NEPRA imposes fine of Rs5m on Genco-III for power breakdowns

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ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has imposed a fine of Rs5,000,000 on M/s Northern Power Generation Company Limited GENCO-III, a government-owned power generation company on account of negligence in maintenance of 220 kV switchyard of TPS Muzaffargarh and the non-operation of protection system which resulted in power breakdown on January 15, 2016 in the northern network of country i.e. Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Authority took serious note of the power break down and the initiated legal proceedings against GENCO-III and directed the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) to investigate the matter and submit a report.

Subsequently, the Authority, after reviewing the inquiry reports of NTDC and the Ministry of Energy, held GENCO-III responsible for the power breakdown. Non-operation of primary protection at TPS Muzaffargarh, managed by GENCO-III, caused the cascaded tripping of transmission lines and power plants which eventually resulted in widespread power breakdown leaving Punjab and KPK in the dark.

Prior to the occurrence of the breakdown, the Authority had taken note of deficiencies and defects in the concerned switchyard and directed GENCO-III, vide letter dated 10 June 2015, to remedy these deficiencies and maintain the switchyard. Upon failure to comply with the directions of the Authority, a show cause notice was issued to GENCO-III and an opportunity of hearing also afforded on 24 January 2018.

During the hearing, the representatives of GENCO-III was unable to provide any plausible reason to defend against the charges framed and it was established that the directions of the Authority and provisions of Generation License, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority Licensing (Generation) Rules, 2000 and Grid Code 2005 were being violated by GENCO-III.