Major power breakdown hits Pakistan after grid failure

A major power breakdown hit the country early Monday morning, affecting multiple cities, such as, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta and Karachi.

In a tweet, the Ministry of Energy confirmed that according to initial reports, the system frequency of the national grid went down at 7:34am today, causing a widespread breakdown in the power system across Pakistan.

ابتدائی اطلاعات کے مطابق آج صبح 7:34 پر نیشنل گرڈ کی سسٹم فریکوئنسی کم ہوئ جس سے بجلی کے نظام میں وسیع بریک ڈاؤن ہوا
سسٹم کی بحالی پر کام تیزی سےجاری ہے
— Ministry of Energy (@MoWP15) January 23, 2023

"System maintenance work is progressing rapidly," assured the ministry, adding that restoration of grid stations from Warsak has begun.

It informed that a limited number of grids of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) and the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) were restored.

وارسک سے گرڈ سٹیشنوں کی بحالی کا آغاز کر دیا گیا ہے اور پچھلے ایک گھنٹے میں اسلام آباد سپلائی کمپنی اور پشاور سپلائی کمپنی کے محدود تعداد میں گرڈ بحال کر دئے گئے ہیں
— Ministry of Energy (@MoWP15) January 23, 2023

According to the Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), the two transmission lines from Guddu to Quetta tripped. It added that 22 districts of Balochistan, including Quetta, were without power.

Read Grid failure sets off huge power outage

Taking to Twitter, K-Electric spokesperson Imran Rana also said that the electricity providing company's "crew are busy restoring power" and maintained that their "first priority is to restore power to strategic facilities including hospitals, airports, etc."

کراچی پاور اپڈیٹ 2 – 23 جنوری بوقت صبح 10:15 بجے

کےالیکٹرک کا عملہ نیشنل گرڈ سے ہونے والی ٹرپنگ کے بعد بجلی کی بحالی کے لیے مصروف عمل ہے۔ ترجمان کے الیکٹرک

— Imran Rana, Spokesperson, K-Electric (@imranrana21) January 23, 2023

Earlier, Rana said that K-Electric is "investigating the issue" of power outages in the metropolis. According to reports, 90 per cent of Karachi has been affected.

There are reports of multiple outages from different parts of the city. We are investigating the issue and will keep this space posted.
— Imran Rana, Spokesperson, K-Electric (@imranrana21) January 23, 2023

Phase-wise power restoration

The IESCO has said that system maintenance is being directly monitored from the central control room and that power is being restored in a phased manner to protect the distribution system from any damage.

متعدد گرڈ اسٹیشنز سے بجلی بحالی کا سلسلہ جاری ھے بجلی مرحلہ وار بحال کی جا رہی ھے تاکے ڈسٹری بیوشن سسٹم کو کسی بھی نقصان سے محفوظ رکھا جا سکے
— Islamabad Electric Supply Co. IESCO (@IESCO_Official) January 23, 2023

Power restoration is ongoing for various grid stations in areas of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, including the 132 KV grid station at Zero Point, D-12, F-6, F-16, G-5, G-9 and I-8 as well as Adiala, Chaklala and Chakri.

Maintenance work is also ongoing in other cities of Punjab, including Attock, Chakwal and Jehlum.

Read More KE, NEPRA put on notice for power outages

The IESCO spokesman assured that power restoration to other grid stations will also start soon, adding that a full system restoration will take time.

Earlier in the day, the spokesman said that the electricity supply to 117 IESCO grid stations has been suspended.

While no clear reason for the suspension has been given yet by the IESCO Region Control Centre, the company maintained that its "management is in constant communication with the concerned authorities".

آئیسکو کے 117 گرڈ اسٹیشنز کو بجلی کی فراہمی معطل ریجن کنٹرول سینٹر کی جانب سے ابھی تک کوئی واضح وجہ نہیں بتائی گئی
آئیسکو انتظامیہ متعلقہ حکام کے ساتھ مسلسل رابطے میں ہے
— Islamabad Electric Supply Co. IESCO (@IESCO_Official) January 23, 2023

NEPRA takes notice

In a strict notice issued by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), the country's power authority sought a report on the blackout from the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC).

It noted that NEPRA has "continuously been issuing instructions and recommendations to prevent such incidents in future", adding that it had imposed penalties for incidents of blackouts and tower collapses in the country in 2021 and 2022.

(With additional reporting by Zaigham Naqvi)

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