Power outage in Pakistan was because of improper maintenance of transmission lines

ISLAMABAD: The countrywide power outage in Pakistan Saturday night was because of improper maintenance of transmission lines (TLs) and a failure of the safeguard system against load at the Guddu power station, Khyber News reported citing resources.

It became worse because there were no spinning reserves, top officials from the power sector were quoted. But Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan says he is “on his toes” to find the cause of the major breakdown and will make it public once he finds out.

He had said transmission lines and insulators were being looked after properly and the safeguard system against the load did not collapse.
It was Guddu plant, which went out of the system owing to which frequency instantly dropped to zero from 50, but it is yet to be known in which circuit the fault appeared, he had said. Ayub had said Sunday night that electricity had been restored in 80% of the country.

An official, in background interview, said Guddu power house was placed in mid country where, during the winter season, a dense fog was always found, and this was the area from where the fault originated causing the power breakdown.

In 2013, 2015 and 2017, electrical blackouts gripped the country mainly because of negligence in maintenance of transmission lines and washing of insulators. This time, the National Transmission & Dispatch Company (NTDC) had not properly maintained the transmission system and washed the insulators, resulting in tripping of the high transmission line, the official said.

Secondly, the safeguard system against the load failed. The transmission was carrying a load of 300MW for Balochistan and because of failure of the protection system against the load, the Guddu power plant tripped.

However, officials having technical knowledge about the power sector said Pakistan is rich in electricity generation capacity by over 36000-MW, but the government has failed to maintain spinning reserves. They say spinning reserves play an important role in preventing power breakdowns when a powerhouse becomes dysfunctional for any reason.


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