Residents all across Linden were without power from about 14:00 hrs yesterday afternoon up until press time this morning after a breaker at BOSAI’s power plant got damaged.
BOSAI’s power plant is responsible for supplying the entire town with electricity. The damaged breaker was preventing power from being taken to the sub-station which is responsible for distributing electricity around the town. As such, thousands were left without electricity yesterday.
It should be noted that while the damaged breaker was found to be the source of the outage, officials, up to press time, could not say what damaged the critical component to the power plant.
Speaking to Stabroek News at around 22:45 last evening Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon said that complaints from residents began to pour in yesterday afternoon after the blackout persisted for more than a few hours. Although the blackout occurred at around 14:00 hrs, the damaged breaker was only found to be the problem at approximately 22:15.
He explained that conversations with two officials produced two possible outcomes for yesterday’s problem. BOSAI’s Norman McLean reportedly told Solomon that the problem, after being discovered around 22:15 would remedied within two hours.
Linden Electricity Inc. (LEI) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Horace James on the other hand, told the Regional Chairman that repairs were not likely to be completed before this morning. A crew had already been dispatched to work on the line system which takes electricity from the power station to the sub-station when Stabroek News contacted Solomon.
Even more troubling than the damaged breaker and the power outage, was the fact that the damage to the system rendered the back-up systems inoperable, said Solomon, who added that the situation was described by officials as very serious.
Although the majority of the population was left without power for the greater part of yesterday, prioritized areas were supplied with power from LEI.
Solomon, was not specific as to which areas were being supplied with power, but he said the company had devised a list of prioritized areas which would be powered in such instances, and followed through when the time came.
Patients at the Linden Hospital Complex were also relatively unaffected by the outage as Solomon said that the institution has two energy back-up systems which were functioning. Nevertheless, because of the nature of the service provided by the institution, Solomon expressed concern.
Members of Linden’s business community began to suffer as the blackout entered the evening hours. Solomon said that no electricity meant that many persons did not have their fridges and/or freezers on.
He also said that the darkness which covered the town last night made conditions prime for the mosquitoes which terrorized residents. Indeed, most Lindeners went to bed amidst the darkness.
Solomon says a contingency plan for such a situation could have been devised last year if BOSAI had been cooperative with plans proposed by the region. He said that last September the region expressed concerns to utility providers including LEI, the Guyana Water Inc and BOSAI.
It was at this meeting, Solomon shared, that LEI presented their list of prioritized areas which would be supplied with electricity if the need ever arose.
He said that BOSAI was asked to look at implementing a back-up system so that difficulties with the system would not affect the distribution of electricity to the town. This was not done, Solomon, said, adding that the region is not satisfied.