Power Breakdown in Pakistan Today. Reuters, ISLAMABAD, January 23 – According to the power ministry, Pakistan’s national grid experienced a significant collapse on Monday, leaving millions of people without energy for the second time in three months and underlining the inadequate infrastructure of this massively indebted country.
According to Energy Minister Khurrum Dastagir, the entire network was damaged by a significant voltage surge that occurred in the southern part of the grid. Nearly six hours after factories, hospitals, and schools reported power disruptions, he continued, supplies were partially being restored from north to south. Dastagir stated that the grid should be completely operational by 10 pm (1700 GMT), but added, “We are trying our very best to accomplish restoration before that.
Power Breakdown in Karachi Today
The last significant power outage, which happened in October, also required hours to be restored. The 220 million residents of Pakistan frequently experience blackouts, which a senior ministry official attributed to the grid’s aging infrastructure.
The official, who wished to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak to the media, added, “There is an inherent flaw in the system.” Transmission lines are too long and inadequate, and generators are located too distant from the load centers.
On January 23, 2023, a man is seen sitting in front of his store in Karachi, Pakistan during a nationwide power outage. Akhtar Soomro for Reuters
Although Pakistan has adequate installed power capacity to satisfy demand, it lacks the funding necessary to operate its oil and gas-powered facilities, and the industry is so indebted that it is unable to afford to make investments in infrastructure and power lines.
Pakistan Suffers Big Power Outage after Second Grid Failure in three Months:
Fahad Rauf, head of research at Karachi-based brokerage Ismail Iqbal Industries, told Reuters, “We have been increasing capacity, but we have been doing so without enhancing transmission infrastructure.” As part of a $60 billion infrastructure project that contributes to Beijing’s “Belt and Road” effort to create land and sea trade links in Asia and beyond, China has made significant investments in Pakistan’s electricity sector.
Wide areas of the nation were impacted by the outage. Because their pumps were driven by electricity, some residents of Peshawar, a city of more than 2.3 million, said they lacked access to potable water. Although telecom firms and a number of hospitals claimed to have shifted to backup generators, outages persisted.
The power loss has caused a lot of trouble for me, said Karachi resident Mohammad Khurram, who was visiting his ailing mother-in-law in a local hospital. “The x-ray machines and other testing devices are affected, so I have to constantly take her in and out of the facility.”
Reporting by Asif Shahazad, Ariba Shahid, and Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam; writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar and Miral Fahmy; editing by Sudipto Ganguly & Simon Cameron-Moore; Additional reporting by Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar and Mubasher Bukhari in Lahore.
PM, NEPRA’s notice:
The power outage was strictly noted by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who also ordered the formation of a high-level, three-person committee to investigate the cause. According to a statement from the PM’s Office, the prime minister also requested a report from the energy minister after becoming irritated by the impact of the outage.
The officials were also told by the prime minister to restart the electricity supply right away. In a statement, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) added that it had taken “serious notice” of the power loss and had instructed the NTDC to provide a “full report.”
The regulator had previously fined similar disruptions in 2021 and 2022, according to the statement. It also mentioned how NEPRA continually offered instructions and suggestions on how to deal with such incidents in the future.
Internet and Mobile Services:
Following the protracted national power outage, reports have also been made about mobile and internet services being interrupted in various cities. The provision of services to customers has been delayed as telecom providers have run out of fuel stocked to temporarily power their towers and maintain a seamless flow of services.
According to many in the telecom sector, “mobile network installations are being run on backup power since morning, which cannot work for a long time.” The Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) gave the businesses instructions in a statement to maintain services by refueling generators at the most impacted sites as possible.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) also warned consumers that service interruptions due to the power outage might occur. Global internet watchdog NetBlocks acknowledged that their network data revealed a dramatic drop in internet access in Pakistan, which was attributable to the nationwide power outage.
Loss of Frequency:
Different power distribution providers had already confirmed the power outage prior to the ministry’s declaration. K-Electric, which confirmed the report, stated that at around 7:34 am, the national grid suffered from a “loss of frequency,” which had an impact on the delivery of electricity to numerous cities around Pakistan.
According to a brief update provided in this respect, the power distribution company, “This has also cascaded to KE’s network, disrupting the power supply to Karachi.” The teams have been trying to restore electricity throughout the metropolitan, according to the most recent statement from K-Electric Spokesperson Imran Rana.
According to him, priority areas near airports, hospitals, the port of Karachi, and other important locations have had their energy restored. The two transmission lines from Guddu to Quetta tripped, according to Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO). In addition, Quetta and 22 other Balochistan districts lack electricity.
A power outage was also reported in other locations in Karachi at the same time. “Multiple outages have been reported from various locations throughout the city. We are looking into the matter and will update this area, “Imran Rana, a spokesman for K-Electric, stated.
According to the IESCO spokeswoman, all 117 of its grid stations are without power. In the meantime, PESCO acknowledged an outage in areas where it provides electricity.
Timeline of power Breakdowns:
In the past nine years, there have been eight significant power outages that have affected the nation’s generation and distribution network.
The Tarbela Power Station defect was to blame for statewide blackouts in 2014 and 2017, while fog, frequency variation, and the Guddu Power Plant problem were to blame for failures in 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023. Every time, the party in charge promised to launch a thorough investigation and make amends, but despite numerous inquiries, nothing has changed.