A major power breakdown occurred in Pakistan early Monday morning due to a failure in the national grid, leaving many areas without power for several hours. According to reports, the power supply was restored in Rawalpindi’s cantonment area after eight hours of outage. The Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) also restored power to half of the feeders in the province, with a spokesman for PESCO stating that “out of 123 feeders, electricity has been restored to 50 per cent of the feeders.” In a statement, the Ministry of Energy confirmed that the system frequency of the national grid went down at 7:34 am on Monday, causing a widespread breakdown in the power system across Pakistan.
The Energy Minister, Khurram Dastgir Khan, stated that there is no major power failure in the country. He explained that the power breakdown started between Jamshoro and Dadu due to a reduction in frequency when the system was being switched on one by one this morning. The energy minister said that the breakdown came from north to south and the system is gradually being restored from south to north. He gave a conservative estimate that the country’s power supply will be fully restored in the next 12 hours, but efforts are being made to restore power sooner.
Dastgir further explained that at the time of power generation, the effect of each megawatt on the power tariff is considered. Since the demand for electricity is lower in winter, the system is turned off at night and switched on individually in the morning. He also mentioned that the electricity situation in Karachi is “complicated” as the K-Electric also has its own system and that the 1100 MW power supplied to the metropolis from the national grid will be restored in a few hours.
The IESCO has stated that system maintenance is being directly monitored from the central control room and that power is being restored in a phased manner to protect the distribution system from any damage. Power restoration is ongoing for various grid stations in areas of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, including the 132 KV grid station at Zero Point, D-12, F-6, F-16, G-5, G-9 and I-8 as well as Adiala, Chaklala and Chakri. Maintenance work is also ongoing in other cities of Punjab, including Attock, Chakwal and Jehlum. The IESCO spokesman assured that power restoration to other grid stations will also start soon, adding that a full system restoration will take time.
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has taken notice of the incident and is investigating the cause. The authority has issued a strict notice to the relevant authorities and has directed them to submit a detailed report on the matter. NEPRA has also directed the authorities to take measures to prevent such incidents from happening in the future and to ensure continuity of power supply to the citizens.