14-hour Power outage left country in despair

-Unprecedented fluctuation hits the National Grid
-PM forms three-member committee to probe matter
-NEPRA too takes a serious notice of the matter
-Telecom companies shut services across country to ensure Fuel management

By Anzal Amin

ISLAMABAD: A countrywide power breakdown, triggered by a “frequency variation” in the national grid early morning, has left large parts of the country including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta without electricity.
Soon after the power breakdown was reported, Dastgir, while talking to media, said that the power generation units were temporarily shut down in winter at night as an economic measure to save fuel costs.
“When the systems were turned on at 7:30am this morning one by one, frequency variation was reported in the southern part of the country between Jamshoro and Dadu.”
“There was a fluctuation in voltage and power generating units were shut down one by one due to cascading impact. This is not a major crisis,” said the federal minister.
The minister said that his ministry had started restoring some grid stations in Tarbela and Warsak. “Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) and some grids of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) have already been restored,” claimed the minister.
In a press conference later, he said that despite the unprecedented voltage fluctuations in the national grid, the transmission system is safe, which will help in the restoration of power.
“Our teams — from across the country — have not reported any adverse effects of the breakdown on the national transmission system. This will help us when we restore power.”
He added that a working power plant in Uch is providing energy to Sukkur, Naushahro Feroze, Larkana, Khairpur Nathan Shah, and their surrounding areas.
So, he said, using the same power plant, the power has been restored in some areas of Balochistan and South Punjab, while the Thar Coal facility is providing power to Karachi Electric so that it can restore its functions partially.
Talking about the breakdown in Karachi earlier, the minister had said that the matter in the port city is complicated as it has a complete electric supply system.
“All the officials are trying their level best to restore the system. We faced some difficulties in restoring the hydel power plants. As I had mentioned earlier that the national transmission system was safe, so we need the power to supply electricity further. “
He added that the National Transmission & Despatch Company has been authorised to “use any power plant — no matter how expensive it might be to operate them — for the restoration of electricity”. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took strict notice of the power outage and ordered the constitution of a high-level three-member committee to probe the reason behind the breakdown.
The prime minister — who was annoyed due to the impact of the breakdown — also sought a report from the energy minister, a statement from the PM’s Office said. The prime minister also directed the officials to immediately restore the electricity supply.
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), in a statement, also said that it has taken “serious notice” of the power outage and directed the NTDC to submit a “detailed report”.
The statement also said that the regulator has previously imposed fines on similar outages in 2021 and 2022. It also shared that NEPRA has consistently issued directives and recommendations on tackling such events in future.
Following the prolonged nationwide power breakdown, reports have also been received regarding mobile and internet services being affected in cities in different pockets.