T&TEC apologises to Tobago, upgrades promised

Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales
Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales

General manager of the TT Electricity Commission (T&TEC) Kelvin Ramsook has apologised to Tobagonians for the recent spate of power outages which has affected the island.

Ramsook was a part of a contingent which toured several project sites across the island on Monday, ending at the Cove Power Station.

He told the media: “T&TEC sincerely apologises for the outage that took place both at the power station as well as Belle Garden. Our standards did fall on both occasions and certainly it is not our intention – yes, there may be issues, but we have also ramped up our process. There are lessons to learn and we are sure that all efforts have been put in place to avoid any further outages. While we would have situations, we are going to try our best to avoid what could be avoided.”

Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales endorsed Ramsook’s sentiments, saying all the necessary upgrades would be done to ensure a consistent supply of electricity.

“We are going to learn from these recent outages, to ensure that certain actions are taken to reduce and to minimise the level of disruptions that have been taking place. I have gotten their commitment and having seen the operations here, having looked at the presentation, I want to assure the people of Tobago in particular that this issue will be monitored. We would work with T&TEC to undertake the necessary maintenance work on their overhead lines to ensure that we continue to get a reliable electricity service,” he said.

The minister said he had been in contact with Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis, who has voiced his dissatisfaction over the interruptions.

“He has brought to my attention some disruptions that were taking place, more so in the eastern side of Tobago. Then there was an almost island-wide shutdown of electricity services in Tobago. He wrote to me expressing his unease with respect the number of disruptions that were taking place with T&TEC,” he said

Gonzales said he came to Tobago specifically to get a first-hand look at the challenges.

“Recognising that some of our communities, especially in the rural areas in Tobago, might have been placed at a disadvantage, based on the recent disruptions in their electricity service, I found it was necessary, coming out of the last incident last week Wednesday, that a ministerial presence is required in Tobago to demonstrate that the Government of TT continues to work with the THA to examine the problem, to look at the problem, to assess what the problem is and to do what is necessary,” he said.

Before the tour, Gonzales paid a courtesy call on Dennis. He was accompanied by Ramsook as well as T&TEC chairman Keith Sirju and THA Secretary of Settlements, Urban Renewal and Public Utilities Clarence Jacob.

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