The Malta Independent 2 April 2020, Thursday

No more total blackouts anticipated but short power cuts in some places may happen - Ministry

Wednesday, 8 January 2020, 14:54 Last update: about 4 months ago

No further total blackouts are anticipated unless there are any extraordinary cases which come up but there may be some short power cuts in certain localities while supply switches from one engine to another, the Ministry for Energy & Water Management said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement was issued in reaction to the Opposition’s allegations that the government is hiding facts about the power outages.

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The statement noted that a media briefing had taken place already, while a meeting at the MCESD where the Enemalta leadership had given a detailed explanation of the outages and advised about Enemalta’s plans to repair the damage and provide power to satisfy the necessary demand.

The statement read that another total blackout is not anticipated unless there are any extraordinary circumstances, however it was said that there may be certain moments in different localities where there would be a power outage because the supply would be switching between one engine and another.

The Ministry also said that the survey carried out by the Polar King around 16 nautical miles off the Sicilian coast had used a remote operated vehicle and advanced technology so to identity the gravity of the damage to the cable. Enemalta and Nexans – the company who made the cable – engineers surveyed the process and analysed the footage which were transmitted from underwater.

They said that this was a critical process through which Enemalta is going to have a clear picture of the damage to the interconnector meaning that repair work can start as soon as possible.

On who was responsible for the damage, the Ministry said that due to the fact that Enemalta is covered by an insurance policy it cannot comment further than it already has.

The statement noted that all effort had been made to keep everyone informed, and that there is enough generation capacity – 553MW – to cope with the anticipated level of demand of the current period, which is between 460MW and 470MW.

The Ministry noted that while the outages on 26 November and 23 December were due to damage to the interconnector, subsequent, more limited outages were due to some problems which came up in local turbines but which, in each case, were remedied within a few minutes.

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