Nepra seeks NTDC report on outage that hit KP, Punjab

ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has taken serious notice of the ,eight-hour-long power breakdown, in the northern part of the country on May 16, and has asked the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) to submit a detailed report on the circumstances that caused the widespread blackout.

The power regulator said this was the second major power shutdown this month, which had affected public life and “has once again exposed the fragile stability and reliability of the system”. It added that it reflected a poor state of affairs at the NTDC.

Also read: ,Herald: Gridlocked – how power is lost in Pakistan’s distribution lines,

The power breakdown had resulted in a complete blackout of vast areas of the country in the north — Guddu to Peshawar — leaving Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces without electricity for eight hours.

According to Nepra, there had been a similar blackout on May 1, after the NTDC’s 220kW transmission lines tripped, affecting four Chashma nuclear power plants which caused a generation loss of around 2,100MW in the north.

Regulator says second major breakdown this month has exposed system’s weaknesses

The regulator said they had reviewed the prevailing situation in respect of poor performance on the part of the NTDC’s transmission network. It added that they had directed the dispatch company to provide a complete report on the unforeseen circumstances that had caused a blackout on May 16.

The electricity transmission system split into north and south regions due to tripping at around 9:28am on May 16, and power was restored to most parts of Punjab and KP by 5:13pm after major power generation plants gradually increased their input to the national grid.

The power division of the Ministry of Energy had reported that according to the initial report, the 500kV transmission line from Guddu to Rahim Yar Khan had tripped, following another tripping of the 500kV Guddu-DG Khan line. This had caused an increased load on the 500kV Guddu-Muzaffargarh transmission line (from 733 MW/72 MVAR to 1559 MW/717 MVAR) as recorded at the 500kV Muzaffargarh end, which also tripped, causing a fall in frequency on the entire system and power failure across Guddu to Peshawar.

The southern part of country from Guddu onwards, including Sindh and Balochistan, had remained largely unaffected. The power division has constituted a committee, led by one of its additional secretaries, to ascertain the causes of tripping, the process of restoration and suggestions to avoid such an incident in the future.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2018

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