Technical hitches putting Berbicians through blackouts

Berbicians over the past few months have been facing frequent power outages from the Guyana Power and Light company, with parts of the ‘Ancient County’ at times being without electricity for two or more times per day.

Other parts of Berbice experience extremely long hours of power outages while consumers are also disturbed by the low voltage after power is returned.

Recently Stabroek News sought a comment from the GPL Berbice branch manager, Ayube Bacchus, who said there were several reasons for the frequent power outages over the past few months.

He said power generators broke down and needed emergency attention while in unfavourable weather conditions, heavy lightning and thunder caused generators to trip.

On Tuesday night, May 15, consumers in Region Five and Six experienced over three hours of power outage which the branch manager said was the result of a jumper being burnt.

The power company had to mobilize staff and they replaced the burnt jumper on the network circuit. “When they were powering back the system it tripped preventing them from distributing the four megawatts of current needed.  We discovered that there were problems on the main generators.

“Technicians had to troubleshoot” the problem “and some time after 10 pm we began to repower the system.”

When Stabroek News visited the Berbice branch officer on Friday last, there was a blackout in session.

When asked what caused the current blackout situation he said, “we are experiencing another fault in the network.” However, he added that 80% of the system had been fixed.

On the other hand, some consumers have been expressing the view that the recent budget cuts by the opposition could probably be the reason why they are experiencing the frequent blackout.

Stabroek News asked whether this was a contributing factor but Bacchus refused to comment on it, but he did say that the budget cut will affect operations.

“We in Berbice have sufficient generating abilities to satisfy consumers peak demand,” and are also “looking at system protection co-ordination and ways to reduce cases of blackout through maintenance programmes set out for the year and are working on the low voltage fault,” he added.

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