Status: 01/23/2023 10:29 AM

Fluctuations in the power grid have crippled power supplies across Pakistan. According to preliminary findings, the reason was the failure of an energy saving measure by the government. Work is underway to restore power.

In Pakistan, the power supply collapsed across the country early in the morning. The trigger was apparently a botched energy-saving measure by the government: the electricity was cut off during the night. But at dawn, engineers were unable to restart the system, according to authorities. They called on the population not to panic.

Hospital emergency care

Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir told Pakistani media that work is underway to restore electricity across the country. He assured that this would work within the next twelve hours. According to Dastgir, energy consumption in Pakistan decreases during winter nights.

“As an economic measure, we have temporarily shut down our power generation facilities for the night,” he said. When the systems were turned on again there were fluctuations in voltage which made it necessary to turn them off. The minister stressed that it is not a major crisis. Emergency generators were started at businesses, hospitals and military facilities.

Similar incident in January 2021

Most of the country’s population of more than 220 million has been affected by the power outage. After repair work began, electricity was restored first in parts of the capital, Islamabad, and the northwestern city of Peshawar.

At first, the port city of Karachi, with a population of more than 15 million, and the second largest city, Lahore, with a population of more than ten million, were left without electricity. This is the second large-scale power outage in Pakistan in two years.

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Pakistan’s power grid is vulnerable to problems in one part of the country affecting supplies across the country. In January 2021, a power grid outage in the south plunged the entire country into darkness. But during Monday’s crash, supplies were cut off to all major cities at the same time for the first time.

A country suffering from an economic crisis

The risk of widespread blackouts in the South Asian country has increased over the years: the power sector is heavily indebted. In addition, the country is going through a severe economic crisis. The state cannot provide financial resources to ensure the operation of oil and gas power plants. In addition, insufficient investment has been made in infrastructure and power lines.

Pakistan gets at least 60 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels, with roughly 27 percent coming from hydropower. The contribution of nuclear and solar energy to the country’s electricity grid is about ten percent.

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