Heavy rain, thunderstorm causing power cuts

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday December 17th, 2013

 Electricity supplier PNG Power says its Ramu system was affected by two separate incidents involving heavy rain and thunderstorms between Goroka and Kainantu and the Kassam Pass, resulting in continuous power outages in Lae.

Chief executive officer John Tangit said: “The power supply to Highlands, Madang and Lae was fully restored in the early hours of last Saturday after maintenance work carried out on transmission lines destroyed by lightning on Friday. 

“The lightning struck the main transmission lines to the Highlands and Lae respectively and these tripped the machines at Ramu 1 Power station and Yonki Toe of Dam at Yonki, Eastern Highlands.

“Consumers in Lae experienced longer hours of darkness because in the process of restoring power to Lae, the Baiune hydro power station and one distribution feeder in Lae were tripped and delayed the restoration process. 

“However, PNG Power personnel rectified these problems and the power supply to Lae was restored as scheduled.”

Despite the assurance, parts of the Morobe capital was still experiencing power outages yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Tangit said heavy flooding of the Warangoi hydro power station on Saturday caused a shortfall in generation capacity for customers in East New Britain.

“Water came in through unit 2 and quickly flooded the machine hall and PNG Power personnel had to shut down the hydro power station for maintenance. Warangoi Hydro power station is the major electricity supplier to Kokopo, Rabaul in the East New Britain,” he said.

PNG Power staff began maintenance work since Saturday and the work is still in progress to fully restore the Gazelle system.

The total system demand for Gazelle system is 9.17 megawatts, but the Ulagunan thermal power station is currently sustaining the system with 5.88 megawatts, and load shedding is being carried until the maintenance work is complete at Warangoi.