At 7:00 p.m. last night a critical fault on the Mexican electricity grid caused power supply to be lost to the Northern Zone of Belize, which includes the Corozal District, Orange Walk District and San Pedro Town.
Since Belize Cogeneration Energy Limited (Belcogen) was offline for maintenance, the hydroelectric and gas turbine facilities were used to restore power to most areas of the Northern Zone by 8:00 p.m.
At 9:41 p.m., a lightning strike on the 69 kV transmission line between Dangriga and La Democracia caused a system interruption on the national grid, which resulted in a national power outage. As the company attempted to restore power, the gas turbine facility developed electrical problems and the hydroelectric facilities had to be used to facilitate power restoration. Using the hydro facilities is a much slower process, compared to the gas turbine.
At about 11:00 p.m. power was restored to a portion of the Belize District and Belmopan, using the hydroelectric facilities. Shortly after, power supply was again lost to those areas while efforts were being made to restore power to the remainder of the country.
The electrical fault at the gas turbine facility was eventually resolved and the company commenced restoration of the national grid. CFE also resolved its fault and reconnected with the Belize national grid. CFE was therefore used to restore power to the remaining sections of the country and power was restored to all areas by 2:00 a.m. today.
BEL apologizes for the inconvenience caused by these power outages and thanks customers for their patience while our employees worked diligently to restore power supply.