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January 22, 2016

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Second power breakdown in a week

Guddu power plant catches fire

Parts of Punjab, KP, AJK suffer 3-7 hour power breakdown

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The second huge power breakdown in a week hit the country on Friday at 3.14pm when a 450MW transformer at Kandhkot caught fire, causing the 550KV transmission line to trip.

The breakdown affected many parts of the Punjab, KP and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), a senior official of the Ministry of Water and Power told The News.

Though power was restored in some of the affected areas after three hours, it kept coming and going. Some of the affected areas experienced seven-hour-long power breakdowns. The breakdown multiplied the miseries of the people in the presence of fog.

The power ministry spokesman said the system collapsed in the wake of tripping of 500KV transmission line in Guddu, leading to the power breakdown. Because of the tripping, power plants of Tarbela Dam, Mangla Dam, Ghazi Barotha Hydropower project and all the IPPs in the Punjab, along with the public sector power plants, shut down leading to zero power generation.

The spokesman said power transformer T3, 500/220 KVa of 450MW caught fire at Guddu, causing a tripping in the national transmission system.

The National Power Control Cell (NPCC) officials said because of the massive demand for power and less generation, the 450MW transformer of the National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC) installed at Kandhkot caught fire, causing the tripping of transmission line that exposed the Punjab, KP and AJK to irritating power outages.

Officials claimed that there was no technical fault at the Guddu power plant. Sindh and Balochistan experienced no power outages because of protection mechanism in the system.There were no proper arrangements to extinguish thefire. Consequently, a fire brigade was called in from Jacobabad which reached the spot one-and-a-half hours after the fire broke out.

The restoration work was started almost after five hours after the power breakdown, as Mangla and Tarbela power plants were linked with 220 KV transmission line. The power supply to some large cities, including Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad and others, was restored in the night.Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

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