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LAHORE: The power generation reduced to 17,500MW on Friday after a couple of power plants stopped working due to tripping and other technical issues, increasing the country’s electricity shortfall to nearly 5,000MW and forcing the distribution companies (Discos) to increase loadshedding by two to four hours in urban and five to eight hours in rural areas across the country.

“Due to tripping/technical issues, some of the power plants didn’t operate on Friday. Therefore, around 2,000MW being generated by these plants couldn’t be added to the national grid. The plants are Sahiwal Coal Fired Power Plant, Haveli Bahadur Shah Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas Fired Plant (Jhang) and under-test Balloki Power Plant (Kasur),” Ilyas Ahmad, the general manager of the National Power Control Centre (NPCC) – a department of the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) – told Dawn.

He said the Sahiwal plant had added just 420MW instead of 1,320MW, over 700MW were reduced in the system due to the Haveli Bahadur Shah Plant and Balloki plant, which is contributing over 700MW to the national grid these days, didn’t carry out its operation on Friday.

Mr Ahmad said the maximum power generation recorded was nearly 17,500MW whereas the demand was about 22,000MW.

Rashid Mehmood, the chief executive officer of the National Power Parks Management Company Private Limited (NPPMCL), confirmed tripping of the Haveli Bahadur Shah plant.

“Yes our plant has tripped due to some technical reasons, may be due to low frequency in any of the two transmission lines (Gatti and Muzaffargarh) connected with this plant. The plant machines worked well and tripped under the automatic system and it may take 72 hours to resume the operation,” he explained.

Mr Mehmood added that the Balloki plant was undergoing a test run for the last seven days and it was not being run on a daily basis.

“Only for two days, it (Balloki plant) generated over 600MW that were added to the national grid. There is no problem with the Balloki plant at the moment. The tripping issue of the Haveli Bahadur Shah plant would be resolved soon as the machines take 72 hours to cool down. So, the Haveli plant would resume the operation by Sunday night,” the NPPMCL CEO maintained.

Meanwhile, the demand for Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) alone, the country’s biggest distribution company covering the areas of provincial metropolis, Kasur, Okara, Sheikhupura and Nankana districts, crossed 4,400MW in the peak hours.

“Our total demand crossed 4,400MW while we were supplied 3,200MW under quota. Thus, we faced a shortfall of over 1,200MW that forced us to increase loadshedding in all of our urban and rural areas,” Lesco CEO Syed Wajid Ali Kazmi told Dawn.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2017