National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC), a subsidiary of Ministry of Energy, has claimed that the electricity supply has been restored across Pakistan, a day after a major power breakdown plunged the entire South Asian country into darkness.
The blackout was reported at 11.41 p.m. on Saturday night by citizens on social media from across the country, including major urban centres such as Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Multan, as well as smaller towns and cities.
In a tweet in the evening, the Ministry of Energy said power supply had been fully restored to the grid stations of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) that were impacted by last night’s breakdown. It said grid stations operations teams had remained busy in restoration efforts through the night to protect the system from overloading.
The ministry further said load-management of limited duration was being carried out on different feeders of Peshawar, Khyber, Mardan, Swabi, Swat and Hazara circles, adding that uninterrupted power supply will be restored for all affected areas soon, according to English newspaper, Daily Dawn.
The K-Electric, the sole power distributor in the port city of Karachi, also said most parts of Karachi had been re-energised by Sunday evenining.
“Since 12am last night, KE teams have been working to restore power rapidly to affected parts,” the power utility said in a statement, adding that, KE’s transmission and distribution networks were swiftly restored along with power generation from KE’s Bin Qasim power plant and IPPs.
By late evening, supplies from the national grid were also resumed through existing interconnection points with K-Electric. Most parts of Karachi have been energised already, while teams are available to address any individual customer complaints received at its 118 call centre,” it added.
Addressing a press conference in the capital, Islamabad , energy minister Omar Ayub Khan said that investigations were ongoing to ascertain the cause of the breakdown at Guddu power plant that had plunged the country into darkness.
“We don’t know the reasons at this time since we’d sent teams at night to Guddu [power plant] and there was a lot of fog, nothing could be seen at the time […] as the day goes on and the fog clears, the investigation will be conducted [to ascertain] where the fault occurred.”
Minister for Energy @OmarAyubKhan says most of parts of the country energized after major breakdown occurred in transmission system last night#poweroutage #blackout #electricity @MoWP15 https://t.co/cg1KkDe4qO
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) January 10, 2021
Ayub said that at 11:41pm on Saturday, the Guddu power plant developed a fault and “within a second, the frequency dropped”. He further explained that in technical terms, this is called a cascade effect, since “one after the other” the safety systems of the power plant began to shut down.
The minister said that this was similar to a fuse blowing which has to be manually reset, and the power plant being shut down had affected the entire country.
Earlier, the Ministry of Energy spokesperson, tweeting from the ministry’s official Twitter handle, said that according to initial reports, the Guddu power plant developed a fault at 11:41pm on Saturday night.
“The fault caused the country’s high transmission lines to trip, which in turn caused the system frequency to drop from 50 to 0 in less than a second.
Some time later, the energy minister tweeted that power supply was being restored to cities in phases, starting with Islamabad.
According to Ayub, the power breakdown was caused after the frequency in the national power distribution system suddenly fell from 50 to zero.
Netblocks, which monitors internet outages, said internet connectivity in the country “collapsed” as a result of the blackout.
Connectivity was at “62 percent of ordinary levels,” it said in a tweet.