A power blackout across the whole of Pakistan was triggered on 23 January when the frequency of the grid fell outside operating limits, according to the country’s Ministry of Energy. The ministry said: “According to initial reports, the system frequency of the National Grid decreased at 7.34 this morning, which resulted in a widespread breakdown in the power system.”
Khurrum Dastagir, Power Minister of Pakistan, said that the power generation units are temporarily shut down in winter at night as an economic measure to save fuel costs. He said: “When the systems were turned on at 7.30 am one by one, frequency variation was reported in the southern part of the country between Jamshoro and Dadu. There was a fluctuation in voltage and the systems were shut down one by one. This is not a major crisis.”
The minister said that his ministry had started restoring some grid stations in Tarbela and Warsak. He said that Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) and some grids of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) had already been restored.
A spokesman for IESCO said that, as of mid-morning 23 January, its 117 grid stations were without electricity, while PESCO confirmed outages in areas where it supplies electricity.
Meanwhile, a power outage was also reported in multiple areas of Karachi. A spokesperson for K-Electric did not give a reason for the outage.
Dastagir said that the situation in Karachi was complicated, because it has its own complete electric supply system.