Installation of the submarine cable which will connect San Pedro to Belize's mainland electricity supply will commence on March 1st, 1998.
According to Mr. Ernesto Gomez, manager of San Pedro's Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) branch, Alcatel, the manufacture of the submarine cable, has subcontracted the installation of the cable to Travocean, a French company that specializes in such. The cable installers have until the ending of May to complete the task but Mr. Gomez is confident that the work will be completed by the ending of April. "The extra month given to them is to insure that they have more time if something unexpected should happen," he explained. Alcatel personnel visited San Pedro over the weekend of January 10th to finalize living arrangements for the 20 to 30 work men that will be installing the cable.
When the cable is installed, a test will be carried out to determine whether or not the cable is functioning. A small generator will be used to supply the power needed for the test. Electricity from the mainland supply will not be used until after the cable has been tested.
The diesel generators presently supplying San Pedro with electricity will remain at the power station and will act as backup in cases of emergencies, such as if the power line is damaged in Maskall. Mr. Gomez said that after the cable is positioned and working, the diesel barge that visits San Pedro every 10 days to supply BEL with the diesel they need will visit only twice a year.
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