Pakistan Suspends Power Plant Staff After Nationwide Blackout

A technician of the private power K-Electric company repairs an electric line at a residential area a day after the country’s power blackout in the Pakistan’s port city of Karachi on January 11, 2021. – (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP)

 

Seven staff at one of Pakistan’s biggest power plants have been suspended after a technical fault sparked a massive grid breakdown at the weekend, plunging the entire country into darkness.

The blackout hit all of Pakistan’s major cities, including the capital Islamabad, economic hub Karachi and the second-largest city Lahore, lasting around 18 hours in most areas.

The employees at Guddu thermal power plant in Sindh province were suspended “on account of the negligence of duty”, according to the Central Power Generation Company, which operates the facility.

Guddu plant, built in the 1980s, is one of the country’s largest and generates power from furnace oil and natural gas.

The suspended staff included a manager and six junior employees.

READ ALSO: Pakistan Hit By Nationwide Power Blackout

The blackout, which started shortly before midnight on Saturday, was caused by an engineering fault which tripped the system and caused power plants across the country to shut down.

Pakistan’s electricity supply system is a complex and delicate web, and a problem in one section of the grid can lead to cascading breakdowns countrywide.

There were no reports of disruption at hospitals, however, which often rely on backup generators.

The outage marked Pakistan’s second major power breakdown in less than three years.

In May 2018, power was partially disrupted for more than nine hours, while in 2015 an apparent rebel attack on a key supply line plunged around 80 percent of the country into darkness.

Explosion Hits Iran Power Plant

A File Photo of an Iranian Power Plant.

 

An explosion hit a power plant in the central Iranian province of Isfahan on Sunday, state news agency IRNA reported, saying it was over faulty equipment and caused no casualties.

A “worn out transformer… at Isfahan’s Islamabad thermal power plant exploded at around 5:00 am today,” the managing director of Isfahan’s electricity company Said Mohseni told the agency.

The facility returned to normal working conditions after about two hours and Isfahan’s power supply was uninterrupted, he added.

The incident is the latest in a string of fires and explosions at military and civilian sites across Iran in recent weeks.

Two explosions rocked Tehran in late June, one near a military site and the other in a health centre, the latter killing 19 people.

Fires or blasts also hit a shipyard in southern Iran last week, a factory south of Tehran with two dead and the Natanz nuclear complex in central Iran earlier this month.

Iranian authorities called the Natanz fire an accident without elaborating and later said they would not reveal the cause, citing “security reasons”.

The string of fires and explosions have prompted speculation in Iran that they may be the result of sabotage by arch-enemy Israel.

The Jewish state accuses the Islamic Republic of seeking to acquire a nuclear bomb while Tehran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

Cross River Govt. To Commission Power Plant

Cross River Govt. To Commission Power PlantThe Cross River State Government is set to commission its 21 megawatts power plant approved by the Federal Government, on or before the second anniversary of the present administration.

The State Governor, Ben Ayade, expressed optimism that after the commissioning, Calabar metropolis would enjoy 24/7 uninterrupted power supply.

He was speaking at the site of the power plant where he inspected the level of work ongoing at the plant, few weeks into the proposed commission date of May 27.

“The importance of constant electricity supply in all facets of the economy cannot be over emphasised, which is why the demand for the services is always on the increase.

“In Cross River State, South-South of Nigeria, just like other states across the country, the epileptic nature of services rendered by the electricity distribution companies is not satisfactory,” he said.

The governor noted that the move was made, following consumers’ complaints of outrageous tariff, in spite of the epileptic power supply they experience.

He added that the people raised concerns about lack of maintenance on the part of the distribution companies which they described as sabotage.

“Consumers say they have had to contend with issues ranging from, high and irregular tariff rates without constant power supply and in most cases, complete blackout.

“In some quotas, consumers are involved in maintenance and purchase of transformer parts in their communities without reciprocal benefits of power supply, a development they see as sabotage.

“In a matter of weeks, residents in Calabar metropolis will have alternative source of power supply, following government drive to provide an enabling environment for investors to ensure that the state becomes an epicentre of maritime transaction and a hub for manufacturing and export.

“Located along Parliamentary Extension road in Calabar, the power plant facility which is nearing completion, will adopt a cost reflective tariff which will not over burden its customers financially,” he said.

“I can’t wait for Cross River State and indeed Calabar to have 24 hours electricity supply, making it the first and the only state capital to enjoy 24 hours power production under two years into this administration and I think that’s fantastic.

“27th of May, hopefully if we have challenges, it will not be so much but am sure the whole team is on ground and I know that Calabar Metropolis will be in for a very good time once we have this plant rolling,” Ayade added.

Unilorin Partners U.S. Firm To Build N600bn Solar Power Plant

Unilorin, Solar PowerThe University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) has signed a memorandum of agreements with a United States of America based firm for the production and installation of 500 megawatts solar powered plant.

The solar powered plant to be located inside the campus is part of effort to curb the incessant power outages in some parts of the country especially Lagos and Kano states.

Addressing journalists after the signing of the agreements, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulganiyy Ambali, explained that the public private partnership with the firm will cost the company 600 billion naira.

The General Manager of Arrow Capital, Brian Travis, noted that the project when completed by October 2016 would serve both Lagos and Kano states as the megawatts would be sold to them in accordance with the permission of the federal government.