Residents worry over black-outs

Lae News, Normal

The National- Thursday, January 20, 2011


LAE City has been experiencing prolonged power blackouts this week with residents hoping there is some respite in sight.

For businesses who have standby generator, it means spending money on fuel to power their operations while the PNG Power Ltd supply is off but for most city residents who rely on the utility company, there is nothing much they could do.

While Lae is experiencing scorching temperatures, many offices need to boost air conditioning but with electricity also off, work is affected. 

Meanwhile, a local level government president in Morobe had asked PNG Power about its prolonged blackoutsin the city.

Wampar LLG president, Peter Namus said the constant and prolonged blackouts in the city “are a nuisance for Lae residents but where else can they turn to”.  

 Namus, who is a former employee of Elcom, currently PNG Power, said it seemed they “gave no care for paying customers at all with things happening on an ad hoc basis.

“These days’ service is out the window with profit being the focal point of the organisation,” he said.

Namus said PPL now had more people in top and middle management that should translate to a big improvement in their service delivery but this was not happening. 

“Sooner or later, even residents will resort to using their own generator because they cannot rely on PNG Power to supply them with constant electricity,” he said. 

However, PPL’s Lae centre manager, Ronnie Kopi had apologised for the recent unexpected outage, saying it was due to bad weather.  

He said a major fault brought on by stormy weather earlier in the week caused the outage which took a while to restore.

Kopi said equipment failure at Ramu and a shortfall in generation capacity in Lae means customers, especially business houses would have to sustain their loads by using their generator until PPL restores their supplies.