Praslinois urged to save power as generators are serviced


Prof. Payet and Mr Morin (Photo by GT)

Environment and Energy Minister Professor Rolph Payet said this yesterday announcing the proposed dates when the generators – which serve both Praslin and La Digue – will be shut down one at a time for about two weeks each, starting on November 26.

The process will go on until the first week of April, but Prof. Payet said care has been taken not to interrupt supply during end-of-year festivities.

He was accompanied by the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) chief executive Philippe Morin when he said shutting down the first generator from November 26 to December 9 will cut the islands’ supply by 1.3 megawatts, but if the islanders reduce usage during the 4 to 8pm period especially around the usual 7pm peak demand time, it may not be necessary to disrupt supply.

The generators have an available total power output of 8.7 megawatts.
“The consumers may choose to change for example their hours of ironing and switch off air conditioning units, which is better than the PUC stopping supply all together at certain times when even the refrigerators will have no power,” he said, adding hotel operators who have generators will be asked to consider using the power units during the service periods to ease the load.

Next to be overhauled will be a second generator from January 14 to 30 and the next one from February 18 to March 10, the final one being turned off from March 25 to the first week of April.

The last three generators’ output varies from 1.3 to 2.0 megawatts each.

Those already serviced are either 0.4 or 0.5 megawatts and like the bigger ones are expected to be, they are more efficient.

Prof. Payet said while the spare parts needed for the units will have been bought in advance, there is always a chance that unexpected parts may be found to be faulty when the units are opened up costing more than the average R750,000 estimated service cost per unit and a bit more time, but securing the extra ones that may be needed will not be very difficult because all the units are from the same manufacturer, who is represented in Nairobi.