~ Underground cabling will take 2 to 3 years ~
PHILIPSBURG–Electricity has now been restored to all districts in the country, with the exception of homes that have “safety issues” related to roof damage sustained during Hurricane Irma and/or are undergoing repairs.
Minister with responsibility for water and light company GEBE Miklos Giterson told The Daily Herald that all districts now have electricity and water. “There may be a few homes that are without electricity as they are rebuilding. Homes that were without a roof could not be reconnected due to safety reasons,” he said. “These customers have to inform NV GEBE once the home is repaired and ready for reconnection.”
He said there are homes that were never connected and are now claiming an electrical meter. GEBE is doing due diligence to ensure that all homes that were online pre-Irma have all required documents, such as previous bill, name of client or any other relevant information to verify the home was connected and inspected by the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI pre-hurricane Irma. Once it can be proven, the connection will be executed.
In the Cay Bay area, he said, there were reconnection challenges, as access to the homes was very difficult and there have been issues with landowners not granting permission to place poles, etc. This was also the case in the Cul de Sac area.
Regarding the underground cabling project, the minister said post-Irma there were a total of “53 projects” in various districts placed underground.
“Going forward there are approximately 200 projects for the remainder of overhead cables to be placed underground over a two- to three-year span. This is mainly the low voltage distribution network. Placing underground cabling requires, at the time, land for transformer houses and this posed an issue as the cost involved to purchase land is extremely high,” Giterson said.
“Another issue is that boundaries are not clearly defined, making it difficult to trench along the road in various areas. Permission to trench is challenging, as some landowners are a bit challenging in cooperation. NV GEBE is pleased with the landowners that are very much cooperative and even suggesting a plot of land for transformer houses,” he said.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/74655-electricity-now-fully-restored