Sunday’s power failure caused by burning pole

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Sunday’s power failure caused by burning pole Empty Sunday’s power failure caused by burning pole

Post  Sirop14 on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:52 pm

Sunday’s power failure caused by burning pole


• More power cut today

The burnt poleThe power failure which hit the whole of the southern part of Mahé on Sunday afternoon and evening was caused by an electricity pole which had caught fire.
The incident took place in lower Sans Soucis, where the electricity line supported by high poles connecting to Grand Anse Mahé via sloppy and dangerous terrain is visible from the Tea Factory.
The entire line from Victoria connects to the Anse Boileau sub-station, from where power is redistributed to the southern half of the island. This covers from the upper Port Glaud area all the way to Au Cap, via Takamaka.
The fire which had been sparked as a result of three damaged insulators – one of which was found completely broken – caused the circuit breaker which serves as the main protector at the Roche Caïman station to trip, resulting in the power cut. PUC managing director (MD) Philip Morin explained that the insulators protect the wooden pole from high current, as it would otherwise catch fire.
“If the pole had burned completely, we would have been in real trouble as we would have been obliged to repair the whole system which is connected to it. This would have taken us a few days,” Mr Morin lamented.
As a result, the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) had to undergo temporary repair in order to restore power during the night. Technicians spent the whole of yesterday carrying new equipment and spare parts to the site and PUC will have to interrupt supply again today to permit permanent repair. So after being without electricity from about 3.30pm to 9.30pm on Sunday, South and West Mahé as well as part of the East of the island will suffer the same fate today.
Mr Morin went on to explain that technicians had first to patrol along the entire line and identify the problem before working through the late afternoon and evening to at least temporarily solve the problem and bring back electricity supply to homes and businesses in the area. Work had involved carrying water and fire extinguishers on foot to the area which is not accessible by road.
The company has predicted that today’s interruption will last from 9am to 3pm. As the affected The damaged insulatorselectricity pole is not completely burnt, today’s task will be to bolt another pole to it. PUC has explained that to change the pole would also be a difficult and lengthy task in itself.
Mr Morin ensured consumers that with the installation of an underground cable system which will provide a backup and secondary line to the existing overhead ones, such disruptions will be avoided in future.
He confirmed that work to connect Beau Vallon and Anse Boileau via the East Coast and Montagne Posée with underground cable is well under way. Work is scheduled to be completed by early next year, before the same system is installed in the South and the rest of the North region.
Mr Morin also took the opportunity to stress on the viability and safety of the underground system.
“The country is small and we have restricted space. The roads were built 75 years ago with no plan for water and electricity infrastructure. Now if we want to improve the infrastructure we have no other choice than going through the roads, though we cannot do it everywhere as it is expensive. With some houses built near the road we also sometimes have no choice but to dig through roads when necessary. But underground lines will not be damaged as they are protected and not exposed to adverse conditions,” he said.
While Mr Morin has also ensured that the underground cable does not represent a hazard to the public as it is shielded by metallic armour and any fault will be self-contained in the line, he is calling on everyone to consult PUC or land transport authorities in case one needs to dig alongside roads.

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