The upgrade of the main power plant in Tobago could see an end to frequent electricity blackouts on the island, says Minister of Public Utilities Robert Le Hunte.
The upgrade which cost $139.5 m is part of Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission mandate to provide Tobagonians with a reliable, high-quality electricity supply.
Le Hunte, speaking at the commissioning ceremony on Monday, said the upgrade was completed on time and delivered within budget.
The project involved a 20-megawatt upgrade and expansion of the Tobago power station located in the Cove Eco-Industrial and Business Park.
He also said Tobago now has double the capacity of energy which puts the island at an advantage for future growth.
THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles said the frequent power outages throughout the island should be a thing of the past. He also called for residents to be responsible when using electricity.
“With this expansion of capacity and I expect consistent with the pledge, T&TEC would seek to improve its distribution. We can leave here assured today that outages would be less likely going forward, for that I am indeed grateful. I am also glad to understand, that with this expansion, a disruption in the supply of power from Trinidad is less likely to affect us in Tobago, as Tobago’s capacity will now be able to hold its own, but as I say that I must take this opportunity to support T&TEC in its call for energy conservation and to say to our population that does not take what is being provided for you for granted. Electricity is an important resource, but it is also a resource that is to be used conservatively,” he said.
T&TEC’s Cove Power Station was commissioned on October 3, 2009, while the upgrade and expansion began after a sod-turning by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in December 2017.
The first phase of major upgrades coincide with the proposed Sandals Resort and planned marina at Canoe Bay.
Speaking on island’s potable water supply, Le Hunte said the Water and Sewerage Authority is “seriously looking at desilting the Hillsborough dam” and plans to drill seven more wells to increase the water supply to an additional four million gallons.
The island’s sewerage capacity will also be improved with the construction of the South West Water Treatment system. When it’s completed it will connect an estimated 250 properties, Le Hunte said.
And services offered by Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corporation and Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago are already being upgraded. TSTT now uses fibre optics which will increase internet speed and capacity, the Minister said.
- by Casandra Thompson-Forbes