Factbox: Why have been tens of millions of Pakistanis with out electrical energy?

SINGAPORE, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Tens of millions of Pakistanis have been left with out electrical energy for the second time in three months after a grid failure on Monday, affecting almost all components of the nation – from the capital Islamabad within the north to Karachi within the south.

This is a have a look at what occurred, and the rapid prospects for Pakistan’s energy grid.


Pakistan’s power ministry mentioned on Monday the system frequency of its Nationwide Grid went down at 0734 hours native time, inflicting a “widespread breakdown” within the energy system.

Power Minister Khurrum Dastgir informed Reuters the outage was attributable to a big voltage surge within the south of the nation that affected the whole community.


Pakistan sometimes meets greater than a 3rd of its annual energy demand utilizing imported pure gasoline, costs for which shot up following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A latest delay in receiving funds below an Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF) programme has resulted within the nation struggling to purchase gas from overseas. Gasoline shipments make up the majority of Pakistan’s import invoice, and present overseas alternate reserves barely cowl a month’s price of imports.

The federal government has ordered malls, eating places and markets to close by 8.30 pm day by day to preserve power, and ramped up imports of gas oil to maintain lights on in colleges, hospitals and factories within the nation of 220 million folks.


Pakistan has been going through hours-long energy cuts for months, with rural areas going through longer outages than cities. Whereas the period of energy cuts has come down throughout the winters, many components nonetheless face energy cuts to save lots of gas prices.

An intense heatwave throughout the summer season of 2022, adopted by gasoline shortages amid surging world pure gasoline costs, has resulted in crippling energy cuts throughout the nation.


Electrical energy grids fail or break down when there’s a large mismatch between demand and provide, typically because of surprising or sudden modifications in energy use patterns.

In excessive instances, when the hole between provide and demand widens past a sure threshold, all producing stations are unplugged from the grid, leading to a blackout.

It’s not instantly clear what the precise explanation for Pakistan’s grid breakdown was, however energy grid frequency sometimes falls when provide falls wanting demand.

Dastgir informed the Geo TV channel that some energy mills have been being taken off the grid throughout the night time in winters as a cost-saving measure, as energy demand was low.

When the facility mills got here again on to the grid on Monday morning, there was a sudden voltage fluctuation, after which the facility producing items shut down one after the other, he informed Geo TV.

Dastgir didn’t say what sort of energy mills have been disconnected, however a scarcity of gasoline at utilities may have doubtlessly damage the grid’s flexibility.

Gasoline-fired utilities and hydro energy vegetation are usually the very best geared up to deal with sudden fluctuations in energy demand, as electrical energy output from these items might be ramped up and down inside minutes.

Different utilities resembling these operating on coal or nuclear gas function repeatedly, making them unsuitable to take care of sudden fluctuations.


Pakistan expects to revive energy to most components of the nation by 2200 hours native time, that means massive swathes of the nation can have been in the dead of night for over 14 hours.

“We are attempting our utmost to attain restoration earlier than that,” Dastgir informed Reuters.

In an analogous case in Bangladesh in October, the nation suffered a grid failure that result in outages in almost three-quarters of the nation, when it took over 10 hours to revive energy. learn extra

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Modifying by Hugh Lawson

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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