Elia ordered to explain snowstorm blackouts

28th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 November 2005, BRUSSELS — Electricity network administrator Elia has been called to order over the series of blackouts reported in Flanders over the weekend.

28 November 2005

BRUSSELS — Electricity network administrator Elia has been called to order over the series of blackouts reported in Flanders over the weekend.

Energy Minister Marc Verwilghen has asked Elia to explain why a night's snowfall caused so much chaos with the electricity network.

Sint-Niklaas Mayor Freddy Willockx was the first to raise concerns when 5cm of snow left his city without electricity for five hours on Saturday. 

"Are we living in Central Africa of Western Europe?" he said.

Willockx was quick to point an accusing finger at electricity producer Electrabel and network administrator Elia.

He said Electrabel has not been able to cope with the liberalising of the energy market and that municipal councils should take again a majority stake in energy firms to supervise service quality.

East Flanders was especially hit by the blackouts on Friday night. The problem was primarily blamed on a defective high-tension station in Merelbeke. However, high-tension cables also snapped under the weight of the snow.

Elia said it was confronted with a combination of bad weather factors, wind, temperatures around the freezing point, high atmospheric humidity and heavy snowfalls.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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