ISLAMABAD - After a lapse of two and a half years National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has finally imposed a fine of Rs5 million on Northern Power Generation Company Limited Genco-III on account of negligence in maintenance of 220KV switchyard of TPS Muzaffargarh and non-operation of protection system which resulted in power breakdown on January 15, 2016.

After reviewing the inquiry reports of NTDC and Ministry of Energy, Nepra held Genco-III responsible for the power breakdown of January 15, 2016, in northern network of country ie Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Taking serious notice of power breakdown the Nepra has initiated legal proceedings against Genco-III and directed NTDC to investigate the matter and submit a report.

It is pertinent to mention here that in January 2016 the tripping of Muzzaffargarh-Multan 500KVA transmission line, due to damaged electric-breaker and intense fog, resulted in cutting off electricity to most of Pakistan’s northern regions including Punjab and KP.

The Nepra has imposed a fine of Rs5,000,000 (Rupees five million only) on M/s Northern Power Generation Company Limited Genco-III (a government owned Generation Company) on account of negligence in maintenance of 220 kV switchyard of TPS Muzaffargarh and non-operation of protection system which resulted in power breakdown on January 15, 2016 in northern network of country i.e. Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Subsequently, the authority after reviewing the inquiry reports of NTDC and Ministry of Energy, held Genco-III responsible for the power breakdown. Non-operation of primary protection at TPS Muzaffargarh, managed by Genco-III, caused the cascaded tripping of transmission lines and power plants which eventually resulted in wide spread power breakdown leaving Punjab and KP in dark.

Prior to the occurrence of subject breakdown, the authority had taken note of deficiencies and defects in the concerned switchyard and directed Genco-III, vide letter dated 10-04-2015, to remedy these deficiencies and maintain switchyard. Upon failure to comply with the directions of the authority, a Show Cause Notice was issued to Genco-III and an opportunity of hearing was also afforded on 24-01-2018.

During the hearing, the representatives of Genco-III were unable to provide any plausible reason to defend itself against the charges framed and it was established that the directions of the authority and provisions of Generation Licence, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority Licencing (Generation) Rules, 2000 and Grid Code 2005 were being violated by Genco-III.