The T&T Electricity Commission says it has no suspicion of sabotage following an early morning fire at its Savonetta Substation which knocked out power at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate and neighbouring communities.
The billowing cloud of black smoke at North Sea Drive, Point Lisas triggered speculation on social media that the fire could have been maliciously set. However, T&TEC’s manager of Corporate Communications
Annabelle Brasnell said investigations were ongoing and there was no suspicion of sabotage.
“At this point, we have no suspicion of anything like sabotage. Our first priority is to restore supply to customers and get to the source of the fire. We cannot say what is the genesis of this unless we complete investigations.
By 1 pm, the electricity supply was restored to all residential customers at Phoenix Park and Cedar Hill. However, three companies- YARA Trinidad Limited, ANSA McAL Chemicals Limited and Trinidad Nitrogen Company Ltd (Tringen) were without electricity.
Brasnell also denied that the substation was destroyed.
“The substation is still standing. Because there is oil in transformers, the fire looked as if the entire substation was engulfed. People saw the big black smoke but that occurred largely because there is oil in the site. Only one transformer has been damaged and two other pieces of equipment used to transmit the electricity have been burnt. The substation has not burnt down. Another transformer is still intact and substation building is intact as well,” Brasnell said.
She added that this was the first fire of its kind to occur in four years adding that there was a fire at the West Moorings facility in 2014.
The substation at Point Lisas was not occupied at the time of the blaze.
T&TEC’s engineers spent hours on site executing repairs and doing checks.
Meanwhile, police said yesterday that a break-in was reported at Petrotrin’s Beach Camp facilities in one of the executive building owned by Petrotrin which is often occupied by senior staff.
However, it is uncertain whether anything was stolen.
On Thursday during a press conference president general of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union Ancel Roget said all of T&T will see black if the government pushes ahead to shut down the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.
“It is an act of reprisal because we can make no sense out of this. But (Prime Minister Dr Keith ) Rowley has to be reminded that those who seek to destroy the OWTU will only destroy himself. Then they talking about a black hole. Let me say to Franklin Khan the whole country would not be placed in a black hole if you leave Petrotrin running.
The whole country will be black is you shut down Petrotrin. In fact, if you don’t reverse that decision the whole country will be black,” Roget said.
Efforts to contact Roget and chief research and education officer Ozzi Wharwick for comment yesterday proved futile as calls to their cellular phones went unanswered.