Millions in Pakistan in Nationwide Blackout as Grid Fails
Pakistan faced a major nationwide power breakdown on Monday because of “reduced frequency” in the national grid, the energy ministry said in a Twitter message.
(Bloomberg) -- Millions of people across Pakistan’s major cities were plunged into a blackout prompted by a power grid failure, dealing another blow to the nation already reeling from surging energy costs.
Outages were reported in locations including Karachi, Lahore and capital Islamabad, according to local media reports, and it could take as long as 12 hours to fully restore electricity, Geo TV said, citing Power Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan.
Many major businesses were relying on backup power systems, and Pakistan’s stock exchange was trading as normal. The benchmark KSE-100 index was 0.5% lower as of about 11:25 am local time.
Reduced frequency caused the national grid to go down at around 7:34 a.m. Monday, Pakistan’s Energy Ministry said in a Twitter post. Work is underway to bring power back, and a limited number of grids in Islamabad and Peshawar have been restored, the ministry said. Khan didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Karachi-based K-Electric Ltd. confirmed its network had been impacted, and said it was prioritizing strategic customers including hospitals and airports. “Teams are working to restore power supply in the city after tripping took place at the national grid,” a spokesman said in a statement.
Pakistan has struggled with power outages for years, including a major incident in January 2021 when a power plant fault collapsed the national grid, prompting calls for an overhaul of aging electricity transmission infrastructure.
The nation was also hit hard by last year’s global energy crisis as sky-high prices forced Pakistan to drastically curb liquefied natural gas imports, prompting rolling blackouts, fuel rationing and hikes to power costs. Government plans seek to reduce electricity consumption by half, and have involved requests for some markets and malls to close early and public sector employees to work from home.
--With assistance from .
(Updates with Karachi stock exchange operating as normal in third paragraph.)
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