Power supply restored to major cities after breakdown: Ministry

ISLAMABAD: Federal Ministry for Water and Power on Friday claimed to have “restored power supply to all major cities of the country two to three hours after reports of a power breakdown” that affected almost 70 per cent of the country.

“The two transmission lines of 220 KVA and 500 KVA were completely repaired by 12:45 am last night. The supply load increased gradually, normalising at around 4:45 pm,” spokesman for the Ministry of Water and Power said in a statement.

The spokesman added that the four distribution companies in the south remained largely unaffected but generation units tripped in the north zone due to higher loads than capacity.

Earlier on Friday, reports suggested large sections of the country ─ approximately 70 per cent, according to according to National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) sources ─ lacked power supply after a 220KVA transmission line tripped in Punjab’s Muzaffargarh district.

Various areas in the four provinces, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir suffered a power breakdown at around 9:30 this morning, while over 15 power plants were rendered non-functional as a safety precaution when the transmission lines tripped, preventing the national grid from tripping.

The ministry spokesman earlier said tripping of the transmission line saved the southern areas of the country from facing a power breakdown.

National Power Control Centre officials on condition of anonymity had told The News Dispatch that the country’s power generation system is being kept under tight control on the request of the Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif.

They claimed a number of power plants had been ordered shut in order to save fuel, and those running on furnace oil have not been permitted to run at full capacity.

Sources added that due to annual canal closure, Tarbela, Mangla dams and the Ghazi-Barotha hydropower project are generating 4,000 megawatts less electricity, bringing their electricity generation to around 800-1,300MW, which means power supply is less than demand.

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