Lahore: Generators and UPS batteries selling like hot cakes

* Retailers say prices have doubled due to increase in demand
* Say people prefer UPS batteries to generators
By Hasan Ali

LAHORE: The sale of generators and Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) batteries has increased in city as people are going for alternate modes of electricity to offset massive load-shedding, expected in the coming summer.

People have started purchasing generators and UPS batteries after the reports of six to eight hours of load-shedding this summer due to an increase in the shortfall of power generation; the average day shortfall might touch the 4,500MW mark.

Arif Hussain, dealing in generators, told Daily Times on Wednesday that with summer round the corner, a 40 percent increase in the sales of generators had been registered in the past 20 days. “The demand for Chinese power generators is increasing gradually. They have already grabbed around 60 percent of the market share,” he added.

Per unit cost: Hussain said that the price of generators had doubled after the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) started load-shedding, giving an impetus to the sale of electricity generators and UPS. “The price of a small generator, used in houses and shops, was Rs 10,000 last year, which is now being sold at Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000. The demand of heavy-duty generators, for running air-conditioners and other high electricity-consuming items, has also increased and their price ranges from Rs 75,000 and Rs 1 million,” he added.

Muhammad Khan, a UPS dealer, said that the sale of UPS batteries had increased and manufacturers had doubled their production to meet the growing demand. He said that the prices had also rocketed. “We have been selling 50 batteries a month. But since the last 25 days, the sale has doubled,” he said.

Khan said that two tube-lights and two ceiling fans could be operated for about five hours with a UPS setup, having a battery capacity of 105-ampere per hour. “The price for one unit was around Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500 last year, which is now available at Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000,” he added.

UPS over generators: Khan said that UPS batteries were in high demand because they could be repaired easily. “The batteries need a water change every two to three months, which is economical. Moreover, generators make noise and UPS batteries are noiseless,” he added. “A powerful UPS setup can simultaneously operate computers, fans and lights.

Iftikhar Qureshi, a resident of Cantonment, said that he had purchased a 30-horsepower generator for Rs 300,000 because his family was fed up with unannounced load-shedding.

Shagan Shahid, a businessman, said that he had purchased three UPS units to run his business without any hurdle. “The units cost me Rs 40,000, because the rates were very high this season,” he added.

Courtesy: Daily times, 27/3/2008

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