Country goes dark, govt blames fog | Pakistan Today

Country goes dark, govt blames fog

–Three units of 747MW Guddu Thermal Power Plant dysfunctional due to dense fog, cold weather

–Total shortfall reaches 2,977MW as multiple circuits trip

–Teams working to restore power supply, 3,011MW temporary load management implemented, NTDC says

ISLAMABAD: Various parts of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan faced prolonged power outages on Thursday as three units of 747MW Guddu Thermal Power Plant and several circuits of 500KV and 220KV tripped owing to dense fog and cold weather conditions, causing a shortfall of 2,977MW in the national grid.

According to details, multiple circuits of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) were affected due to tripping which caused an immediate power shortfall of 747MW. The residents in different districts of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab faced problem due to the power outages. Due to fog, the column of air under the transmission lines conducted electricity and shorted the system, said the power division in a statement issued on Thursday.

Large parts of Multan Electric Power Company, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company, and Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) are severely affected. And, to some extent, the power system of the Punjab province has not been normalised despite hectic efforts of the NTDC engineers as various transmission lines, grid stations and power plants tripped on the morning of January 2, apparently due to extreme weather conditions and severe fog.

As per inputs, on January 3, the insulator string of the transmission line developed a fault due to which different circuits of 500KV and 220KV tripped, including 500 kV Guddu- Guddu 747 MW, 500 kV Guddu–Rahim Yar Khan and 500 kV Balloki–New Lahore unit tripped during the morning which resulted in the tripping of Guddu Power Plant, 1200 MW Balloki Power Plant, 124MW Kel Power, 185MW Nishat Power and 195MW Nishat Chunian Power.

Tripping of 500 kV system also partially affected 220 kV Sarfraznagar–Okara I & II, 220 kV Vehari–Kassowal, 220kV Kala Shah Kaku–Ghazi Road, 220kV Sarfraznagar–New Kot Lakhpat, 220kV Yousafwala–Okara and 220kV Kassowal–Yousafwala circuits.

Thus, the national grid faced a generation loss of 2,977MW and distribution companies were directed for load management to save the system.


Officials said that teams had started the work to restore the power supply. “We are also working on temporary load management plan to provide electricity to the people,” they said.

The NTDC spokesperson said work on the restoration of power supply in Lahore has already commenced. A number of units in Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha, Sahiwal and others have been fixed while electricity from Nishat Power and Kohinoor Energy have been added to the national grid to minimise the shortfall. Teams of the NTDC and Distribution Companies’ (DISCOs) engineers have been mobilised for repair and maintenance work.

The NTDC has managed to restore its 500 kV Sahiwal–Lahore, 500 kV New Lahore–Balloki, 500 kV transmission line Guddu Old–Guddu 747 MW, 500 kV Rahim Yar Khan–747 MW Guddu transmission line, 220 kV Yousafwala- Kassowal and 220 kV Bahawalpur–Lal Sohanra transmission line, 220kV Okara–Sarfraznagar.

While updating about the generation units, the spokesman said that Nishat Power, Nishat Chunian and KEL are back on the national grid whereas 215MW Saif Power and 200MW Orient Power have also started their power generation. Furthermore, the NTDC has managed to restored Balloki–New Lahore circuit and given demand to the management of Balloki Power House to bring the generation as per the requirement.

The NTDC engineers are also helping GENCO-II for replacement of transmission line equipment in switchyard of 747MW Guddu Power House and also been given demand to generate 747MW since the transmission lines have been restored by NTDC, it was briefed.


Sources in the power sector said that low voltage, tripping and unannounced long hours power cuts are likely to continue until weather conditions improve. They said extreme weather conditions coupled with dense fog has exposed the vulnerability of the entire power sector i.e. generation, transmission and distribution.

The government still has to improve transmission and distribution to avoid such untoward incident not happen again, they added.

A total of 88 circuits of 132KV in LESCO, FESCO and MEPCO have been affected as a result of tripping of high transmission lines. The total power generation that reduced due to the tripping stands at 2,977MW.

A day earlier, Punjab faced extended hours of load shedding as at least four of Pakistan Electric Power Company’s (PEPCO) power plants had closed down owing to smog and other technical faults. The power supplying company confirmed that the power plants at Guddu, Baloki, Nishat and Nishat Choniyan were tripped resulting in an immediate shortfall of 250 MW. In order to tackle the situation, the PEPCO announced to temporarily extend the load shedding duration in the province.

Additional 1000 MW was taken from Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO), Quetta, to manage the shortfall, the authority said, and expressed hopes to normalise the electricity distribution as soon as the technical issues are fixed. The shortfall led to a power outage after every one hour in Lahore and other parts of Punjab.

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