APUA to investigate Barbuda power outage problem

Electricity Manager at the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) Andre’ Mathias has confirmed that an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the island-wide power outage on Barbuda three weeks ago.

Pundits have linked the issue to maintenance problem on the part of APUA, but Mathis said the verdict is still out.

“There must be maintenance issues why we are back in this situation, but what caused it is what we don’t know at the moment,” Mathias said during a OBSERVER AM interview.

He said the authorities are hoping to complete the investigation within a week’s time.

The entire sister isle was plunged into darkness on February 16, due to mechanical failure at the APUA power station there.

OBSERVER media understands that one of the engines at the plant had existing mechanical issues and another developed a problem with a broken valve.

The outage, which lasted for several days, left Barbudans counting their losses and despite efforts to restore power, residents complained bitterly about persistent load-shedding.

Mathias said weeks leading up to outage the power company had severe difficulties with two of the generators used to power the island.

“What we have done since February 16, we journeyed to Camp Blizzard and we were able to get a set to send over to Barbuda. We had that sent over there within three days. But, unfortunately, that could not power the island,” Mathias said.

The electricity manager said the company has since purchased a part needed for one of its generators and APUA technicians are now working feverishly to restore full power to Barbuda.

Additional assistance has also come from one of receivers of the former R Allen Stanford empire.

Mathias is optimistic electricity will be restored before the end of business day today.

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