Saturday, 24 January 2015

Electricity supply restoration underway after major blackout hits country

KARACHI: Power was being restored across Pakistan after a widespread blackout hit the country, which saw 80 per cent areas plunge into darkness minutes after midnight on Saturday.
This was the fourth major breakdown of the system within the past one month plunging countless cities, towns and villages in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan into darkness.
A substantial area in Sindh was affected, too. The breakdown did not spare even Islamabad.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took notice of the worst-ever power breakdown to have hit the country and issued instructions for the immediate resumption of power supply on an emergency basis.
Power supply in many areas was restored after the instructions were issued by the prime minister. A K-Electric spokesperson told Dawn that power supply had been partially restored in Karachi and the supply to remaining areas would also resume soon.
The tripping of Guddu power plant's transmission lines affected the 500KW power line from the national grid, forcing Jamshoro and Bin Qasim power stations to shut down.
Dawn's Quetta correspondent, Syed Ali Shah, reported that in Balochistan 17 districts suffered a sudden power breakdown.
According to Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) officials, the transmission lines from Guddu to Quetta were tripped.
Power supply to Quetta and other 16 districts have been suspended as a result of technical fault, however, it could not be verified by independent sources.
QESCO officials said, 220KW transmission line was abruptly suspended. The other districts include Pishin, Khuzdar, Mastung, Kalat, Sibi, Bolan and other adjoining areas.
Federal State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said that transmission lines in Balochistan's Nasirabad district were blown up by a bomb which caused the electricity crises.
DawnNews reported that more that 70 per cent of Karachi was in darkness after a sudden power failure struck the country's industrial capital.
Earlier today, Dawn's correspondent in Islamabad, Sohail Iqbal Bhatti, had reported that the country's power crisis would be exacerbated as a result of acute shortage of furnace oil.
The shortage of furnace oil had also been revealed by the Water and Power ministry in a report on handling of furnace oil shortage issues.
The report said that power production from Jamshoro power plant has been decreased to 170MW from 570MW.
Similarly, power generation from Muzaffargarh plant after a decrease of 700MW was 360MW only, while Faisalabad power plant has suspended power generation due to non-availability of furnace oil.
Also, power production from HUBCO and Kapco after a decrease of 1300MW stood at 1051MW. Due to acute shortage of furnace oil, power shortfall has stood above 6700MW in the country.
According to the power ministry’s report, demand of electricity has surged to 14000MW, while the generation has reduced to only 7,000MW.
Refineries are unable to fulfill the demands of furnace oil, while a decision to purchase 12 cargoes of furnace oil has been facing a shortfall of Rs30 billion.

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