Enemalta apologises for power cuts caused by weaknesses in distribution network

Enemalta CEO Jason Vella says faults in underground cables caused power cuts that lasted for several hours, particularly in the Mosta-Naxxar area and Marsaskala

File Photo
File Photo

Enemalta has apologised for the power cuts that affected several localities, the cause of which were faults in the distribution system.

Enemalta CEO Jason Vella said the higher demand for electricity as a result of heatwaves in the past couple of weeks exposed weaknesses in the distribution network that buckled under the stress.

In a technical briefing, Vella said the faults were particularly significant in the Mosta area towards the end of July and Marsaskala over the past 48 hours.

He said electricity demand hit a new record on Thursday with Enemalta registering a peak of 565MW. “The generation sources coped well with the peak demand. The faults were exclusively linked to the distribution system, most of which concerns underground cables,” Vella said.

He explained that in the case of Mosta and Marsaskala, multiple faults on the same network developed which limited the company’s ability to restore electricity as quickly as possible by rerouting supply.

Vella said that in 71% of faults, electricity service was restored in less than an hour. “These are obviously just numbers and I officially apologise on behalf of the company for the inconvenience caused to consumers. We did all that is possible to restore supply as quickly as possible but clients deserve the best possible service,” he said.

Vella said Enemalta had an established compensation mechanism and consumers who feel they suffered financial losses as a result of the outages can file a claim.

He added Enemalta deployed 180 personnel on a 24/7 basis to fix the faults and suspended scheduled maintenance works to minimise the inconvenience.

The company invested €130 million in seven years on the distribution system, building an average of 40 new substations per year and automating 380 substations. He said ongoing major investments were taking place in Tarxien and Marsaskala.

However, Vella said that the company was re-evaluating its plans to accelerate investment in the distribution network in residential areas. “This will require a bigger financial outlay,” he said.

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