Pakistan says power grid restored after second major failure in months

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan’s energy ministry said Tuesday it had restored its national power grid nearly 24 hours after a fault caused its worst outage in months, highlighting the fragility of the nation’s infrastructure. it depends on help.

All 1,112 stations on the grid are back online, the ministry said on Twitter, adding that electricity will be fully restored across the country once power generation units come back online.

The blackout, which began Monday morning during the peak winter season, is the second major grid failure to hit the nation of 220 million since October, though there are partial blackouts almost daily.

Residents of major cities said they now had power, but some areas of the country were still without power.

Analysts and officials attribute the power problems to an outdated power grid that, like much of the nation’s infrastructure, is in desperate need of an upgrade that the government says it cannot afford.

The International Monetary Fund has bailed out Pakistan five times in the past two decades. However, its last tranche of bailout is on hold due to differences with the government over a review of the program that should have been completed in November.

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

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