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Pakistan invites bids for Karachi power utility

28 March, 2002 – Pakistan on Wednesday invited bids for a majority stake and management control of loss making state-utility Karachi Electric Supply Corporation.

Karachi-listed KESC, which has a market capitalisation of 3.8bn rupees with most of the stock being held by state-run financial institutions, is facing losses due to high electricity theft and line losses of 15-16 per cent caused by an ageing transmission system.

KESC has 92bn rupees ($1.53 billion) of liabilities which the government says will be converted into equity to ensure the privatization. The debt is mostly owed to state-run financial institutions and commercial banks.

The financial health of KESC has prevented an earlier sale although the income is desperately needed by the government to help reduce the country’s $38 billion foreign debt.

KESC has a generating capacity of 1750 megawatts, but produces about only 1250 megawatts because of the poor state of its infrastructure.