Weather and power woes persist in Punjab

Federal minister blames fog for temporary outages

Our Correspondent January 05, 2019

LAHORE: Residents of Punjab continued to suffer the menace of load shedding for the third consecutive day. The country witnessed the tripping of its main transmission and power plants over the last 72 hours.

According to the Ministry of Water and Power, the situation is under control and regular load management of up to 3-5 hours is being conducted in different areas. The total demand, as of Friday morning, was 14,000 megawatts (MW) whereas supply stood at 12,000 MWs.

However, many localities, deemed to be high-loss areas, were facing more load shedding than the number of announced hours. The Federal Minister for Power Umar Ayub, in a message, said authorities have to conduct temporary load shedding as main transmission lines tripped in the dense fog. “We will have to conduct load shedding in future too if necessary,” he added.

As per the MoWP spokesperson, the 747MW Guddu power plant was partially restored. However, other power plants, which tripped as part of a cascading effect on Wednesday morning, are back online. Two Punjab-based power plants, Haveli Bahdur Shah and Bhikki, are not generating electricity due to the lack of RLNG.

The Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) is also conducting load shedding in different parts of the city. According to a LESCO official, the company is not getting its quota of electricity since the fault occurred. The official added normal service will resume once the power utility gets its required quota.

Load shedding spread across the LESCO network as the situation in Lahore suburbs and its adjoining districts like Shiekhupura, Kasur City and Okara became more critical. People faced continuous load-shedding of up to three hours. “Load shedding once again is teasing us and the situation in rural areas is quite troubling,” said Shehryar Ashraf, a resident of Kasur city.

Meanwhile, power outages and tripping issues have increased load shedding in Multan. The Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) is facing a 500 megawatt shortfall due to thick fog in the country. According to MEPCO spokesman Jamshaid Niazi, the provision of electricity supply to MEPCO decreased after the tripping of power houses and transmission lines during thick fog across the country. He said that the demand of electricity was 1,500 megawatts in Multan and it was only getting 1,000 megawatts of electricity. He said that two to five hours load management was taking place across the region falling into MEPCO’s control. He said the electricity supply would come to a normal position once the power houses started running and the weather conditions changed. Meanwhile, MEPCO superintending engineers would conduct open courts at all operation circles of Multan region on January 5.

*With additional input from APP 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2019.


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