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Jul 14, 2009

P.U.C. says brace for more blackouts across the country

Do you remember your parents stories of long blackouts and family fun in the dark for prolong periods? Hopefully the memories were good ones because the country may be returning to those dark ages, sooner than you think; so brush the dust off your old lamps. Belize Electricity Limited sent out a fax on Monday saying that the power supply situation for the entire country may worsen starting Wednesday. B.E.L.’s main supplier of power, Mexico’s Comision Federal de Electricidad has generation problems. The reason? C.F.E. has informed B.E.L. that one of its large generators has to be taken offline for maintenance. Whenever there is a blackout, B.E.L. would normally use its Gas Turbine to restore the system, but that is out of service while undergoing maintenance over the next two weeks. And to complicate matters there is also loss of power supply from Hydro Maya Limited, which has suffered damage due to mechanical failure. Hydro Maya, C.F.E. and B.E.L.’s gas turbines would normally generate over forty-eight Megawatts of power for the country and since they are all under repair or out for service, that can only translate into countrywide power outages.

B.E.L. representatives declined an on camera interview. However, the Public Utilities Commission isn’t taking the issue lightly. The P.U.C. has issued an advisory stating that the government and B.E.L. are negotiating with the Mexican Government to secure power for this period. Belize Aquaculture Limited (B.A.L.) has also been contracted to temporarily supply up to ten Megawatts of excess capacity and energy from B.A.L.’s generation facility. The P.U.C. advises consumers to heed schedules of planed outages; limit the amount of power that is used at home; and make arrangements for alternative power supply in case of emergency situations. We at Channel Five advise you to stock up on batteries and candles. We’ll have more on this developing situation in tomorrow night’s newscast.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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