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Pakistan Hit With Power Blackouts As It Struggles With Fuel Shortages And Technical Problems

Pakistan Hit With Power Blackouts As It Struggles With Fuel Shortages And Technical Problems

A once-in-a-generation inflation shock is rippling worldwide and has become a significant source of social and political instability in the weakest countries. Pakistan is the latest country to experience paralyzing inflation.

Bloomberg reports almost a fifth of electricity generation capacity is offline in the South Asian country because some power plants struggle to purchase liquefied natural gas and coal due to record high prices.

Pakistan’s energy costs have doubled to $15 billion in the last nine months ended February from a year earlier. The country has struggled with purchasing energy products to fuel its power plants since the conflict in Ukraine exacerbated commodity shortages, sending prices to record highs.

Miftah Ismail, appointed as finance minister by new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, tweeted that 3,500 megawatts worth of power capacity are offline due to fuel shortages, and a similar amount is due to technical faults. The total capacity offline is 7,000 megawatts or about a fifth of the country’s total generation capacity.

The poor South Asian country is heavily dependent on imported energy, making it highly sensitive to price swings.

“Pakistan’s situation will not change in the near term since global dynamics are still the same.

“There have been forced outages to deal with the energy shortages,” said Samiullah Tariq, head of research at Pakistan Kuwait Investment Co.

High inflation has already led to a recent government change (so far peaceful). Still, it raises near-term policy turmoil even as the country faces fiscal challenges from soaring commodity prices.

It could only be a matter of time before rolling power blackouts, soaring food and fuel prices incite unrest. This is already happening around the world in the weakest of countries.

The tiny island nation of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean and Peru have already experienced unrest because of rapid inflation. It appears the dominos are already falling.

India Facing Widespread Blackouts This Summer

India Facing Widespread Blackouts This Summer

India faces a persistent shortage of electricity over the next four months as rapid demand growth from air conditioners overwhelms the available generation on the network.

India’s grid reported a record load of 200,570 megawatts on July 7, 2021, at the height of last summer, according to the National Load Despatch Centre of the Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO).

But since the middle of March, the grid has routinely reported maximum loads above 195,000 MW, including a peak of 199,584 MW on April 8 – less than 0.5% below the record.

In the evening, when there is no solar generation available and supplies are even more stretched, peak loads have hit a new record in recent days.

Exceptionally high loads have arrived far earlier this year, well before the most intense period of summer heat, implying the grid is in trouble.

In a symptom of the struggle to meet demand, the grid’s frequency has faltered since mid-March, dropping persistently below target, with longer and more severe excursions below the safe operating range.

Chronic under-frequency is a sign the grid cannot meet the full demand from customers and makes planned load-shedding or unplanned blackouts much more likely.

India has a frequency target of 50.00 cycles per second (Hertz), with grid controllers tasked with keeping it steady between 49.90 Hz and 50.05 Hz to maintain the network in a safe and reliable condition. Since the middle of March, frequency has averaged just 49.95 Hz and has been below the lower operating threshold more than 23% of the time.

On April 7, the average frequency fell as low as 49.84 Hz and frequency was below the lower threshold for 63% of the day, according to POSOCO data.

Frequency has been below target so often for so long in recent weeks it has sometimes appeared the system is operating according to a much lower informal target.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

From ‘Humanitarian Aid’ to a Nationwide Blackout: What Next for Trump’s Coup in Venezuela?

From ‘Humanitarian Aid’ to a Nationwide Blackout: What Next for Trump’s Coup in Venezuela? 

Washington is growing increasingly desperate as its coup efforts go further south in Venezuela, argues Jorge Martin.

US Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams has threatened even harsher sanctions against the South American country as Washington's efforts to oust the Maduro government continue to falter. (AP)

US Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams has threatened even harsher sanctions against the South American country as Washington’s efforts to oust the Maduro government continue to falter. (AP)By Jorge Martin – In Defense of Marxism Mar 13th 2019 at 12.29pmTOPICSInternationalTAGS23 January 2019 CoupHumanitarian AidMarch 2019 BlackoutSHORT URL: 

The failure of the February 23 “humanitarian aid” provocation on the Venezuelan border was a serious blow for Trump’s ongoing coup attempt. There were mutual recriminations between self-appointed Guaidó, Colombian President Duque and US Vice-President Pence. The US could not get a consensus from its own Lima Cartel allies in favour of military intervention.

The coup was losing momentum. Then, on March 7, just days after Guaidó’s anti-climactic return to Caracas, the country was plunged into a nationwide blackout from which it has not yet fully recovered. What caused it? How is it related to the “regime change” attempt? And, most importantly, what are imperialism’s plans and how can they be fought?

February 23 was supposed to be the coup’s D-Day. The idea was never to actually deliver “humanitarian aid” into the country, but rather to create a “people’s power” moment, where large crowds of opposition supporters on both sides of the border defied the Venezuelan armed forces, which, when faced with a large crowd of peaceful demonstrators, would then switch sides and join Trump’s puppet, Juan Guaidó. On the day, however, things did not go according to Washington’s plan. The crowds of opposition supporters did not materialise in the expected numbers. “Aid” trucks did not cross the border and by the end of the day, Rubio, Abrams and Guaidó were left with egg all over their faces.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China Offers To Help Venezuela Restore Power As Maduro Accuses Trump, Guaido Of “Sabotage”

China Offers To Help Venezuela Restore Power As Maduro Accuses Trump, Guaido Of “Sabotage”

China offered on Wednesday to help Venezuela repair its power grid after the country was plunged into its worst blackout on record, now in its sixth day, reports Reuters

With the power blackout in its sixth day, hospitals struggled to keep equipment running, food rotted in the tropical heat and exports from the country’s main oil terminal were shut down.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang said China had noted reports that the power grid had gone down due to a hacking attack.

China is deeply concerned about this,” Lu said. –Reuters

“China hopes that the Venezuelan side can discover the reason for this issue as soon as possible and resume normal power supply and social order. China is willing to provide help and technical support to restore Venezuela’s power grid,” added Lu.

President Nicolas Maduro, who retains control of the country’s military and has the support of both Russia and China, has accused US President Donald Trump of cyber “sabotage.” 

The United States’ imperialist government ordered this attack,” Maduro said in a 35-minute televised address on Monday night accusing the White House of launching an imperialist “electromagnetic attack.” 

“They came with a strategy of war of the kind that only these criminals – who have been to war and have destroyed the people of Iraq, of Libya, of Afghanistan and of Syria – think up,” Maduro added. 

Maduro claimed that the Trump administration conducted the attack in coordination with “puppets and clowns” from the Venezuelan opposition in order to bring about a “a state of despair, of widespread want and of conflict” to justify a foreign invasion. 

Caracas-based political analyst Dimitris Pantoulas tweeted on Tuesday that Maduro appeared “worried, anxious and absolutely desperate,” adding that it’s clear that the government is not in control of the situation. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Venezuela Now 24 Hours In Darkness; Maduro Blames US “Electricity War”

Venezuela Now 24 Hours In Darkness; Maduro Blames US “Electricity War”

Venezuela’s worst ever power outage in recent history has continued since Thursday, as video and photos continue to come out of the cash and resource strapped country showing entire cities blanketed in darkness.

Stretching into day two of the mass electrical shutdown, 23 out of 24 states remain in darkness, according to the AP, in a prolonged situation now reaching crisis levels given reports that hospitals are struggling to keep back-up generators running and many businesses are forced to remain shuttered. Caracas streets Thursday evening, via the AFP/Getty

The nation-wide blackout quickly turned into a blame-game over who’s at fault, with many in the opposition blaming the Maduro government’s mismanagement and notorious corruption, and with pro-regime voices blaming right-wing saboteurs taking orders from the United States.

Caracas has even gone so far to point the finger at Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who only yesterday as part of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing said that the US should promote “widespread unrest” in order to bring down the Maduro government. Though offering no specific proof Caracas officials accused the US and opposition activists of causing “pandemonium” for several days, culminating in the blackout

President Nicolas Maduro gave brief public acknowledgement of the outage on Twitter, saying, “The electricity war declared and directed by the imperialist United States against our people will be overcome!” and added, “No one can defeat the people of Bolivar and Chavez. Maximum unity patriots!”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is There Something Behind the Power Outage in Washington DC?

Is There Something Behind the Power Outage in Washington DC?

The April 7th, 2015 power outage in Washington DC is curious to say the least. Virtually instantaneously, the government declare it was not a terrorist attack. After all, how could that possibly be when the NSA guards the country. If there was an attack on the power-grid, then the NSA would have to answer for their failure. So clearly, if it was an attack, they would never admit it.

Instead, this has been attributed to a piece of metal breaking loose from a power line 43 miles southeast of the District of Columbia, which knocked out electricity to the White House, State Department and wide area including parts of Maryland. Can a simple piece of metal break and shut down that much power of a strategic area as DC? That seems to be an excuse like some drunk driver knocked over a power pole.

Only six days before Obama had to switch to emergency power was on April 1st in Rome where the power supply was out for hours effecting the Lazio region. That included the major Roman airport of Fiumicino. The cause of that event somehow remains unknown.

Just the day before in Turkey there was another power failure. That was the worst blackout since the devastating Marmara earthquake of 1999. Chaos in the capital and much of the country drew more than 70 million Turks into chaos. Public transport was paralyzed, traffic lights were dark, conveyor belts continued. Elevators halted and mobile phones were silent. Even hospitals switched to emergency mode and the NSA style surveillance cameras in the capital Ankara went black.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…



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