Major power breakdown in Karachi : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Friday, June 30, 2000 -- Rabi-ul-Awwal 26, 1421 A.H.

Major power breakdown in Karachi

By our correspondent

KARACHI: The entire city remained without power for at least three hours early on Thursday, as Wapda's Hub-Jamshoro 500 kV line that also feeds the KESC system tripped around 5:30 am.

The whole KESC system ceased to work, which was normalised after over 12 hours. After the tripping, KESC was deprived of about 280 MW power supply from the Wapda source, which resulted in a chain reaction trembling down other power-generating installations of KESC and IPPs in the city.

As a result of the massive breakdown, almost all the pumping stations of KWSB came to a grinding halt. The city received about 30 to 40 million gallons less water on Thursday; and the impact of short supply of water is likely to be felt in many a city part for another two days, KWSB sources said.

The power supply to important installations and posh areas was restored, but the people in the thickly-populated and suburban areas had to suffer a great deal for want of power. Sources in KESC said that the loadshedding was conducted on rotational basis till the evening and Wapda was also requested to enhance its supply to KESC for the day.

The power went off at Dhabeji pumping station at 5:40 am for two hours, while the supply was restored to other water pumping stations including Gharo, Pipri, Dumloti, North East Karachi, LSR hydrant and pumping station Muslimabad Hydrant for tankers gradually in the afternoon. Due to the breakdown, the tanker supply to Orangi, Surjani and Baldia town areas -- which are facing acute water crisis for the drying out of Hub canal -- was also disrupted for hours, the KWSB sources said.

A KESC spokesman said that the KESC-Wapda system desynchronised at 5:36 am due to tripping at Hub-Jamshoro 500 kV line. The cascading effect caused five units at Bin Qasim Power Station, the Korangi Thermal Power Station and the local IPPs to trip as a chain reaction, he added.

He informed that before the breakdown, the city was consuming about 1400 MW of electricity, including 280 MW from Wapda. Hectic efforts were made by KESC engineers to restore the Bin Qasim units, and finally after the commencement of normalisation process the 200 kV KDA-Jamshoro circuit number 1 was energised at 6:40 am and circuit number 2 at 7:25 am, following which a supply of 400 MW was restored from Wapda.

The spokesman said that the SITE and Korangi gas turbines were also activated and by 8:00 pm, power supply to water pumping stations, hospitals and other important installations was normalised. By 8:10 am, the Korangi Thermal Power Station was also brought on line, while the Bin Qasim Station took time to resume generation and the tripped units were synchronised with the system one by one, he said and added that the station was fully operational by 5:10 pm.

The KESC power generation position at the time of normalisation was BPQS 610MW, KPTS 225MW, KT Gas Turbine 51MW and SITE Gas Turbine 51MW. The supply from Tapal was 115MW; Gul Ahmed 127MW and Wapda 400 MW.

The city power supply system was fully normalised by 5:10 pm at which time the KESC was meeting the peak-hours demand fully, the spokesman claimed.However, reports of intermittent supply of power were received during night hours on Thursday as well. Residents from North Karachi, Nazimabad, New Karachi, Federal B Area, Liaquatabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauher, Mahmoodabad, Society and Clifton reported power suspension in their areas during late night hours and said that the KESC staff was indifferent to their complaints.

-- Martin Thompson (, June 30, 2000

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