Newly-sworn-in Minister of Public Housing Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Christopher Wever appears to have hit the ground running. He in any case didn’t waste any time going to water and energy provider GEBE on Saturday to find out more about the frequent electricity outages that started Wednesday.
These were caused by the failure of a piston liner for which a replacement needed to be found. Because the engine in question is made in Sweden there was speculation that the part would have to come all the way from that part of Europe, leading to concern about this becoming a long story.
However, they were apparently able to source one relatively soon in cooperation with utility companies in St. Lucia and Aruba. The problem could thus be resolved over the weekend.
In addition to going there on only his second day in office, particularly the minister’s questions regarding allegations of unfairly selective load-shedding were important. He was assured that the system installed four years ago allows the control room operators to see on-the-hour where there is a drop or spike in power, helping them to properly manage and evenly distribute the available production capacity.
However, management also said the challenge at times is that some areas such as dense industrial locations and areas where large businesses operate need more energy at a certain point during the day. Perhaps that would explain why at least one neighbourhood this newspaper knows about was left without power more than four consecutive hours while previous reports had mentioned cuts of up to 90 minutes.
Nevertheless, both the personal attention from the incoming member of the Leona Romeo-Marlin Cabinet for this matter and especially the efforts by GEBE’s staff to fix the problem as quickly as possible are highly appreciated.