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ISLAMABAD: An inquiry committee has established that conductors of transmission towers were substandard that broke due to load shifting, causing the recent blackout in Sindh, Balochistan and southern parts of Punjab.

Power Division is likely to initiate proceedings against those officials of NTDC who are responsible for installing substandard equipment in the system.

Sharing the details, sources said, on the morning of October 13, 2022 K2 and K3 were running at rated capacity of around 2100 MW and China Coal was running at half capacity of around 600 MW.

Shut down already approved was requested by Hubco Coal (CPGHC) for washing their Switchyard equipment before fog season. This shutdown began around 9 am on one of the CPHGC 500kV line.

Hence the rest of the system lines were loaded up to 2700 MW. The major portion of these lines was built with Hubco plant more than 25 years ago.

One of the lines from K2, K3 to NKI tripped bearing max load around 1200 MW due to poor construction work and towers built with poor quality of material after broken conductor cascaded tripping occurred which is a complete failure of protection system supervised by NPCC Deputy Managing Director.

The sources said as per practice, System Operator (NPCC) should have simulated power flow and took measures to reduce generation. Atomic Generators induce hunting in System when power congestion is faced on transmission lines.

According to sources, this was totally the fault of NPCC being system operator. Ali Zain Banatwala whose appointment as DMD System Operator is already under scrutiny, failed to ensure proper protection and the country had to suffer.

An insider told this scribe that the DMD being ex-member BoD got the inquiry of this incident managed and the inquiry overlooked this aspect of negligence due to pressure from some BoD members. His appointment already is under inquiry at the Power Division on the directions of Senate Standing Committee on Power headed by Senator Saifullah Abro.

“A separate independent inquiry is required to establish true facts. The current BoD has made lot of shady decisions which has resulted in a disastrous state of affairs at NTDC,” the insider said adding that postings, transfers and controversial appointments have resulted in this chaotic situation adding that reconstitution of new BoD is still pending for months despite the fact that Secretary Power has already announced the reconstitution of the Board which will select new Managing Director of the Company.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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