Loss in value of power current threatens electricity authority to bankruptcy [Archives:2003/648/Business & Economy]

July 7 2003

Specialists in electricity sector say the value of lost current which the state establishment for electricity in Yemen does not get really threatens this establishment by bankruptcy and can urge the concerned authorities to ponder following the policy of privatization of this very important service sector.
Those specialists clarified that the percentage of squandered electric energy due to random connection outside the cities reaches to about 31.32% and the percentage of senior officials at the state who refuse to pay their electricity bills rates to 10% of the total of beneficiaries from electric power. This is in fact part and one image of financial corruption that eats through the official institutions.
Electricity establishment sys it is seeking for lowering the proportion of loss in electricity value to 7%, at least in the coming period. It points out that 1% of loss costs a loss of YR 400 million annually. This leads to standard rise in average of financial deficit the establishment is suffering from which has amounted to YR 8 billion.
Electricity establishment has carried out an intensive campaign aimed at inspecting and sealing electric meters, tackling zero reading, entering stored readings and data into the meters having no accounts or the replaces ones. In addition, it has set a number of punitive controls preventing repetition of violations and entering data of subscribers that are directly connected. The establishment has tried to overcome this problem through introducing an agreement contract defining the legal value of improving coefficient of power, application of imposing punishing duties and not releasing electric current to any new projects but after fitting meters and other high voltage meters for installations of big consumption. The sources divide the causes of the power current loss to two main reasons: a technical loss due to existence of unorganized illegal networks and irregular house connections, the second kind of loss is not technical due to stealing the current and also refusal of senior officials to pay their due bills.
Despite the problem of the currency loss the establishment has during the first half of the year implemented YR 185 million worth projects and worked for importing 15 transformation stations of 33 kilovolt costing more than one billion YR.
Engineer Hussein al-Adadi, director of he high tension lines section at the executive unit of the state establishment of electricity said the work was under way in implementation of a group of government-funded electric projects in the districts of Taiz and Dhalie costing YR 5 billion.
Expansion of fulfilling electricity services face problems due to refusal of senior officials from paying millions of rials for subscription. This may affect the state budget and force the officials concerned to think of privatizing electricity projects. A consequence that would lead to increase the cost of subscription to the service and the price of electric units. No doubt this would affect income of poor families, a development contradicting the government implementation of the strategy of combating poverty, part of which is the improving of the level of water, electricity, health and communications services.