‘Govt keen to maintain quality power supply’


Dr Payet was speaking at the main power generating station at Roche Caiman where he inspected the generators that ended frequent power outages with their installation in 2001.

He said the country is heavily dependent on the kind of reliable regular power now supplied, and appreciated how professionally the engines are run by committed Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) staff,  where measures are taken to avoid breakdowns, such as purifying the oil further before it is fed into the engines.

He talked of the need to ensure the right terms of work for the staff for the company to keep the best employees.

Mr Morin guides Dr Payet and his delegation on a tour of the power station

Dr Payet was accompanied by the principal secretary in the ministry Wills Agricole and was taken around the generating plant by PUC’s chief executive Philip Morin and other senior staff from the ministry and the company.

After a presentation, he welcomed the PUC’s plan to upgrade certain sections of their point-to-point distribution network from 11,000 to 33,000 volts, which will help reach certain establishments that can at the moment not be supplied from the existing grid.

Dr Payet in a meeting with management staff of the company

Mr Morin also told him ensuring the power circuit passing from the generators via Sans Souci to Anse Boileau forms a ring with another line passing via Montagne Posee is a priority so as to boost quality of supply to south Mahe.

He said materials are already here to put a line to the airport, which will be completed this year, a move  Dr Payet said will step up quality of the power for the airport and the areas between Victoria, the airport and neighbouring areas.

Dr Payet said the visit was important as it allowed him to see what the PUC is doing and what its plans for the future are given Seychelles’ current rate of development.
“It was also important for me to meet the senior staff and discuss the issues there are to do with PUC’s overall performance,” he said.

“I was impressed by what I saw and I noted we haven’t had a major breakdown for quite a long time which reflects good management, but I noticed we have to relook at the human resources in terms of motivating the staff and keeping the best people. And we are not talking only about the top management but the staff all the way down.”

He said the people he saw – for example maintaining generators – are highly skilled, and called on more young Seychellois to take up training for jobs in electrical and mechanical engineering.

He said it is important to ensure the system works efficiently, noting it is expected to yield power 24 hours daily for the ever increasing demand, which picks up in the morning due to industrial and office demand, dropping only slightly as people go home, to reach another peak as cooking and lighting needs rise.

The delegation saw a graph showing the demand dropping sharply but by less than half as people go to sleep.

Dr Payet said the PUC will also play a major role in stabilising power supply when some is generated by wind turbines that will produce desired electricity but which cannot be relied directly on given changing wind speeds.

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