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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves speaking at a press conference in Kingstown on Monday, June 3, 2024.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves speaking at a press conference in Kingstown on Monday, June 3, 2024.
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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says that VINLEC, the sole commercial electricity generator in St. Vincent, should have commented sooner after a four-hour islandwide blackout Sunday night.

The state-owned electricity generator’s customers were left in the dark for various periods between  6:30 and 10:45 p.m.

VINLEC made a post on its Facebook page saying that its technicians were working to address the issue.

However, Gonsalves told a press conference in Kingstown on Monday that during the power outage, people called him, saying it was “wild” on Facebook that the power outage resulted from the testing of floodlights at Arnos Vale Sports Complex.

The lights are being installed in preparation for the country’s hosting of games in the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup. 

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“They are testing lights today but the testing of the light didn’t chip out anything,” Gonsalves said.

He said he had spoken to the chief executive of VINLEC, telling him that whenever there is a  system failure the information should be put out immediately. 

Gonsalves said that some people thrive on mischief and while this cannot be stopped, the correct information should be given.

He said that VINLEC had issued a release and he asked media representatives if they had received it.

The media at the press conference said no.

Gonsalves quoted the release as saying that VINLEC’s teams immediately initiated restoration efforts after the power outage at 6:30 p.m. and electricity was restored to the entire island by 10:45 p.m.

He said some people and priority areas, including the hospital and airport, were restored “within the hour”.

The prime minister quoted the release as saying that the disruption was caused by “a switchgear issue” at one of the main power plants.

Gonsalves said VINLEC had enough spare capacity to “isolate the problem to get about the restoration. And when they restored it, something else happened. So they had to sort that problem out”.

The release further said that VINLEC understands the significant inconvenience caused by the islandwide blackout and deeply appreciates the patience and understanding demonstrated by its customers. 

The company said it is committed to maintaining a reliable power supply and providing an exceptional service to its customers.

Gonsalves said: 

“We thank them for the statement but I still insist that something should have been said fairly promptly last evening. But for those who trade in mischief, … stop this foolish thing. The lights were not tested yesterday or last night…”

He said he thinks that testing of the lights will start using generators.

“It is a simple issue,” the prime minister said. 

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3 Comments

  1. Take warning says:

    Me ah master of all me survey, wid me there ah nothing fo dispute . can someone can congratulate me on how well me look. ?

    Reply

  2. I have been encouraged SVG nationals since 2008 to use Solar panels after my brother complained about the rising cost of electricity. He had a hot water heater on his property, and I tried to get him to use the same technique to get his home completely dependent on solar panels. I encouraged VINLEV to provide solar panels to homeowners so that SVG would not have to depend on Venezuela shipping oil to the island regularly.

    VINLEC bought solar panels and has a unit somewhere on the island. I am not sure where it is located and if it provides the energy needed to replace part of what the oil section provides.

    I am not use if you can access this link directly from the blog. However, you can Google it and access it.

    Reply

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