Above: Trinidad PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar at the Phoenix Park plant on Friday (Photo: OPM Trinidad)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Trinidad and Tobago suffered a nationwide blackout on Friday morning following a malfunction at the Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited, the government said Friday.
It was caused as a result of an emergency shutdown system malfunction at the plant, disrupting the delivery of natural gas to the national grid, the government said, and to the Powergen Point Lisas power station, which led to the island-wide blackouts.
In a statement, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said that she had ordered an increase in the national security alert.
“This precautionary measure was enacted to ensure that law and order was maintained, and critical infrastructure remained secure during the blackout,” she said.
The government said it put systems in place to restore power “in the shortest possible time” and had already restored power to certain portions of the country.
Persad-Bissessar visited the plant Friday, joined by Energy Minster Kevin Ramnarine.
She said she had requested that the Energy Minister present a report on the incident “with a focus on recommendations to ensure the future energy and security of the country.”
The Prime Minister said the government had mobilized the Defence Force and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
There has been an incident of looting reported in the Barataria area, she said, but it was been prevented by local law enforcement.