Power breakdown: CPEC power plants stay unhurt, resume full load supply

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ISLAMABAD, Jan. 12 : In face of Pakistan’s intense and long-hour power breakdown, CPEC power plants stayed completely protected without developing any fault setting a precedent of quick and reliable resumption of operation.

According to a report published by Gwadar Pro on Tuesday, they have stepped into re-startup process and are gearing up to resume full load supply to the entire Pakistan.

Equipped with enhanced reliability system and latest automatic protection technologies, CPEC Power plants are in position to restore its seamless functionality allowing their power mechanism to get reconnected with National Grid System in order to pull 220 million people out of darkness.

It merits mentioning that owing to China-based advanced technology that meets international standards, CPEC power plants have not developed a single fault in spite of sudden interruption of supercritical pressure and high temperature.

The report added, a trip was witnessed at 11:41 pm on January 9, at the Guddu thermal power plant. The next moment frequency which remains normally at 49.5 Hertz fell to zero. Under cascade, one after another, power plant safety systems began to shut themselves down.

This led to series of shutdown in other power plants including CPEC coal-powered and renewable energy power plants.

Benefiting from modern safety & security system that switches off quickly the entire power plant once encounters any malfunctioning transmitted by other linking power plants, CPEC power plants resume full load supply very quickly.

In an exclusive interview, Mr Xiao Xin, DCEO of Port Qasim Coal-Fired Power Plant said that the power system breakdown caused a shutdown of all power plants, however CPEC power plants like Port Qasim, Sahiwal, CPHGC had taken real-time response by using the latest automatic protection technologies.

“Immediately after the restoration of transmission systems and technical limits, all CPEC power plants stepped into re-startup process and are gearing up to resume full load supply to entire Pakistan at the earliest,” he asserted.

He maintained that CPEC power plants had been operating in a very stable and reliable manner. “Thanks to their best engineering quality and sound operation techniques, no similar faults like this which may lead to a national system breakdown have been seen in CPEC projects up to today,” he mentioned. In last 5 years, he said that CPEC had helped Pakistan in resolving shortage at power supply side.

“For the next phase, China and Pakistan can further cooperate in improving the transmission and distribution system, in order to enhance the reliability of power supply,” he informed.

Replying a query he said, “In the whole grid system, there should be some spare power plants running at minimum load. When the system has issues, these spare power plants can start to full load immediately. It is called Spanning Reserve. However, NTDC grid has no spare plants.”

Mr Zhang Jun, CR from China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG), said that China was ready to disseminate its rich experience and technical expertise in controlling and maintaining power system with its all-weather friend, Pakistan.

“On the basis of vast hands-on credentials, we know how to restore the operation keeping the supply protected from any glitch,” he added. “Since Pakistan needed to upgrade its electricity mechanism as well as transmission & distribution system to fend off future power outage, Chinese enterprises will help Pakistan make things happen,” he added.

As Pakistan’s power system experienced breakdown in winter several times in the past, Mr Ma Desheng of Matiari-Lahore Transmission Project termed the poor weather condition as one of the possible reasons for the massive blackout.

He said that in order to revamp Pakistan’s power transmission network, there are many projects under construction by NTDC which will further strengthen the power grid after its completion.

Pakistan’s first and mega High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) project – Matiari-Lahore transmission line – has been in process to complete testing period. After its commercial operation, Pakistan will experience new phase of life. The $1.68 billion project is the first HVDC project in the country and the second in the world.

Power division experts have linked power outage to the imperfection in load safeguard system and fragile maintenance of transmission lines at the Guddu power station. Situation worsened as National Grid had no spanning reserves mechanism, experts said.

In 2013, 2015 and 2017, electrical blackouts had plunged the country into darkness. Spanning reserves has an anchoring role in warding off power breakdowns.

In developed economies, when a power plant goes out of the system, the spanning reserves come into action and maintain the system without any jerk. So far investigation is underway to find the exact reason for the power failure.