Power Plant Fault Plunges Pakistan Into Nationwide Blackout

Pakistan hit by near nationwide power outage following technical fault that causes generation plants to shut down.

The incident occurred just before midnight local time on Saturday 9 January. Many of the country’s major cities such as the capital Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi reported significant power losses.

Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan took to Twitter to tell the nation of 210 million people that there had been “a sudden plunge in the frequency in the power transmission system”.

It is believed a fault at the Guddu thermal power plant in the Sindh province triggered a cascading shutdown of other plants in a matter of seconds.

Power was restored to the most populous province Punjab and the economic centre Karachi within a few hours.

However, the minister admitted it would take several more hours for the grid to return to full capacity.

A spokesperson for the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) revealed all major 500 kV and 200 kV grid stations were back up and running, with Omar Ayub Khan also stating that work was underway to fire up the country’s main Tarbela power station.

Pakistan is prone to power problems, with this latest incident not the first national outage.

In 2013, a technical fault at a power plant in the Balochistan province resulted in a complete grid failure. An attack on a key power line plunged more than three-quarters of the nation into darkness in 2015.

While May 2018 saw supplies disrupted for more than nine hours.

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