Lahore: Last week’s power outage, which hit the entire country and could not be fully fought for two days, once again exposed the fragility of the grid and the incompetence of the system.
The power supply usually resumes within eight to 10 hours after a major power outage. However, the power failure, which started at night, lasted for an unusual 48 hours, mainly due to an imbalance in the power supply, leading to a prolonged shortage of basic energy sources.
Such a helpless scenario exacerbates the situation as the meeting base load of coal-fired and nuclear plants ends for extended intervals due to their bizarre power generation process. Such instability of power plants left the entire power grid dead without any backup generation available as it took a long time to start both coal and nuclear power units.
There was no excess volume of natural gas in the system pack and at the same time with the lack of liquid surplus liquid fuel to run thermal power plants on short notice, affairs managers are forced to watch the power grid fall. have been.
The re-supply of gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to domestic consumers was blamed for the shortage of thermal power. It partly contributed to the escalation of the energy crisis.
Nadeem Babar, special adviser to the prime minister on energy, acknowledged that the long-awaited start was mainly due to the late restoration of power supply, which led to instability in the grid. However, coal and nuclear power plants take time to start, and power blackouts have nothing to do with gas availability.
However, sources said that as the country is barely meeting the demand for natural gas in mid-winter, the country has no capacity to run an RLNG-based power plant in an emergency as it did last weekend The nation was facing.
“If we had more natural gas reserves and managed to divert gas to RLNG plants, it would not have taken 36-48 hours to restore power after a major breakdown,” said one expert.
The energy adviser said that RLNG has been diverted to bring the system forward. Now that the system is gone, RLNG was returned to normal use. The Guddu power plant, which runs on local gas, provides 1,000 megawatts, a system that has led to a loss of electricity across the country.
Hydropower can be operated in minutes. But it was also the least affected by the annual canal closure, which lasted about a month. The release of emergency water from the dams after a major breakdown helped partially bridge the power gap.
Hours after the catastrophe, the federal government ignored the river water regulator to release emergency water from the dams, but the intervention did not bridge the gap between demand and supply of electricity. Failed to fail.
Rao Irshad, chairman of the Indus River Systems Authority, said that after the power outage, the country faced an emergency situation where power generation was virtually reduced to zero and hydropower became the only viable option. The tax had come up which could have literally started generating electricity, said Rao Irshad, chairman of the Indus River Systems Authority.
“In such a situation, the government has the power to take whatever decision it wants to unilaterally start generating electricity,” he said in a conference call. This increased flow enabled the grid to provide hydroelectric power for about 20 hours until coal-fired and other thermal plants were up and running.
Sources said that about 10 to 12,000 MW of winter power demand is met from coal and nuclear power plants. A capacity of about 4,500 MW of coal power as well as 1,400 MW of nuclear power was being generated when a human error at the Guddu plant caused the grid to collapse.
For about 24 to 48 hours after the grid trip, the capacity to generate coal and nuclear power was about 6,000 MW. This volume of electricity was a great help in the general demand of winter.
Due to lack of backup arrangements, the power outage has been extended for about two days. Fuel shortages have been cited as a major reason for delays in resuming power supply, exposing power system hazards and endangering the county’s energy security.
Prolonged power outages in major cities and towns As a result, people in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s parliamentary constituency in Mianwali District experienced a power outage of more than 18 hours.
The power supply to Mianwali district was cut off at 5:05 pm on Sunday. However, to intimidate the residents, they were re-incarcerated for about two and a half hours after about half an hour, and extended their free life to twenty hours a day.
A spokesman for the National Electricity and Dispatch Company said the relevant distribution company could respond better. The author did not call when he tried to contact the management of Faisalabad Electric Supply Company, which manages the grid in Mianwali district.
A spokesman for the power division did not comment on delays in restoring power in the country in general and in Mianwali district in particular. Khan won NA-95 (Mianwali I) by a wide margin in the 2018 general elections.
Residents of Okara District also had to go through a similar fate. After a power outage at 11:40 pm last Saturday, power supply was restored at 7 pm on Monday but it proved to be a short delay as after about an hour of supply, the power was cut off till 3:30 am. Gayi, a resident of Basirpur expressed regret. People in so many other cities and towns also experienced a two-hour power outage after the grid was activated every hour for the entire Sunday and Monday.
The grid should connect transmission lines and control facilities, reliable power generating units to provide a smooth lifeline to millions of customers. Investment and expertise are needed to maintain a flexible and state-of-the-art power grid behind a substantial basic energy supply.