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December 10, 2016



Power supply situation deteriorates due to dense fog

18-hour outages in central parts of Punjab;
NTDC spokesperson says dense fog caused tripping
of 132KV transmission lines of Lesco

LAHORE: Power supply situation further deteriorated on Thursday night and Friday due to dense fog; second such occurrence in two days, cutting electricity to millions of homes in the central parts of the Punjab province for up to 18 hours.

Various power companies blamed each other for the fiasco that caused immense problems to the masses on last working day of the week. The complete power supply to all affected areas had yet to be restored after lapse of more than 18 hours. It is learnt that some parts of Lesco would be out of power supply until parts of national grid are fully rectified.

Routine life was badly affected in the absence of power supply and subsequent water shortage in homes on Friday when people used to prepare themselves for Juma prayer. Most of the people were already reeling under low or no supply of natural gas due to lingering crises of gas scarcity, making life even worse.

Power distribution companies of Lahore, Gujranwala and Faisalabad were hit hard by the power supply suspension. Almost whole night between Thursday and Friday was without power and in some areas electricity could be restored in the afternoon.

According to the spokesperson of National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDC), the dense fog caused tripping of 132kv transmission lines of Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco), its impact was reflected to the connected 220kv network of NTDC. The cut-off load caused system over-voltage and tripping of NTDC system, he claimed.

The spokesperson stated that the NTDC protection system operated timely and saved the equipment from damage as well as avoided country-wide cascading and system collapse. Whereas, the affected portion of the NTDC transmission system was completely restored on Friday by 11am.

The top management of Lesco although have different narration of the incident involving prolonged power shutdown. On the other hand, a spokesman of Lesco said, NTDC 220kv Kala Shah Kaku grid station tripped at 3.25am on Friday. Up to 4.20am all the nine NTDC 220kv grids feeding to Lesco went off. At 9.10am, restoration of power started, he added.

Partial supply was being restored till filing of this report. He claimed that one-third area of Lesco had been restored. Total area of Lesco will be restored after complete restoration of NTDC 220Kv grids supply.

On the other hand, as per an official of Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco), after a joint effort of NTDC and Gepco staff and engineers, the electricity was restored at all transmission lines in area of Gepco which were tripped due to fog and moisture here on Friday.

He said that on Thursday night, heavy fog of the season caused moisture in disc insulators of main transmission line of NTDC, as a result, electricity supply of some grid stations in Punjab was suspended. However, he claimed, NTDC with collaboration of Gepco staff took an immediate action to fix the affected lines and disc insulators.

After a continuous and untiring effort they succeeded to restore the electricity of all affected areas of Gepco in a reasonable span of time. The civil society admired the efforts of both companies (NTDC and Gepco). However, Gepco apologised to its valuable customers for inconvenience they faced during this power suspension due to fog.