Senate panel rejects Jan 9 blackout inquiry report

Recommends formation of high-level committee to re-investigate matter


Our Correspondent November 26, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

The Senate Standing Committee on Energy has rejected the report of an inquiry into the malfunctioning of the machine at Guddu Power Plant – which had plunged the whole country into darkness on Jan 9, 2021 – for being incomplete, recommending the formation of a high-level committee to re-investigate the matter.

A meeting of the committee was held on Thursday under the chairmanship of Senator Saifullah Abro, in which besides the committee members, officials of the Ministry of Energy and related agencies participated.

The committee sought details of the names of all Gencos’ board members as it reviewed the investigation report regarding damage to the machine at Genco II 747, Block V, Guddu Power Plant.

Committee Chairman Senator Saifullah Abro said that every effort is being made to reduce the price of electricity in the country. “The country has a capacity of 40,000MW. In the peak summer season, the power requirement has gone up to 25,000MW.”

Read Senators want minister fired over blackout

The chairman said that there should be a review of the boards of Gencos, which are not working.

Committee member Senator Fida Mohammad said that details of the names of all Gencos’ board members should be provided. “What are the educational qualifications of those who are sitting on the boards? Who is doing their business while sitting on the board?”

The committee sought details of the names of all Gencos’ board members at its next meeting.

The committee chairman said that Nawazish Sahib has been a board member in Genco II since 2002 and chairman since 2016. Abdul Qayyum has been a board member since 2016. He has been an employee of Mian Mansha and of Genco II and Genco III. “An incomplete inquiry report regarding Genco was submitted. Action must be taken on it.”

Senator Saifullah Niazi said that the report did not take the position of GE Company. “The investigation report did not review the legal and commercial issues.”

The Genco inquiry officer informed the committee that the report was completed as per the ToRs. “Legal matters were not included in the ToRs.”

Additional Power Division secretary said that legal matters are mentioned in the ToRs.

At Genco II, the iron sheet outside the machine where the air is taken from rusted. The machine broke down due to rust which blocked the intake of air. Due to the blockage of the intake, the temperature rose, which caused damage to the machine.

“The temperature continued to rise for 118 hours, after which the machine broke down. Why was no one monitoring the machine? Why was the machine not inspected?”

The Nepra chairman said that operating such large plants without insurance is a big risk.

The committee chairman said that the machine had broken down after running for 22,000 hours and the Guddu power plant was responsible.

The additional Power Division secretary said, “We will form a high-level committee with the permission of the government to look into the matter.”

The committee chairman said that Niaz Memon's report states that is the fault of the GE Company.

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