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Load on national power grid reaches ‘unprecedented’ 3,185MW as heatwave continues

By Laila Azzeh - Aug 02,2015 - Last updated at Aug 02,2015

AMMAN — The load on the national power grid reached 3,185 megawatts (MW) on Sunday, up from 2,840MW registered in the same period last year, according to an informed source.

With the surge in power load attributed to the heatwave, as people tend to extensively use air conditioners and fans, Ameen Zaghal, director of planning and production at the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), said the rising population and those who flock to Jordan during the summer also exacerbate the situation.

The Jordan News Agency, Petra, said the load reached its peak at 1:30pm, describing it as unprecedented. 

Zaghal told The Jordan Times that the generation capacity of NEPCO stands at 3,200MW and that the company is able to provide an additional 800MW.

Temperatures on Sunday reached 42°C in Amman as the impact of a very hot air mass continued, with mercury levels soaring beyond 40°C in Aqaba and the Jordan Valley.

The very hot air mass, which is accompanied by a seasonal depression originating from the Indian subcontinent, started affecting the country on Saturday and is expected to continue this week until at least Thursday.

Zaghal noted that the company’s national control centre is working around-the-clock to follow up on the electricity distribution process across the Kingdom.

The Electricity Distribution Company (EDCO) noted that although the power load reached an unusual rate on Sunday, the generation capacity is 4,000MW.

“We are used to a power load of 2,500MW. The load now is around 25 per cent more than that, but if we pass the peak hours, which end at 3:30pm, the load will return to its normal rate,” EDCO Spokesperson Yassin Al Khattab told The Jordan Times.

The company urged people to undertake a few measures to ease power consumption, such as distributing the load and reporting violations that damage the national grid, which are “very dangerous to public safety”.

“People should not simultaneously switch on air conditioners and automatic washers or the iron,” Khattab noted.

Meanwhile, Raed Hadda, owner of a shop located in the Tlaa Al Ali neighbourhood in Amman, noted that electricity at the shop has been down for more than an hour.

“I hope the power will come back soon before causing serious damage,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone at around 3:30pm.

Saeed Ibrahim, who resides in the same neighbourhood, also complained about the power outage, which lasted for about an hour on Sunday, adding that two air conditioners were on when the electricity was disrupted.

Despite the complaints, Khattab said the situation is under control.

Power outages were also reported by residents of northern and southern Marka, Tabarbour and Zarqa. 

NEPCO said the outage in east Amman was due to a fire in the cables at Marka substation caused by the unprecedented load, Petra reported.

 

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and work was under way to restore the power, NEPCO said.

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