Electricity to be restored ‘within days’

Published on 24 December 2011 in News
Sadeq Al-Wesabi (writer)

Sadeq Al-Wesabi


SANA'A, Dec. 18 – Yemen's Public Electricity Corporation has promised to solve prolonged electricity problems within 7-10 days.

A team of engineers have started work to fix damaged power supply towers in Bait Dehra and Naqeel bin Ghailan areas, 30km east of Sana'a.

Over the last ten months, Yemenis and local businesses have suffered from serious power cuts, affecting their lives and finances, with as little as two hours of electricity a day at times.

Some electricity supply towers were badly damaged by fierce fighting between government forces and armed tribesmen. Towers in Bait Dehra, Bani Jarmooz and Naqeel bin Ghailan were all damaged by heavy artillery.

Saleh Sumai, the new Minister of Electricity and Power has inaugurated a new transformer with the capacity of 20 megavolt amperes in the transfer station of Dhahban, bringing more electricity to many areas of Sana'a.

The minister, along with a team of engineers, visited the damaged towers and ordered the team to fix them as soon as possible.

Abdul-Rahman Saif, a senior engineer at the Public Electricity Corporation and general manager of the gas-powered generation Station in Marib governorate, said that a team of engineers is still working in Bani Jarmooz area.

He said that engineers need three more days to finish fixing one damaged tower in Bani Jarmooz. However, Saif said that coordination with local tribesmen is needed in some areas like Naqeel bin Ghailan to let the engineers work safely.

"Kidnapping still happens in these areas,” he said. “Unfortunately, we cannot work without mediators who give us guarantees to work safely.”

He stressed the importance of the role of military committee in providing engineers with protection to work in safe environment.

Saif also indicated that the gas-powered generation Station in Marib needs maintenance and testing to work efficiently.

However, the officials at the Public Electricity Corporation maintained that they have no guarantee that attacks on power supply lines and stations will be stopped, indicating that these attacks are out of their control.

Mohammed Al-Shaibani, a general manager of power supply lines in Yemen at the Public Electricity Corporation, expressed his fears of repeat attacks on the towers, pointing out that fixing damaged towers and lines costs the Public Electricity Corporation a lot of money.