ISLAMABAD - Taking serious notice of the tripping of the northern system of National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) that resulted in eight hours power outage in Punjab and KP provinces, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Thursday sought from the NTDC a detailed report on the issue.

According to NEPRA’s spokesperson, the power breakdown on 16 May resulted in complete blackout in north (i.e. from Guddu – Peshawar) leaving the provinces of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa without electricity.

Almost half of the country saw around eight-hour power outage on May 16, as a major power breakdown in the NTDC’s transmission system occurred in the morning that left Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Northern Areas without power.

The NEPRA’s spokesman recalled that earlier on May 1 the tripping of NTDC’s 220KV transmission lines affected Chashma Nuclear Power Plant (units 1-4) causing a generation loss of around 2,100MW in north. The two consecutive power breakdowns within a short span, has once again exposed the fragile stability and reliability of the system. This shows poor state of affairs on the part of NTDC.

The prevailing situation in respect of poor performance of NTDC’s transmission network has been viewed seriously by the Authority and NTDC has been directed to immediately provide a detailed report regarding the unforeseen circumstances which caused widespread power breakdown, the spokesman said.

On Wednesday after explaining the position, the Power Division said that according to initial reports, the 500KV Guddu-Rahim Yar Khan transmission line tripped at 09:28am along with 500KV Guddu-DG Khan transmission line. As a result, the load increased on 500KV Guddu-Muzaffargarh transmission line from 733MW/72 MVAR to 1,559MW/717 MVAR as recorded at the Muzaffargarh end, this line also tripped. This tripping lowered the frequency on system from 50.18Hz to 48.755Hz within five seconds. Resultantly, the under frequency schemes came in action and the frequency improved from 48.755Hz to 49.43 Hz. Meanwhile, some other power stations, including four units of the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant, also tripped due to the frequency fluctuation, jerk and cascade tripping which started in the northern part from Guddu to Peshawar. The system went under partial failure from Guddu to Peshawar when frequency plummeted down to 45Hz.

It is pertinent to mention here that Power Division has already constituted an enquiry committee headed by Additional Secretary Waseem Mukhatar to ascertain the causes of tripping, the process of restoration and suggestions for system to avoid such incidents in the future. The Additional Secretary will be assisted by three experts as member of the committee.