U.S. Improves IESCO’s ability to Reduce Unscheduled Loadshedding

Islamabad, April 03, 2014 – Marking a milestone in U.S. support of Pakistan’s energy sector, Nancy Estes, Acting Mission Director for United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Yousaf Awan, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), inaugurated the Power Distribution Control Center (PDCC) at IESCO today.

The PDCC, built with assistance from USAID, enables IESCO to monitor the flow of power in real time, allowing technicians to reduce unplanned loadshedding in the region. “This control center is enabling IESCO to monitor the electrical power flow throughout the region by interpreting and displaying data from more than 1,000 meters installed throughout each of their 79 grid stations. This system provides accurate information to both IESCO and the National Power Control Center to so that they can compare actual loads against established targets in real time,” said Estes. She added, “The United States and Pakistan are working together to help Pakistan meet growing energy demands and implement the necessary reforms to improve efficiency of the energy sector to accelerate economic growth. These efforts include improving the electricity distribution grid. The United States Government is working with all ten of Pakistan’s public power distribution companies to improve their operations, reduce financial and power losses, and ultimately to ensure that consumers have a more reliable electricity supply.”

The PDCC is part of the National Power Control Center (NPCC) which received similar USAID assistance to address energy shortages on the national level. By installing over 9,000 smart meters in 741 grid stations in all ten government owned distribution companies, USAID’s Power Distribution Program (PDP) assists the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and the NPCC in managing the flow of electricity, significantly reducing unscheduled load shedding.

These efforts are part of a broad U.S. government energy sector assistance program for Pakistan that aims to increase the country’s electricity output to benefit more than 16 million people. The projected goal is the addition of 1400 megawatts to Pakistan’s national power grid by the end of 2014. As part of the assistance program, USAID has funded renovations at Tarbela, Jamshoro, Mangla, Guddu, and Muzaffargarh power plants, aided the completion of Gomal Zam and Satpara dams, and helped improve power distribution throughout Pakistan. These efforts have already added more than 1000 megawatts of power to Pakistan’s power system.