Roger Blackman, Managing Director of the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P).

Full power restored to all BL&P customers

Following the islandwide power outage on Monday afternoon, dedicated crews of the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P) worked throughout the night to ensure that all customers were restored their full electrical supply.

Roger Blackman, Managing Director of the BL&P, acknowledged that at around 2:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon, there was an explosion at the Seawell generating substation in Christ Church, which resulted in loss of power across the island.

The company responded immediately by sending crews to the scene and the Barbados Fire Service also responded as well to contain the fire.

Whilst preliminary investigations are now being carried out to determine the exact cause of the explosion, which resulted in damage to BL&P’s equipment, early on Monday night crews also worked to restore half of the substation into service, and subsequently power was restored to approximately two thirds of BL&P’s customers.

It was during another conference call with members of the media yesterday morning, that Managing Director Roger Blackman issued the word that power had been restored to all customers.

“Around 2:20 a.m. this morning (the last customer was restored),” Blackman indicated yesterday.

“We would have had customers back on from as early as I think around 3:00 p.m. or 3:15 p.m. after the event. When I gave the update (on Monday night), I mentioned to you that we had about 60% of the customers back on. That last 30% took us a little longer because of the challenges we had in starting up the other generators that were affected by the fault at the time. So that last customer would have been on at around 2:20 this morning,” he confirmed.

Blackman also acknowledged that in an effort to better manage the situation, Light & Power had to rotate electrical service for a few hours until full generating capacity had been reached, to ensure the majority of customers had a supply.

“We did have to do that, so during the night, in an effort to manage the situation for all of the customers, we had to rotate the electricity supply for a few hours until we had full generating capacity restored at the Spring Garden generating plant and here at the Garrison. So what that meant is that customers who were previously on at some point where temporarily disconnected to allow others to have a supply for a period until everything was back up,” he said.

Whilst apologising to customers for any inconvenience caused by the power outage, Blackman took the opportunity to meanwhile express his thanks to the Barbados Fire Service for the swift assistance rendered. He also expressed heartfelt thanks to the many crew members who worked overnight in the restoration effort and those who are currently working to assist in the investigation and the full restoration of the Seawell substation.

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