Secretary of Settlements Urban Renewal and Public Utilities Clarence Jacob interacts with Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales following the minister’s visit yesterday. LOYSE VINCENT

Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales has assured Tobagonians that improvements will be made to the supply of electricity to the island.

The Minister took a tour T&TEC Power Station at the Cove Eco-Industrial Plant in Tobago yesterday where it was revealed that a frog infestation and falling trees are some of the issues which have contributed to the power outages.

The visit came after Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis took the authority to task following a series of disruptions in the supply of electricity on the island. The latest being last Wednesday when most of the island lost power.

Following the tour, General Manager T&TEC Kelvin Ramsook explained that last week’s disruption occurred during the re-installation of equipment that was recently overhauled.

“In the process of commissioning the machine had both of our technical staff and the technical staff from abroad recommissioning the machine which developed a fault.”

He assured that the staff at the plant will continue to work on improving the standards of delivery to the island as collectively the island is capable of generating 90 watts of electricity which is well over the current of the island.

“The demand in Tobago averages around 50 megawatts so what you have available in terms of installed capacity is almost twice your demand so in terms of generation that is well adequate.”

Secretary for Settlements, Urban Renewal and Public Utilities Clarence Jacob also gave some insight into some of the other reasons for the frequent power outages

“We have an infestation of frogs which causes the breakers on the fuses on the poles to blow also we have some of those which are of natural disaster, we have trees falling bursting lines majority in the east and the northside, we also have landslips which will cause disruptions as well.”

The Public Utilities Minister said that within recent times the Chief Secretary has communicated to him the problems being faced by the island – especially in the east. And he felt it necessary to come to Tobago since he believed that a “ministerial presence” was needed to demonstrate that his ministry will do what was necessary to remedy the situation.

According to the minister, the issue will be monitored.

While Minister Gonsalves cautiously avoided promising that there would be no more disruptions, he said Tobagonians ought not to become comfortable with disruptions in their electricity supply.