Technical Errors Halt Venezuela’s Energy Saving Blackouts

14 January 2010 (Last Updated January 14th, 2010 18:30)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has halted a plan to start four-hour blackouts for five months in Caracas after technical errors occurred during its implementation. The errors caused some areas to lose electricity twice and left traffic lights without power, according to Bloomberg.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has halted a plan to start four-hour blackouts for five months in Caracas after technical errors occurred during its implementation.

The errors caused some areas to lose electricity twice and left traffic lights without power, according to Bloomberg.

The blackout plan was announced on 12 January with the aim of saving energy during the country’s worst drought for 50 years.

The severe drought may force the shut down of the Guri hydroelectric project, which meets 73% of the country’s power requirements.

The country is to build a number of power plants in the Caracas metropolitan area aimed at generating 2055MW of electricity and costing over $4bn to be operational by the end of the year.

Production lines at state-run aluminium and steel companies have been halted since December 2009 to save energy with shopping malls asked to restrict opening hours to tackle the crisis.

As of November 2009, the country had an installed electricity capacity of 23,649MW and generated 10,516MW of electricity.