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Power company fined Rs5m

Updated August 10, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Thursday imposed Rs5 million fine on the Central Power Generation Company Ltd (Genco-II) for a major power breakdown in January 2016 that severely impacted Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The fine was imposed on completion of enquiry proceedings lasting over more than 30 months. The company was found negligent on maintenance of 220 kV switchyard of Thermal Power Station (TPS) Guddu old and non-operation of 220 kV circuit breaker which resulted in power breakdown on January 21, 2016 in the northern network of country – darkening Punjab and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.

The regulator had taken serious note of the power break down and initiated legal proceedings against Genco-II. It had directed National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) to investigate the matter and submit a report.

On the basis of the NTDC report, the regulator held Genco-II responsible for the power breakdown. Non-operation of 220 kV circuit breaker at TPS Guddu old switchyard which is managed by Genco-II had caused the cascaded tripping of transmission lines and power plants which eventually resulted in wide spread power breakdown leaving Punjab and KP in dark.

Prior to this breakdown, the professionals from the regulator had Genco-II from November 18 to 22, 2015 and recognised the need for proper maintenance of the concerned switchyard. On a report submitted by the team, Nepra had also taken notice of the deficiencies and defects in the concerned switchyard and directed Genco-II to take preventive measures and maintain the switchyard to given standards.

However, “the power break down of January 21, 2016 revealed that Genco did not adhere to the directions which resulted in major power outage,” said an announcement by the Nepra.

Upon failure to comply with the directions, the regulator had issued a show-cause notice to Genco-II and an opportunity of hearing was also afforded on January 24, 2018.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2018