Possibility of more power cuts due to “limitations” – Enemalta

Ritratt: Leon Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Enemalta has stated there may be more power cuts in the next few days. While answering questions by Newsbook.com.mt, Enemalta suggested that the damage inflicted and possible future damage results from a fault in the cable between Malta and Sicily.

However, Enemalta failed to clearly explain why the country needed to use the interconnector “on full load” when there are enough power stations in Malta to provide for all the needs of the country. Enemalta said that the full load was only necessary since there were “limitations in the capacity of the generating plants in the Delimara site”.

Newsbook.com.mt asked Enemalta the following questions to clarify its position and the recent happenings.

With reference to the comment  “the full load was only necessary since there were limitations in the capacity of the generating plants in the Delimara site”:
  • What was this limitation?
  • How long has this limitation been in place?
  • How effective was this limitation? The limitation means that the Delimara plant was not providing electricity at all, or that it was providing less than necessary? And if it was producing less that needed, what is the difference between the required and the actual?
  • How long has this limitation been in place?
  • What does limitation mean exactly? Damaged?

Enemalta’s statement

In a statement, Enemalta explained that the first indications established damage at sea in the interconnector cable between Malta and Sicily at around 7.30 am, which caused interruptions in the electricity supply across the island. From the initial indications, it emerged that two of the three conductors and all fibre optic lines were damaged, around 30 kilometres away from Sicily in international waters. At the time of the incident, the interconnector was at full load due to limitations in the capacity of the generating plants in Delimara.

The power supply started being restored at around 10:04 am with the use of emergency turbines, with priority given to particular strategic locations. Indeed, at around 10:19 am electricity supply was restored to Mater Dei Hospital, while the situation was back to normal across the island at around 1.10 pm.

It added that the damage incurred requires several weeks to be repaired. During this period Enemalta will have limited dispatch flexibility which could result in unplanned interruptions to the electricity supply in circumstances that Enemalta will have no control over.

Immediately, Enemalta opened a technical investigation to establish all the facts which led to this situation and apologizes for any inconvenience caused.

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