HONOURABLE KYE RYMER
DEPUTY PREMIER AND MINISTER FOR TRANSPORTATION, WORKS AND UTILITIES
STATEMENT ON TERRITORY- WIDE POWER OUTAGE
JUNE 28, 2019
My Fellow Virgin Islanders,
I wish to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Government of the Virgin Islands, the Ministry for Transportation, Works and Utilities, and the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC), to apologize to all residents who were affected in some way by this morning’s power outage.
Preliminary information, as provided to me, indicates that at around 9:35 am, a malfunction occurred in one of the engines at the BVIEC’s main power generation plant on Tortola.
A broken control airline caused an engine to trip; in turn causing two other engines to go offline, and a disruption of power across the territory.
BVIEC and the officials at the ministry have given the assurance that repair work has been completed and power has been restored to the entire Territory as of 11:45am.
I wish to advise the public that I have requested a detailed technical report on the complete circumstances that led to the shutdown of the power plant.
The purpose of this report will be to identify what steps need to be taken to prevent a reoccurrence of this morning’s incident.
Unplanned power outages expose persons and property to risk, disrupt residents’ daily lives, contribute to economic loss and lowering of productivity, and create a general discomfort.
The Government, the Ministry and BVIEC, believe that this is an unacceptable level of service and we take this opportunity to recommit ourselves to improving the quality and reliability of service to the population.
Given the state of our aged infrastructure, which is still recovering from the natural disasters of 2017, the emergence of modern, more environmentally friendly energy options, and other challenging factors, it is the intention of the government to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our current and future needs, and options for the development of a medium and long term solution, for providing electric power to the territory.
I wish to thank all citizens for your patience and understanding. Further updates will be provided through our regular communications channels if necessary.
May God continue to bless and keep our British Virgin Islands.