The Malta Independent 16 December 2019, Monday

Tuesday’s power cut: Delimara plant tripped due to severe voltage dip

Wednesday, 27 November 2019, 19:25 Last update: about 18 days ago

Enemalta has provided more details on Tuesday’s nationwide blackout, saying that the fault originated in Sicily.

The facts were confirmed by an internal inquiry.

At 14:39, a fault occurred on the 220kV equipment at Terna’s substation in Ragusa, the remote connection point of the Malta-Sicily Interconnector, thus resulting in the Interconnector being switched off automatically by the protection system to safeguard Enemalta’s equipment.

Simultaneously, there was a trip of all the generation plant at the Delimara Power Station due to the severe voltage dip that was experienced as a result of the Ragusa fault, and subsequent loss of the Interconnector. The generating plant at Delimara Power Station did not trip due to a drop in frequency, but as a result of the severe voltage dip.

Half an hour later, at 15:10, the first Enemalta black-start emergency standby gas turbine generator was in service. At 15:24, the Interconnector was re-energised from Ragusa, and 4 minutes later the first Magħtab Terminal Station transformer was energised. At 15:46 the 33kV network from Delimara Power Station was energised, and at 15:51 supply restoration started to Ħal Far and Freeport areas from Delimara Power Station.

By 16:23 Enemalta 132kV busbars at Magħtab were energised through the Interconnector, and within 11 minutes the 132kV network was energized through the Interconnector as far as Delimara Power Station. At 16:58 Delimara Power Station was synchronised with the Interconnector. By 17:49 the electricity supply to most areas in Malta and Gozo was restored, and by 18:52 supply to all areas was restored, following site interventions by Enemalta personnel.

The company thanked the team of 50 Enemalta Engineers and technicians that yesterday worked tirelessly to restore the service in the shortest possible time.

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