Nearly 24 hours after it took place, power was restored across the country on Tuesday morning.
A spokesperson for the federal energy ministry said on Tuesday morning that following gradual restoration, the situation in the country had been completely restored following the massive breakdown on Monday morning.
Pakistan had suffered one of its longest ever outages following cascading shutdowns from a fault originating in the National Grid at the Guddu Power Plant on Monday morning.
The Karachi Electric (KE) company on Monday evening said that they were working to restore power, and hope that most residential and commercial areas of the megalopolis will be energized by midnight, though complete restoration of power – including to industrial units – is not expected until much later in the night or even up to Tuesday morning.
In a presser by Federal Energy Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan around 5pm, he reassured citizens that electricity will be fully restored tonight.
He also stated that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a three-member committee to investigate the cause of the outage and affix responsibility.
Dastgir assured the nation that the country’s power system is safe and that electricity has already been restored in certain areas of Punjab, Balochistan, and South Punjab.
He explained that electricity generation companies need to be supplied with some electricity in order to restore the system.
In a tweet, Minister Dastgir also provided an update that electricity is being partially supplied to the city of Karachi through the Thar Coal Power Plant.
He added that he, along with the Secretary of Power Division and National Transmission & Dispatch Company, have been monitoring the situation at the National Power Control Center.
According to the ministry of energy, “The system frequency of the National Grid went down at 7:34 this morning, causing a widespread breakdown in the power system.”
System maintenance work is progressing rapidly, the tweet added.
The electricity breakdown hit Karachi, Hyderabad, Matiari, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Thatta, Umarkot, Tando Allahyar, Sanghar, Quetta, Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, and other cities.
Electricity was suspended in various areas of Karachi around 7:30 am and around 90% of the city was without power.
The areas where the electricity supply was suspended include Gulistan Johar, Gulshan Jamal, Rashid Minhas Road, Korangi, Malir, Qayyumabad, Old City area, and others.
“There are reports of multiple outages from different parts of the city. We are investigating the issue and will keep this space posted,” K-Electric spokesperson Imran Rana said.
The breakdown hit all the districts of Balochistan as well.
According to Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), the two transmission lines from Guddu to Quetta tripped. It added that 22 districts of Balochistan, including Quetta, were without power.
The Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) spokesperson said that its 117 gird stations were without electricity. No reason was intimated by the regional control centers so far for the power breakdown, he said.
The IESCO administration was in continuous touch with the relevant quarters in this regard, he said.
The energy ministry, however, put the original breakdown down to faults in the low system frequency of the national grid causing a widespread breakdown in the power system across the country.
Efforts are currently underway to restore power to affected areas, but the cause of the breakdown remains unclear.
Officials have urged residents to exercise caution and report any suspicious activity related to the power outage.
KE making cautious progress
Meanwhile, the power utility energizing the country’s largest city, stated that they were working to restore power.
In a statement, KE Spokesperson Imran Rana said that protective mechanisms in their systems helped prevent any damage to infrastructure.
Moreover, he said that KE teams were active and directly supervising power restoration efforts across Karachi.
“Teams are also in contact with relevant authorities to reestablish the link between Karachi and the National Grid, which will quicken the restoration of power supply to affected areas,” he said.
“Progress across the country and KE is proceeding at a cautious pace, prioritizing the stability of the network frequency,” the statement added.
KE stated that they were prioritizing the restoration of power to strategic installations such as airports, Karachi Port, and hospitals and that partial restoration of power in some areas has been achieved.
“It is expected that power supply to majority residential and commercial areas of the city may be restored over the next three to four hours (latest my midnight).”
“However, complete restoration to the city and particularly industrial consumers is dependent on provision of reliable supply from the National Grid, which may take a few more hours.”
All major airports operating as per routine
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Monday said all major airports were operating as per their routine amid a major electricity breakdown in the country, under an effective alternative power system.
“There is no power problem at any major airport,” he said while sharing the situation at the country airports during the electricity outage.
The spokesman said uninterrupted electricity supply was being ensured with the help of a standby power system at the airports.
After running on generators for two hours, he said the normal power supply had been restored at Peshawar airport.
PM takes notice of power breakdown
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken notice of the power breakdown in the country.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office, the prime minister has constituted a high-level committee for investigation into the matter.
The premier also sought a report from the Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir.
He said it should be apprised as to why such a big crisis of electricity took place in the country.
The PM directed to immediate restore the electricity supply