BLACK SMOKE and Thar Coal will emmit fresh air full of Oxygen.
    And as per Balouchistan Vision GAS and coal extracted from Balouchistan are one of the most clean source of energy and Kalabagh will pollute air and land resouces and people will drown in Kalabagh and no one is dying in the coal mines of Balochistan.
    And as per Frontier wisdom, Royalty of Tarballa is so important that Pakistan can be broken for that and three rivers of Punjab can be sold to India by General Ayoub belonging from frontier for Construction of Tarbella in Frontier but Kalabgh dam is not good looking as it is in Punjab.
    All provinces want Provincial autonomy but Punjab should open or close its canals , IIRIGATE ITS LAND AND construct Dams as per desire of other provinces and after asking from other provinces Because it is necessary for unity and prosperity of Pakistan as when there will be no agriculture,no electricity and no water then Pakistan will be more united and more prosperous.
    From all above points it is clear that NWFP and Sindh who are opposing the generation of electricity and preservation and safe storage of water in Kalabagh dam are criminals of humanity as well as of World and politicians of these provinces are mainly responsible for shortage of electricity in the country and cities.

    Written By:M.AKRAM KHAN NIAZI.

  2. we, the people of Pakistan having no idea to vote to the competent people to boost democracy and promote our living standard. if we vote after observing competency and past record then one could understand the true spirit of vote and ways open for progress for our country. this is entirely our mistake for this current menace and destruction in every sphere of our country. myriad serious issues we have been facing including terrorism, high inflation, poverty, rapid growth of population, insecurity, abduction, and power shortage etc are our own creations. every problem could be very politely solved if we elect good competent people to our national and provicial assemblies. there would be no terrorism, no power shortfall, and no high inflation.

    i agree with the writer that the entire burden have been poured upon the unhealthy shoulders of innocent poor pakistani citizens to fulfill the rent for the power ship kaya bey. it would have been a good step if all the expenses of this power ship were being carried out through subsidy.

    if we the people of pakistan is vigilant and patriotic, then we would not vote to any of these corrupt people who only having care for their personal interest . i am afraid Allah forbid, our beloved country would be sale out by these selfish and greedy authorities. MAy ALLAH bless us and our country with every sort of facilities and no doubt an intelligent and competent government.

  3. Pakistan has enough electricity for itself. The problem is the greed, we all want TV, AC, computers and fans to run 24 hours. We are not willing to bathe with cold water. We are blindly adopting the western practice of wasting electricity. If Pakistanis use electricity in the right way then there will be no shortage. There is so much wastage of electricity in schools where lights and fans are left on all the time and hospitals too where every thing is unnecessarily boiled . It is the flawed western concepts and ideas that make us waste our resources. Take the case of China where no one complains even if there is 8 hour power off in Beijing.

  4. sorry mahnoor, but what you wrote and what i argue for is the same thing..?!
    1.”Where possible Hydro-electric Plants could have been setup with the same if not lesser amount of money for more power, in places such as Kalabagh, the government shows no incentive at all”
    2.”For a country with coal supplies so ample that 2% of our reserves in coal could generate power for the next 50 years, is this expense really worth the take? For how long will the government depend on other countries to do what it doesn’t want to?”

  5. I strongly sgree with the writer. We can not rely on other nations to feed us. This not going to happen for long. this electricity is going to be so expensive that it is simply not worth it. Pakistani government needs to pull up its socks and start looking into other, cheaper forms of electricity like HEP. Even though the initial cost is high, it is green energy, cheaper once the plant is set up and a dam would also serve as a water storage reservoir.

  6. “electricity prices in Pakistan are as high as in some rich countries where the average income is 30 times greater.”

    r u referring to countries like india?

  7. This is a very slippery slope. If you keep relying on rental power plants and IPPs you end up paying a heavy price in the long run. As things stand electricity prices in Pakistan are as high as in some rich countries where the average income is 30 times greater.


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