Body to probe into Guddu Power Plant blaze

Committee will determine cause of fire and identify those responsible for it


Our Correspondent July 15, 2022

ISLAMABAD:

The Genco Holding Company Limited (GHCL) has formed a four-member committee to inquire into the recent fire at the Guddu Power Plant – an incident that caused a loss of Rs15 billion to the national exchequer.

The blaze broke out at the power plant in the wee hours of Eidul Azha, depriving the energy-starved nation of 747 MW.

The plant was producing cheap electricity using local gas through a dedicated pipeline from Kandhkot tehsil of Kashmore.

The Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) CEO Sabeehuz Zaman Faruqi has been appointed the convener of the committee.

According to details, the fire erupted at the plant at 1:15am on July 10, tripping ST-16.

It took three hours to control the fire but until then the steam turbine was completely damaged.

GHCL Managing Director Muhammad Imran has issued a notification for the formation of the committee. Its terms of reference (ToRs) have also been issued.

According to the document, the body would determine the cause of the fire and identify those responsible for it.

Read more: Friday breakdown: Guddu power plant chief, two others sacked

The committee has been given a week’s time to complete its report.

It has also been assigned the task of determining whether or not water entered the generators from rain.

Besides, it would record the statements of duty officers during its visit to the power plant.

It would also prepare recommendations for making ST-16 functional again soon.

National Engineering Services Pakistan (Nespak) Chief Engineer Haseeb Saqib, NPGCL Muzaffargarh Additional Director Engineer Jameel Hasan and NPGCL Additional Plant Manager Muhammad Akram Shaikh have been included in the committee as well.

Sources said there were no fire extinguishers at the power plant and the staff members were not on duty when the fire broke out.

A senior engineer said the generators were flooded due to heavy rains.

“The fire was caused because of an accident,” he added.

The engineer maintained that it would take around a month to make the plant functional again.

Netizens are blaming mismanagement and negligence for damage to the power plant. According to them, had there been proper fire extinguishing equipment, the damage could have been avoided.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq has demanded an impartial inquiry into the incident.

The JI chief added that the absence of the fire extinguishers at the power plant raised a question mark on the ability and planning of the administration.

“Such incidents expose the overall governance in the country.”

(With input from agencies)

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