KESC’s ‘technical darkness’ pushes Karachi in the dark

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At least the half of Karachi suffered a power breakdown on Thursday following a sudden shutdown of electricity supply from the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) to the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC).
The city’s sole power generation utility had experienced a similar shutdown a couple of years ago causing the complete blackout of the city. However, the KESC’s was again unable to synchronise the frequency of the power load after the restoration of supply from WAPDA, resulting in damages to over a dozen PMTs in the city.
Chaudhry Mazhar of the KESC Shareholders Association claimed that the total failure of the power company to maintain the electricity load after the incident pushed the city into darkness.
Many PMTs had tripped or burst due to the massive fluctuation of power in many parts of the city while various cable faults also remained unattended, causing severe problems to the millions of citizens.
According to Mazhar, this is the second time the KESC has failed to balance the load despite the power utility being penalised by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) for the same problem a few years ago.
He said the present KESC management was handed a penalty of Rs 0.6 million over its negligence and inefficiency that resulted in the total blackout of Karachi for more than 18 hours.
The company, he claimed, lacked technical experts to avoid the faults and minimise the impacts of fluctuation in power, as the engineers and experts concerned have left the company.
However, sources in the KESC claimed that the company was suddenly hit by a shortfall of 730 megawatts and lost a supply of 630 megawatts from WAPDA owing to some “technical reasons”.
Besides the suspension, the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) has also stopped its power supply of 80 megawatts to the utility, causing more shortage in the system.
The tripping of the 220kV circuit linking WAPDA with KESC has disrupted the power company’s own power generating plants and units.
The power company did not give any timeframe for the restoration of the affected supply lines but said that works on the restoration of power to the city were underway.