Inquiry committee formed to probe nationwide outage

ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Thursday constituted a three-member committee to probe into the major power breakdown that plunged the whole country into darkness last weekend.

In a notification issued here on Thursday, Nepra said that the inquiry committee comprising two private sector experts would be required to submit a report to the regulator within 15 days (till Jan 29).

The committee is led by Nepra’s Director General Nadir Ali Khoso and comprised of former manager of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) Manu Ram and former chief engineer of NTDC’s System Protection Khalid Mahmood.

Before retirement, Mr Ram looked after the 500/200KV GSO (Grid Station Operation) of the national grid while Mr Mahmood led the grid’s System Protection.

The committee would determine the causes and faults which resulted in the cascade tripping and system collapse and fix responsibility for the major power breakdown. The body will also review whether restoration efforts were adequate and the power supply was restored within the reasonable time.

Moreover, the committee is also required to go through the findings of inquiry reports of such break downs in the past and see if the recommendations of past probes had been implemented and what lacunae or areas had been left out.

The committee has also been asked to recommend remedial measures to be taken by the relevant agencies and companies to avoid recurrence of such events in the future. The committee has been authorised to associate professionals of Nepra or industry experts for assistance and support is so required.

While the management of the Central Power Generation Company (CPGC) had immediately suspended its seven officials for negligence that originated power outage at one of its plant switchyard, the NTDC has separately constituted three-member committee of its own officials to ascertain why protection systems failed to respond to the outage and led to countrywide breakdown on Saturday last (Jan 9, 2021).

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