Le Hunte: Fewer blackouts for Tobago

Monday, November 19, 2018 - 16:00

The up­grade of the main pow­er plant in To­ba­go could see an end to fre­quent elec­tric­i­ty black­outs on the is­land, says Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Util­i­ties Robert Le Hunte.

The up­grade which cost $139.5 m is part of Trinidad and To­ba­go Elec­tric­i­ty Com­mis­sion man­date to pro­vide To­bag­o­ni­ans with a re­li­able, high-qual­i­ty elec­tric­i­ty sup­ply.

Le Hunte, speak­ing at the com­mis­sion­ing cer­e­mo­ny on Mon­day, said the up­grade was com­plet­ed on time and de­liv­ered with­in bud­get.

The project in­volved a 20-megawatt up­grade and ex­pan­sion of the To­ba­go pow­er sta­tion lo­cat­ed in the Cove Eco-In­dus­tri­al and Busi­ness Park.

He al­so said To­ba­go now has dou­ble the ca­pac­i­ty of en­er­gy which puts the is­land at an ad­van­tage for fu­ture growth.

THA Chief Sec­re­tary Kelvin Charles said the fre­quent pow­er out­ages through­out the is­land should be a thing of the past. He al­so called for res­i­dents to be re­spon­si­ble when us­ing elec­tric­i­ty.

“With this ex­pan­sion of ca­pac­i­ty and I ex­pect con­sis­tent with the pledge, T&TEC would seek to im­prove its dis­tri­b­u­tion. We can leave here as­sured to­day that out­ages would be less like­ly go­ing for­ward, for that I am in­deed grate­ful. I am al­so glad to un­der­stand, that with this ex­pan­sion, a dis­rup­tion in the sup­ply of pow­er from Trinidad is less like­ly to af­fect us in To­ba­go, as To­ba­go’s ca­pac­i­ty will now be able to hold its own, but as I say that I must take this op­por­tu­ni­ty to sup­port T&TEC in its call for en­er­gy con­ser­va­tion and to say to our pop­u­la­tion that does not take what is be­ing pro­vid­ed for you for grant­ed. Elec­tric­i­ty is an im­por­tant re­source, but it is al­so a re­source that is to be used con­ser­v­a­tive­ly,” he said.

T&TEC’s Cove Pow­er Sta­tion was com­mis­sioned on Oc­to­ber 3, 2009, while the up­grade and ex­pan­sion be­gan af­ter a sod-turn­ing by Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley in De­cem­ber 2017.

The first phase of ma­jor up­grades co­in­cide with the pro­posed San­dals Re­sort and planned ma­ri­na at Ca­noe Bay.

Speak­ing on is­land’s potable wa­ter sup­ply, Le Hunte said the Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Au­thor­i­ty is “se­ri­ous­ly look­ing at de­silt­ing the Hills­bor­ough dam” and plans to drill sev­en more wells to in­crease the wa­ter sup­ply to an ad­di­tion­al four mil­lion gal­lons.

The is­land’s sew­er­age ca­pac­i­ty will al­so be im­proved with the con­struc­tion of the South West Wa­ter Treat­ment sys­tem. When it’s com­plet­ed it will con­nect an es­ti­mat­ed 250 prop­er­ties, Le Hunte said.

And ser­vices of­fered by Trinidad and To­ba­go Postal Cor­po­ra­tion and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Ser­vices of Trinidad and To­ba­go are al­ready be­ing up­grad­ed. TSTT now us­es fi­bre op­tics which will in­crease in­ter­net speed and ca­pac­i­ty, the Min­is­ter said.

- by Casandra Thompson-Forbes