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22.78°/21.11°Moderate Rain

2020-12-18 - 18:56:53  POLITICS | 

BELCO Successfully Tackles Island-Wide Power Outage


On Friday, December 18, Bermuda experienced its first island-wide power outage since 2005. This outage was due to an incident at the BELCO power plant in Pembroke.

According to BELCO president Dennis Pimentel, the team at BELCO is still investigating the root cause of the blackout.
“If you peel back the layers of the plant, there are multiple systems,” Pimentel said.

 “We are going to have to find the root cause of the issue. When we do, we are going to try and rectify that going forward.”

He added that once they find out what the underlying issue was, they will share as much of the report as they can with the public.
The outage began at approximately 10:15 am, with BELCO’s crisis management team working on the issue as soon as 10:30 a.m. 

Around 4:30 p.m, over 75 percent of power on the island was restored.
“They have a battle plan here, so [addressing the issue] was literally like coloring by the numbers,” Wayne Caines, former Minister of National Security and new CEO of BELCO’s parent company Ascendant group, explained. “BELCO has a crisis plan that they run as a well-oiled machine.”

Because their crisis plan was so well put together, according to Caines, these workers did not need much guidance, which is part of the reason why power was restored in such a timely manner.

“It was impressive and exceedingly rewarding to watch a team follow a plan and perform in their area of giftedness,” he said.
Caines would like to thank all of BELCO’s customers on the island and apologizes for the inconvenience and service interruption on Friday.

“Today’s service interruption has been a concern for us because we want to let our customers know that they are of prime importance to us,” he said. “We want to say from the outset that we are sorry.”

Rumors have been spreading throughout social media regarding what actually happened at the plant, including the claim that there was a fire there. Pimentel assured the public that nothing of the sort had occurred.
“We did not have a fire, critical mechanical failure, explosion or environmental impact event,” he said. “All of our employees are safe. It was more of a systems failure [than anything else].”
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