World Update

Damage to Guddu power plant: Senate body refers case to FIA

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel referred the case of recovery of $32 million from General Electric (GE) for the damaged Guddu 747 MW GT-14 to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

The Senate Standing Committee on Power, chaired by Senator Saifullah Abro, convened to discuss the matter of $32 million recovery related to the damaged GT-14 (747 MW) from GE. Dissatisfied with the briefing provided by the acting CEO of Genco Holding Co. Limited (GHCL), the committee directed the Power Division to involve the FIA, as questions have been raised regarding the said amount.

Additionally, the committee instructed the Power Division to address the issue of the constitution of new members of the Board of Directors (BoDs) and emphasised the appointment of fresh members based on qualification and merit.

Notably, on March 31, 2022, the Power Division had issued a letter titled “Directions of the Power Division for Action Against the CEO GHCL Under the Inquiry Committee Report Regarding GT-14 of 747 MW, CCPP, Guddu,” resulting in the suspension of the CEO of GHCL.

The BoD of GHCL was advised to conduct an inquiry against the CEO for failing to supervise or monitor the operations of Central Power Generation Company Limited (CPGCL) since the commercial operation date (COD) of the Guddu 747 MW power plant. Moreover, the CEO was held accountable for not taking necessary actions, such as conducting proper inquiries and making claims with GE.

The 747 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP), Guddu, consisting of two gas turbines (GT-14 and GT-15, manufactured by GE, USA) and one steam turbine (ST-16, manufactured by HEI, China), was commissioned in December 2014.

During the committee’s discussions, questions arose about the actions taken in response to the three letters issued by the Power Division on March 31, 2022, regarding the recovery amount. The acting CEO of GHCL informed the committee that the BoD had rejected the letter issued by the Power Division, as it did not approve of the allegations mentioned therein.

The committee expressed surprise at this exercise of authority and sought a clarification on the rationale behind the ministry’s letter rejection. The acting CEO of GHCL had acknowledged that the entire management of GHCL was incompetent, displaying lethargy and responsible for corrupt practices within the department.

Furthermore, the committee unanimously agreed to propose amendments to the “State-owned Enterprises (Governance & Operations) Act, 2023 (Act No.VII of 2023)” concerning matters of appointments, BoD composition and HR issues in the Power Division, emphasising strict adherence to relevance.

In regard to the progress of the 2X66 MW (132 MW) coal-fired power project in Jamshoro, the committee expressed displeasure over the unprepared representative of the acting CEO, GENCO-I.

The committee raised serious concerns about the delay in completing the project despite the allocation of funds. The committee emphasised taking written action against the responsible officers and requested details on the vehicles used for the project, along with progress and completion updates for the next meeting.

The committee also discussed Petition NoPP 5309 concerning the non-payment of Group Life Insurance (GLI) after retirement, which was referred by the chairman of the Senate. The petitioner, All Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Retired Workers/Pensioners Association, raised concerns over WAPDA’s deductions of GLI from the salaries of retired employees.

The committee deferred the matter and directed the Member (Finance) of WAPDA and MD of State Life to appear and provide a briefing.

Senator Bharamand Khan Tangi highlighted the importance of prioritising the protection of employees by WAPDA instead of defending the insurance company, stressing that the process should follow the rules set in the act.

Earlier, in the meeting, an in-camera discussion was held on the matter of NTDC’s construction of a 765 KV double-circuit transmission line from Daso Hydro Station.

The committee deferred the matter for detailed deliberation, scheduling day-to-day meetings beginning the following week. Similarly, the matter of the MD of NESPAK’s consultancy and the progress of all projects in the power sector was also deferred.

The meeting was attended by senators Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai, Bahramand Khan Tangi, and Senator Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo. Senior officers from related departments, including the Secretary of the Power Division, were also present in the meeting.

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