Electricity minister demands army to protect Mareb Gas Power Station
The 400-MW Mareb Gas Power Station, which supplies electricity to the capital Sana’a and other neighboring areas, has been subjected to repeated attacks by local armed tribesmen, leaving the city of Sana’a in darkness.
Sumae declared to the Yemeni Cabinet in a May 9th statement that, “Saboteurs in Marib stormed tower 304 using explosive devices on Monday. This attack resulted in serious damage to the whole tower. This followed repairs that electrical technicians made to Sana’a-Marib power lines.”
For his part, Engineer Mohammed Al-Shibani, general manager of transportation and power stations at the Ministry of Electricity, said that armed men used dynamite in order to blow up the tower. Consequently, the four base structures of the tower were seriously damaged and have become liable to collapse.
The ministry sent electric technicians to Marib to fix defects in the tower after attacks by armed men on Sunday and Monday. Electricity was cut off as a result, and the power went off in Sana’a.
Since last year, Marib Gas station has been subject to repeated attacks. The capital city experienced blackouts that went on for months.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Electricity on Monday, the attacks on electricity infrastructure have reached 144. Furthermore, the financial losses of the ministry are estimated at YR 36 billion, or USD 197 million.
Furthermore, sources close to a tribal leader, Sultan Al-Arada, who is also the governor of Mareb, told the Yemen Times that the Al-Shanan tribe pledged to protect the electricity towers. A petition was signed last month by tribal chieftains announcing their responsibility for protecting the electricity power towers and wires.
However, tribal leaders have failed to uphold their promises to defend the power stations, as sabotage of the stations goes on.