ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has imposed a fine of Rs5 million on the Central Power Generation Company Limited (Genco-II), a state-owned company, on account of negligence in maintenance of a 220-kilovolt switchyard at Thermal Power Station (TPS) Guddu and failure to operate a 220kv circuit breaker. This resulted in power breakdown on January 21, 2016 in the northern network of Pakistan covering Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
In a statement issued on Thursday, Nepra said it took serious notice of the breakdown, initiated legal proceedings against Genco-II and directed the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) to investigate the matter and submit a report.
After reviewing the NTDC’s inquiry report, Nepra held Genco-II responsible for the power breakdown. Failure to operate the 220kv circuit breaker at TPS Guddu’s old switchyard, managed by Genco-II, led to the tripping of transmission lines and power plants, which eventually resulted in a widespread power breakdown leaving Punjab and K-P in the dark. Prior to the incident, according to the statement, Nepra professionals visited Genco-II from November 18 to 22, 2015 and recognised the need for proper maintenance of the switchyard.
The regulatory authority also took notice of deficiencies and defects in the switchyard and directed Genco-II to take preventive measures to remove the deficiencies and maintain the switchyard.
However, the power breakdown on January 21, 2016 revealed that the licensee did not comply with the directives of Nepra, which resulted in the major outage.
Later, Nepra issued a show-cause notice to Genco-II and gave an opportunity of hearing on January 24, 2018. During the hearing, Genco-II representatives could not be able to provide any plausible reason to defend the company against the charges.
It was established that Genco-II had violated Nepra’s directives and provisions of Generation Licence, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority Licensing (Generation) Rules 2000 and Grid Code 2005.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2018.