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Disruptions to Port Moresby Power Supply caused by Transmission Line faults

Disruptions to Port Moresby Power Supply caused by Transmission Line faults

At 2.29pm yesterday, a system wide blackout occurred and was not fully restored until late evening.

While the blackout was not caused by PNG Power, we sincerely apologise for the extended time it took to reinstate power supply and the obvious inconvenience caused to families and businesses.

The unexpected interruption to supply on New Year’s Day was caused by a unique set of circumstances with several faults on the Transmission lines between power stations and substations which tripped generators at all power stations. In addition, the extreme situation of all Transmission lines being unavailable for a number of hours meant there were no options available for a number of hours. The eventual solution only made possible by diverting around normal transmission lines making the balance between voltage and frequency difficult to achieve stability.

A full investigation is underway with preliminary findings indicating that there was no generation shortfall – in fact yesterday an excess of 60MW of generation was available at all times. The faults lay in the transmission lines. Early findings indicate that we cannot rule out foul play.

Electricity supply was successfully restored to the Port Moresby General Hospital at 11pm as a priority and subsequently all feeders added until 100% restoration at 1am this morning. Our Call Centre were inundated but spoke to over 3000 separate callers. Facebook updates were posted regularly to keep our customers informed.

We do not expect to see this unique situation present itself again and can assure our customers that we have a full team of experienced responders on standby, despite the holiday time, to step into action should the unexpected happen again.

In addition, we have 86 maintenance personnel in Port Moresby alone on duty during this time to attend to preventative repairs.

The current strong winds and rains will unfortunately challenge supply in coming days and we would encourage everyone to stay away from fallen lines and to report outages to our 24/7 Call Centre on 7090 8000 or 75008000.

We sincerely apologize to all valued electricity consumers for the inconvenience.

Carolyn Blacklock, Acting Managing Director

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