PNG Power explains blackouts

Main Stories, National

The National, Thursday October 31st, 2013

 PNG Power has blamed a shortfall in generation capacity from the Ramu hydro-power station for the lengthy power disruptions around the country.

And it announced yesterday that “prolonged load shedding will be carried out for an indefinite period until the power station is back in full operation”. It urged customers with standby generators to use them. 

According to a company statement, the “power interruptions in Lae, Madang and Highlands centres over the last couple of days” were caused by the problem at the Ramu station.

It explained that the shortfall was caused by the flooding of the machine hall at the Ramu One hydro-power station.

The station began experiencing problems with its drainage pumps and power at 3.30am last Friday and was shut down for maintenance. 

The company said the outlet pumps couldn’t pump water out resulting in the flooding of the machine hall. 

“The pumps were removed, repaired and dewatering process continued in the machine hall. Engineers also repaired and replaced components on Unit 4,” it said.

On Saturday, it said the water level in the machine hall and pit had been reduced allowing the engineers to dismantle and remove the old pumps’ base and install new pumps and accessories.

PNG Power said the strainers, filters and faulty valves of four units were cleaned, repaired and replaced.