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June 7, 2018

Imbalance in electricity loads threat to power system: official


June 7, 2018

ISLAMABAD: During the ongoing summer season, the imbalance in electricity loads the Transmission Lines (TLs) carry from northern and southern parts of the country has emerged as most potential threat to the electric power system, Secretary Power Division Yousaf Naseem Khohar told The News here.

“This is unprecedented and unique phenomenon in its kind that emerged for the first time. In the current summer season so far, the hydropower, that is generated in northern parts of the country, remained at lowest ebb, which is why the transmission lines from northern region stayed under loaded and the transmission lines having electricity from southern parts and Punjab remained over loaded during peak demand which existed all the time in these days because of hot weather.”

All the base load plants currently exist, Khokhar said, in southern parts of the country and in Punjab and these plants are currently catering to the 90 percent needs of the country.

On account of the massive fall in hydropower in this season, he explained, the transmission line carrying electricity from northern region are under loaded and the lines coming from southern parts are overloaded and this creates the imbalance in the load, which is a potential threat to the system and it forces the management to go for loadshedding to save the system.

And to avert the imbalance, he disclosed the top authorities have started pondering to establish one or two load based power plants in northern parts of the country, somewhere may be in Pothohar region, or Peshawar and Hazara division. And this will establish the balance between the loads from both sides (southern and northern parts of the country). “Once the idea to establish load based power plant gets matured, then PPIB will be taken in the loop to initiate the required proceedings to this effect.”

To a question he said the hydro generation stood at 2600MW before today saying: “Though today the water inflows have reasonably improved which is why outflows from Tarbela dam have increased to 70,000 cusecs from 60,000 cusecs per day causing a little bit improvement in the hydro generation to 4600MW whereas it was 5200MW in last year.

However, still the system is facing the deficit of 3000MW in hydro generation mainly because of the impact of climate change as water inflows in rivers are not getting the momentum as it was in last year this time.

In northern parts of the country, the system has only hydropower projects, which run on the availability of the water and this time 40 percent water inflows reduced on account of phenomena of climate change which is why the hydro power remained not up to the mark.

These projects cannot be termed as base load plants as the electricity from hydropower plants keeps on fluctuating and some time it touches the lowest ebb. “The climate change is very much here to stay and the top mandarins of power division are left with no option but to balance the load in transmission lines by setting up the load based power plants in the upcountry to keep the system safe from this threat.”

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