PPL: Blackouts Caused By Technical Challenges
The frequent blackouts in PNG are caused by technical challenges. This was revealed by PNG Power Limited Managing Director Flagon Bekker who said that the blackouts are attributed to the challenges of PNG Power’s (PPL’s) ageing infrastructure, in addition to an ongoing transition.
He said, “PNG Power acknowledges that this is not an acceptable level of performance and we have been and will always continue to work hard to restore service as quickly and safely as possible. We also acknowledge that we are experiencing significant technical challenges across all power sector business units. As is well documented, they are mostly due to the challenge of our ageing infrastructure coupled with the transition as we work on targeted investment projects to improve the reliability and availability of the affected assets. Our focus since the return of service has been to follow our standard operating procedures and perform the required root cause analyses".
He added, “PNG Power acknowledges we can always improve on the timely update on our progress or the status during the outage events and, while our focus is on restoration activities, we will endeavour to provide more timely updates during the event around the estimated return of service and associated key developments.”
He also explained the Monday blackout in Port Moresby. He said, “The recent events over the last few hours (Monday night) were attributable to inadequate frequency regulation of the grid. This happens when the grid comes under pressure from a mismatch of load and supply. Typically, this can happen with ageing grid-related power quality support infrastructure. The emergency corrective actions commenced immediately and focus was on restoring system service, safely, as a matter of urgency. Upon completion of the activities, the system was finally restored to full service at 10.56 pm.”
In addition, he said that PPL continues to review its performance and implement the necessary measures.
“As an example, PNG Power intends to undertake a deeper review of its asset management practices in order to better balance decisions between short, medium, and long term actions as it relates to the age of the infrastructure, its remaining useful life and how best to manage the transition between the old and the new. This will be key to the maintenance practice improvements going forward. But, we want to be transparent on this – improvements of this type will take time,” he said.
He added that although the improvements are not fast enough, rest assured that they are doing everything in their power to solve the problem. He added that PPL remains committed in its programs and will update when needed.