Diego Highway information blackout
By Sasha Harrinanan Wednesday, January 9 2013
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BLACKOUT MEETING: Works Minister Emmanuel George, seated at centre in the audience with affected Diego Martin residents as last evening's electrical p...
Homes and businesses in several parts of western Trinidad were briefly without power yesterday evening, following a load-shedding exercise by the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (TTEC).
At about 6.30 pm there was a flicker of the lights in Newsday’s Chacon Street, Port-of-Spain offices, but there was no subsequent interruption in the electricity supply.
However TTEC’s Corporate Communications Manager, Annabelle Brasnell, told Newsday that around the same time, St James and other communities further west suffered, a power outage because of “a problem at the Power Generation Company of TT’s (PowerGen) Point Lisas plant.
Due to the “limited the amount of...electricity available for distribution to customers, we (TTEC) have had to load-shed in west Trinidad, from St James going further west.”
In a text message statement issued at 6.58 pm, Brasnell said she was unable to provide more specific details about the exact cause of the problem, or about how many of TTEC’s customers were affected, because the incident had only recently occurred.
The power outage however, disrupted a public presentation by the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure on the upcoming highway projects in Diego Martin.
Before the outage however, Works Minister, Emmanuel George was able to say a few words. He told residents the ministry wanted to give details as to the work being done, and what was involved. He said he also wanted feedback from residents and stakeholders because they would have perspectives that the engineers and ministry technocrats would not have.
“I think it is very important that the residents and stakeholders who live and use this Diego Martin area participate in any works that have to do with the development, generally, of the region.
And I say so, because of the lessons we have learnt over the distant past, and the not-too-recent-past — lessons that have taught us, that it is important to involve the people of the area, because as much as the technocrats might know from their learning, background and experience, there is no substitute for those who live and use here every day,” he said.
It was at about 6.30 pm, when Chief Planning Engineer, Roads, Michael Mc Kenzie, began to give his first presentation to those present, that the lights at the Central Diego Martin Community Centre, went out. Deputy Permanent Secretary, Roger Israel, announced that the meeting would be temporally adjourned.
However, 20 minutes later, at about 6.50 pm, George announced that a TTEC engineer was contacted, ministry workers were informed that the Point Lisas Power Station was down, which had affected the Bamboo and Brechin Castle substations.
They were assured that it would take time to find and fix the problem, and so the meeting was called off to be rescheduled on a future date.
However, about ten minutes later, the power returned.
Unfortunately, by that time, most of the attendees had left. “I am sorry this happened. If I could put this off for later in the week I will. If not, we will try to do it very early next week,” said George.
Although power in Port-of-Spain was restored by 7.10 pm, TTEC was at that time still awaiting word from PowerGen on the cause of the problem.