As many as nine countrywide electricity blackouts have been witnessed since mid-2018 due to inefficient management and Board of Directors (BoD) of the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC), said sources.
They said the Nepra has fined the NTDC for the blackouts as such a level of blackouts have never been witnessed in the history of the country.
According to data available with Business Recorder, the worst-ever blackouts started from August 1, 2018, in Lahore due to tripping of 220 kV Bund Road Grid Station, followed by tripping of NTDC’s 500 kV and 220 kV transmission lines on August 12, 2018 and September 24, 2018 in South due to high humidity and pollution affecting power supply to K-Electric from National Grid as well as generation from 1320 MW Port Qasim Power Plant and Wind Power Plants operating in region of Jhimpir and Gharo.
Similarly, on October 2, 4 and 25 of 2018, another tripping of NTDC’s 500 kV and 220 kV transmission lines occurred in South due to high humidity and pollution affecting power supply to K-Electric from National Grid as well as generation from 1320 MW Port Qasim Power Plant.
On November 12, 2018, said the data, tripping of NTDC’s 500 kV and 220 kV transmission lines took place in South due to high humidity, pollution and smog affecting power supply to K-Electric from National Grid as well as generation from 1320 MW Port Qasim Power Plant.
On January 25, 2019, tripping of 500/220 kV transmission lines in Guddu, Shikarpur and Multan region occurred due to extreme weather conditions caused by dense fog/smog and pollution/contaminated layers on insulators caused by variety of sources (i.e. sea, salt, industries). This tripping caused tripping of HUBCO, Port Qasim and Guddu Power Plants thereby resulting in power failure to large parts of Sindh (NTDC network as well as K-Electric) and Balochistan.
Finally on January 09, 2021, tripping of 500 kV and 220 kV transmission lines occurred due to faulty breaker at Guddu, followed by isolation of system in North and South regions and the complete system collapsed as a result of cascaded tripping.
Reliable sources said the NTDC, Pakistan’s only transmission company (TRANSCO) in the public sector, is facing a leadership identity/problem once more, as the NTDC Board has not been able to find the right person as MD NTDC, with as many as seven incumbents holding the position during the last four years.
Except for expats, inducted as MDs with very high pay packages, the position has been held by Power Division generalists and departmental professionals during the rest of the time on the look after basis only. Incidentally, it was found that within a short time both the expats were sacked as MDs by the government being incapable of delivering.
Sources said the Board has now recommended posting of one of its Board members as MD NTDC pending and the selection process is undergoing vide its letter No NTDC/BoD/21-30 dated 03-06-2022. Prior to it, the BoD had selected and posted one of the Board members, Ali Zain Banatwala, as DMD System Operations (SO) of the company. He was a consultant to the NTDC as well.