Despite a record rainfall and prolonged monsoon season this year, K-Electric successfully ensured zero public safety incidents associated with its system. This achievement of KE came to light and remained the central point of discussion during an insightful webinar ‘Transmission & Distribution Network Protection’ organized by NEPRA on Friday.
Focused on safety of transmission and distribution networks, the session was commenced by Chairman NEPRA – Mr. Tauseef H. Farooqi who gave opening remarks and welcomed all the participants as well as speakers on behalf of the Authority. He said that this webinar was happening under NEPRA’s ‘Power with Safety’ initiative and was glad to see that progress was being made on HSE front.
After the opening remarks, Chief Distribution Officer at K-Electric – Mr. Amer Zia was invited to shed light on safety culture in KE. Mr. Amer Zia started his address by thanking the Authority and Chairman NEPRA for organizing this crucial session which could cascade important learnings pertaining to safety among industry peers. He said “Due to changing weather conditions accelerated by climate change, Karachi has started to experience heavy rainfall since past few years that led to unfortunate electrocution incidents in the past. Understanding the challenge, K-Electric under the guidance of NEPRA Authority, continued to learn from past experiences and uplifted its safety procedure through targeted investments. So far, K-Electric has ensured grounding of its electric poles along with their GIS tagging. Apart from this primary layer of protection, we are installing running earth wire on these poles done as a secondary layer as well i.e. ”protective earth” which would make sure the operation of protective devices effectively to prevent human body from leakage current. As a tertiary protection, all our overhead 11kV lines are double earth guard-wired and in case a wire breaks down, the system within the affected spans will get instantly tripped and the masses would remain safe from any unforeseen incident.”
He further added, “At KE, we also ensured that our staff members receive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Specialized Protective Equipment (SPE) that comply with the best standards of the world. At an organizational level, we have made uniforms and PPEs mandatory, without it no front-line worker can Work on field either it is overhead network or underground network. The objective to take all these measures is to make a safe, reliable, and efficient environment. KE is also constantly working on employees’ behaviors as well to further improve them through interactions and trainings. We deep dive to the roots and try to fix any limitations when identified, this has been our mindset that has led to zero incident that could be linked with KE during the recent Monsoons. We are also aware that this is not the destination, we are constantly working to further improve our systems and bring excellence. At the end, my advice to my industry peers is that Safety is a mindset that requires constant and not just one-time effort.”
After Mr. Amer, Consultant HSE at NEPRA – Mr. Sohail Ahmad took the central stage to provide insights into the Authority’s Transmission & Distribution Network Protection Guidelines. He said that it is critical to understand that all the accidents are preventive in nature and many developed countries have learned ways to tackle such accidents that are still happening in Pakistan’s power sector. He also praised and acknowledged KE’s teams’ effort for making it possible to have no public safety incident through its system despite the challenges it faces.
Followed by Mr. Sohail Ahmad’s speech, Syeda Rahila Zareen – DGM, CQC, HSEQ-D at K-Electric was invited to inform the audience about KE’s T&D Network Protection and Safety measures. During her address, Syeda Rahila provided an overview of KE’s HT/LT Systems, earthing and grounding efforts as well as shed light on KE’s Public Accident & Prevention Plans (PAPP). Under PAPP, KE had replaced over 3,100 poles in FY 20-21, 2,100 poles in FY-22 to mitigate safety hazard. Furthermore, since FY 20-21, KE has shifted over 425 Pole-Mounted Transformers (PMTs) from old-deteriorated structures to new ones. Similarly, over 1,530 Multi-Storey Busbars (MSBBs) were replaced since FY 20-21 under PAPP Project.
Apart from the technical infrastructural upgrade, Syeda Rahila also informed the audience about KE’s other measures that have enhanced safety and protection of the masses. She talked about KE’s Roshni Baji Program under whose ambit women safety ambassadors reached over 463,000 households across Karachi’s densely populated neighborhoods to educate them about electrical safety. Furthermore, Rahila informed the audience about KE’s continued efforts to raise awareness in the masses about safety through traditional and digital media forums as well as community engagements.
Syeda Rahila was succeeded by Mr. Aziz ur Rehman Bozdar – Head of Analysis and Quality Assurance Transmission KE and Syed Muhammad Tayyab – Lead-MV & LV linear Assets Network Engineering-P&E at KE who provided technical details about KE’s transmission & distribution network’s Protection transformation.
The session was concluded after the closing remarks by Mr. Sohail Ahmad.