Thursday January 27, 2022

NEPRA committee to investigate blackout

January 12, 2021

KARACHI: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has decided to constitute a high powered committee of its top professionals and renowned protection engineers from the private sector to ascertain the reasons about the nationwide blackout that kept millions of citizens in darkness.

The committee would also give recommendations to avoid such incidents in future, a statement said. The recent blackout was caused by an engineering fault on Saturday evening, which tripped the system and caused power plants to shut down, the power minister, Omar Ayub Khan, told a press conference.

The blackout had plunged all of Pakistan’s major cities into darkness, including the capital Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.

Supplies had started to resume in the cities by Sunday afternoon, according to Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan’s twitter feed, where he also disclosed that the outage was triggered by a fault at Guddu Thermal Power Plant. Guddu, the country’s largest power plant, caused the national grid to collapse, he said. The blackout once again has started a debate on the dilapidated state of the country’s power distribution system and the need to overhaul the system on an urgent basis.

The National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) also constituted a four-member inquiry committee to look into reasons and facts behind the collapse of the power system. The committee was required to give its report with comprehensive findings/recommendation and way forward within seven days. This was the second major power breakdown in less than three years. In May 2018, power supply was partially disrupted for more than nine hours. In 2015, an apparent rebel attack on a key power line plunged about 80 percent of Pakistan into darkness. That blackout, one of the worst in Pakistan’s history, caused electricity to be cut in major cities nationwide, including Islamabad, and affected one of the country’s international airports.