Gharo cluster transmission: WPPs for removing constraints

ISLAMABAD: Three Wind Power Projects (WPPs) have urged the government to remove constraints on the Gharo Cluster transmission line network system on war footing basis.

The three WPPs, Hydrochina Dawood Power (Pvt) Limited, Zephyr Power Limited and Tenaga Generasi Limited, in a joint letter to Registrar National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), stated that they are sharing certain matters of concern that are hindering the smooth operations of wind power generation facilities set up by the Companies in Gharo, Sindh.

According to these companies they had written a letter to Central Power Purchasing Authority-Guaranteed (CPPA-G) on May 15, 2023 which states: “whereby ZPPL, TGL and HDPPL have apprised the recent damage caused to the 132/220 kV transmission towers that connect the Gharo-Cluster to Jhimpir Substation, due to high wind on April 28, 2023.”

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On May 4, 2023, these companies wrote that they are not in a position, nor it is their responsibility, to determine why the transmission towers failed despite being designed for site conditions and successfully operating over a number of years, adding that their transmission towers failure cannot be explained by high wind as the transmission towers are designed to operate in such conditions. Additionally, the wind data available to them does not show any incidence of relevant high winds on the said date of failure.

“Once the necessary evidences have been provided the Companies will be able to prepare our bankable Root Cause Analysis (RCA) which will guide on how not to have such failures in the future,” said the joint letter written by Ayaz Dawood, Kumayl Khaleeli and Shamoon Chaudry.

The wind companies argue that the analysis be completed in timely manner so that they may respond to their stakeholders in a knowledgeable and detailed manner.

The WPPs have sought following details from CPPA-G: (i) technical design parameters of the tower (including limitations); (ii) wind characteristics and impact area with evidence of weather stations/ data points; (iii) maintenance schedule based on global industry best practices of transmission infrastructure, which are consistent with the mission statement of NTDC; (iv) evidence of ongoing schedule and unscheduled maintenance of transmission infrastructure (in particular of towers in question) based on said schedule; (v) revision of transmission towers design in light of failures in our wind corridor; and (vi) immediately and timely response to our queries as per our letters dated May 04, 2023.

The top brass of the three WPPs has warned the concerned authorities that any risks due to these delays should be parked with the respective party and not be allowed to be transferred, adding that they do hope all stakeholders including the regulator will be on board by understanding the aggravated situation the Gharo Cluster is continuously facing and will take concrete steps by resolving all the transmission line network’s issues and putting efforts to minimize the frequency of NPEs by upgrading the transmission line network system on a war footing.

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