Short circuit leads to complete power plant shutdown

POSTED: 11/8/11 6:38 PM

St. Maarten – A short circuit in the main high voltage Busbar system is the reason utility company GEBE has given for Sunday night’s power outage. The outage, which affected the entire Dutch side of the island, began at 10:30 p.m. and kept employees at the power plant busy until 3:52 a.m.
According to a statement from the company’s interim director Paul Marshall the short circuit led to a shut down by the power plant’s over current protective system, which shut down all the production units, in order to protect them from being damaged.
An inspection of the plant showed that the short circuit had damaged one of the high voltage switch gears on the main high voltage buss bar system. They also discovered that that critical components of the high voltage switch gear was damaged and had to be replaced.
“This reconditioning and replacement is a time consuming process, reason why the outage took quite some time. Upon completion of repair work the startup procedure commenced and power was restored at 2:28 a.m. to the first district. The restoration process continued until power to the last district was restored at 3:52 a.m.,” Marshall explained in his statement.
“We regret this unfortunate occurrence and apologize for the inconvenience caused to all our consumers. However, we assure the public that GEBE is making effort to ensure a stable as possible power supply to the island,” the interim director added.

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