ISLAMBAD - Holding the overload grid stations responsible for increased loadshedding, Nepra has warned that issues with NTDC’s network remain unresolved and will further aggravate in July and August if immediate measures are not taken.

Despite a huge spending of Rs96.63 billion, the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) has failed to bring any improvement in its transmission network, said a spokesman of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) here Friday.

According the spokesman Nepra has taken notice of the increased loadshedding witnessed recently throughout the country. It has been found that the underlying issue hampering continuity of supply is overloaded grid stations of NTDC.

The grid stations have suffered extensive overloading, specifically in the service territories of Lahore Electric Supply Company Limited (Lesco), Islamabad’s Iesco and Peshawar’s Pesco.

This has caused the distribution companies (DISCOs) to carryout forced loadshedding to relieve overloading at 500kv Rewat, Shiekhupura, Gatti, Multan and Sikarpur grid stations, and 220kv Burhan, New Kot Lakhpat, Kassowal, Mardan, Bannu, Vehari, Muzaffargarh and Hala Road grid stations.

The spokesman said that Nepra has allowed a huge investment of Rs96.63 billion to NTDC during last three years (i.e. FY 2014-15, FY 2015-16 & FY 2016-17) for the improvement and reliability of transmission network, but NTDC has failed to bring any improvement.

Repeated power breakdowns, persistent overloading of NTDC’s grid stations, delay in projects (related to transmission lines & grid stations), power evacuation issues from power plants and additional 4-5 hours loadshedding by DISCOs on account of NTDC’s system limitations indicate poor state of affairs of NTDC. Furthermore, NTDC also failed to intimate information regarding constraints in its network to Nepra.

Nepra, in its capacity as the regulator of the energy sector, has taken serious notice of the aforementioned failures of the NTDC and has directed the system operator, vide letter dated 20-11-2017, to resolve the issue of overloaded grid stations expeditiously.

However, the issues with NTDC’s network remain unresolved and they will worsen in the next couple of months if no immediate measures are taken by the NTDC. Nepra has therefore issued directions to the NTDC to forthwith prepare and implement a prioritised plan for elimination of its overloading and network issues.

Despite the government’s announcing zero loadshedding during Sehr, Iftar and Taraveeh, unscheduled and forced loadshedding continues.

Although there are complaints of loadshedding from different parts of the country during night hours of the holy month, the situation is far worse in the IESCO, PESCO and LESCO regions.

IESCO has clearly stated that NTDC is responsible for the current loadshedding as the company has enough power in their system to provide uninterrupted power supply to the consumers.