Friday, April 27, 2007

Costa Rica's energy supply in state of emergency

By Blake Schmidt and Dave Sherwood
Tico Times Staff

One week after a massive blackout swept the country, Presidency Minister Rodrigo Arias declared yesterday that the nation's energy crisis has reached a state of emergency.

Pedro Quiros (pictured), president of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), announced that rolling blackouts will begin today and continue until there is enough rain to feed Costa Rica's hydroelectric plants, which are currently low on reserves due to a drier-than-normal year and a growing demand for energy.

ICE representatives said the institute would also begin posting daily schedules of blackouts on its Web site, www.grupoice.com.

Some parts of the country will also experience interruptions in water service, according to Ricardo Sancho, Executive Director of the National Water and Sewer Institute (AyA). About 40% of the San José metropolitan area's water pumping systems depend on electricity provided by ICE, and will therefore be affected by the blackouts, he said.

These systems, which provide potable water to 100,000-150,000 of the city's 1.2 million inhabitants, will be shut off for periods of about six hours, coinciding with the ICE-programmed blackouts.

Sancho shied away from offering specific times and dates, explaining that the situation is still unclear due to conflicting information from ICE. AyA is very dependent on the electricity institute holding to its schedule for the blackouts, he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many think that the blackouts have to do with the denial of a rate increase to the ICE, but no one can prove that theory. But as of today, supposedly there will be no more blackouts or electricity rationing. So now you can travel and live worry free. Hurrah for rain!

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