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Friday, February 3, 2023

‘Worst in months’: Pakistan’s energy minister on huge power cuts in major cities

World News'Worst in months’: Pakistan's energy minister on huge power cuts in major cities

PakistanThe Energy Ministry said on Tuesday it had restored its national power grid about 24 hours after the breakdown caused the worst outage in months, highlighting the vulnerability of the aid-dependent country’s infrastructure. went.

All 1,112 grid stations have come back online, a senior government official told Reuters, adding that power will be fully restored across the country once power-generating units are back up. The official declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Read on ‘Darkness and hopelessness’: Pakistan’s major cities without power. but, till when?

The outage, which began Monday morning during the peak winter season, is the second major grid failure to hit the country of 220 million people since October, although partial blackouts occur almost daily.

Residents of major cities said they now have electricity, but some parts of the country are still without power.

Analysts and officials blame the power problems on an aging electricity network, which, like the national infrastructure, is in dire need of an upgrade that the government says it cannot afford.

The International Monetary Fund has bailed out Pakistan five times in the last two decades. Its latest bailout installment, however, has been stalled by disagreements with the government over a review of the program that should have been completed in November.

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Pakistan has enough power capacity to meet its demand, but lacks the resources to run its oil and gas-fired plants. The sector is so heavily indebted that it cannot afford to invest in infrastructure and power lines. China has invested in its power sector as part of a $60 billion infrastructure scheme that complements Beijing’s “Belt and Road” initiative.

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