By Mark N. Mengonfia
The plenary of the House of Representatives has mandated its committee to investigate issues relating to contract, constant outages of power and fire on the light poles of Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).
The committees on Contract and Monopoly, Judiciary and Public Utilities were given the mandate by plenary on Thursday to do a proper investigation into the issues raised by a member of the House of Representatives, P. Mike Jurry of Maryland who weeks ago brought to the attention of the plenary of the House of Representatives constant outages of power and fire on electric poles in Montserrado County.
Before plenary decision that mandated its Committees to investigate the LEC contract and other issues at the institution, Thomas Zailee Gonkerwon, Senior Manager, Operation & Maintenance Transmission & Distribution Division at LEC informed the House of Representatives that from January to March of this year they have received 27 calls relating to fire outbreaks.
Mr. Gonkerwon said most of the problems are caused by burnt circuit breaker or transformer or burnt service cable, burnt jumpers.
He furthered “illegal (power theft) connection in communities’ poor wiring or wrong panel boxes and phase imbalance are some of the reasons we are faced with such problem.”
Some of the reasons he cited are General overload, third party interference exposure of electrical equipment to rain, conductor overload, loose or poor connection.
Explaining further, Mr. Gonkerwon said as part of means to mitigate the problems they as management are on load measurement and load balancing of circuits, including conductor size or added transporter and additional planned cyclic maintenance of CB connections.
“We are removing illegal connections, inspection of wiring, panel boxes plus certification of wiring,” he said.
He said they have replaced 123 transformers, replaced 58 overhead lines including poles, replaced 97 poles, circuit breakers, bundle, and conductor and has vegetation control (km) at 42
The management of LEC during the appearance promised to comply with the Committees during their in camera appearance.