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500kv line’s tripping: Power breakdown plunges Karachi, parts of Sindh, Balochistan into darkness

500kv line’s tripping: Power breakdown plunges Karachi, parts of Sindh, Balochistan into darkness

KARACHI: Massive power breakdown from National grid brought to a halt routine and commercial life in the commercial hub of the country and various cities of upper Sindh and some parts of Balochistan.

The power supply broke down at around 3:25am plunged not only Karachi in to darkness but also parts of upper Sindh and Balochistan province.

Reports said that power suspended when 500kv power supply line of national grid was tripped due to humidity and fog, causing a massive breakdown in various districts of Sindh including Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Tando Allahyar. The fault also disrupted power supply to several parts of Balochistan including Quetta, Nasirabad, Jafarabad, Jhal Magsi, Sohbatpur.

It is to be noted that it was the fourth power breakdown during the last four months.

On the other hand, the K-Electric K-Electric explained that the breakdown of the power transmission from the NTDC was the main cause of the power outages in most areas of Sindh including Karachi and Balochistan.

Early on Sunday morning, the 500 KV from NTDC’s transmission line from Guddu/Dadu tripped due to heavy fog, which caused a sudden overload to the electrical network of K-Electric and Hubco power plants respectively, leading to power outages.

The sudden disruption of supply from the NTDC technically trips the entire system to which the power utility/ generation companies of Karachi and Sindh are connected which includes KE, as a major player. This tripping had a domino effect leading to a series of outage in grids supplying power to the city. In such a scenario, our first priority is to restore our connection from the NTDC. However, that was not possible in the first instance today due to the heavy fog, therefore, KE immediately went into stand alone “Island Mode” – isolating the NTDC on a temporary and limited basis – to restore power to the city” said KE’s spokesperson.

Spokesperson KE added, “Our engineers worked diligently to power up key installations e.g. priority health services (hospitals), PAF Base, and the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, along with some other key defence/security establishments and were able to do so progressively within the first two hours of this breakdown.”

He said that the NTDC power transmission to Karachi was back on-line around 2:00 PM, by which time KE’s own efforts had undertaken the restoration of around 60pc of city’s feeders. The spokesperson said that KE’s engineers then worked with remarkable effectiveness to synchronize KE’s system with NTDC with zero disruption, which was no small technical feat, achieving full restoration of power (around mid-day) to KE’s entire commercial footprint, which includes part of Sindh and Balochistan.

Meanwhile, adviser to Prime Minister, Dr Musadik Malik said that actual reasons for the blackout would be known after investigation only but he admitted that two major breakdown in short span of 8-10 days could not be ignored.

There is no doubt that our power infrastructure is weak, along with taking measures to increase electricity generation we are also planning to upgrade the transmission system also, Malik said, adding the first priority of government is to generate additional electricity on gas for the coming year.

It is to be recalled that that last week Minister of Water and power, Khawaja Asif pointed out irregularities in K-Electric and said that he was helpless, as company had obtained stay order against most of the administrative decisions by his ministry against the company.

He said that despite subsidies from federal government they were not only reluctant to pay their dues but also fleecing public with access bills.