Updated | Power restored after major power cut

Various areas across Malta were hit by a power failure at around 11.25am due to disruption to the Malta-Sicily Interconnector

Lights out as Malta is hit by a major power cut
Lights out as Malta is hit by a major power cut

Electricity supply was this morning interrupted in a major power failure, which Enemalta said had affected 30% of its network.

It said the disruption had been caused by difficulty encountered with the Sicily-Malta interconnector’s terminal station at Ragusa, which triggered the protection mechanisms of one of its shunt reactors. Lights went out at around 11:25am, with some localities having reported an earlier but shorter suspension of electricity.

Spare electricity generation units at the Delimara Power Station were immediately dispatched, the company said.

“Within 17 minutes, by 11:42am, Enemalta gradually started resupplying electricity services to the customers affected. Most areas were reconnected to the network within 45 minutes and all services were back online by 12:35pm,” Enemalta said in a statement.

MaltaToday received reports of power cuts from different localities including, Mosta, Naxxar, St Julians, Lija, Marsaskala, Gudja and San Gwann.

Enemalta said that it had immediately launched the appropriate emergency procedures to stabilize its network, avert risk of a total system shutdown or damage to its infrastructure, while gradually restoring supply to the affected customers.

 

“In the meantime, in collaboration with Terna, the Italian network operator, Enemalta engineers and technicians are now working to identify the technical difficulty that triggered the protection systems and resynchronise the two country’s electricity grids,” it said.

Moreover, Enemalta noted that electricity supply could be swiftly restored to all customers “through the availability of an energy mix based on a number of different sources, including local sources at the Delimara Power Station, drid-connected renewable energy sources and the Malta-Italy Interconnector”.

“By having the necessary flexibility and redundancy at the Delimara Power Station, which currently includes the Delimara 3 gas-fired plant, the new Delimara 4 CCGT gas-fired power station and the gasoil-powered Delimara 2 plants as spare capacity, once supply through the Interconnector became unavailable and Malta’s network was islanded, the Company could still continue to provide electricity to its customers with minimal delay,” Enemalta chairman Fredrick Azzopardi said.

“At the time of the incident this morning, the country’s network was being supplied through a mix of all sources available, including 32% from Sicily through the Interconnector, 22% from local grid-connected renewables and 46% from Delimara 3 and Delimara 4.”

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