Electricity sector in Homs

Electricity is an essential factor in the development process and an  indication of stability in any country.

Homs is actually an important industrial city as it contains a number of prominent industrial edifices such as the Industrial Area in Heisya'  and The Petroleum Refinery in addition to The Fertilization Company, The  Sugar Factory  and a number of food industries as well as medical industries companies. But the repercussions of the crisis has had a negative impact on the electricity sector where the terrorists' disruptive operations targeted power stations and lines that provide gas and fuel to these stations, led to a halt in a large number of these industries.

After the return of calm and security to the city , Ministry of Electricity began to re-power all the industrial areas and residential neighborhoods.

To know more about the  reconstruction of this great sector, Syria Times met engineer, Mosleh al- Hassan, director of Homs electricity Company, who said: "In comparison with the huge systematic  vandalism the electricity sector has witnessed during the past four years,  we can confirm that power in Syria is good .

The most serious difficulties facing the electrical system is how to  obtain  the necessary oil for power plants either fuel or gas. The generated power has dropped dramatically and the rationing periods have increased during the recent years."

He  stressed: "Syria, before the crisis, experienced significant economic growth carried out by the Ministry of Electricity, where it built a sophisticated electrical system that played a very  important role in the stability of electricity and in confronting the great challenges facing electricity sector as a result of vandalism and destruction that the electrical networks have witnessed , especially in the areas controlled by the armed groups.

The  electrical system is currently good  and of high reliability , but as you know it is connected to the reality and sometimes it is affected by the heinous and led-blind terrorism that targeted this vital sector."

Eng. Al-hassan stressed: "Thanks to the great efforts of the our workers, who assume their national responsibility and keep working despite all the hard and dangerous circumstances to provide electricity to the citizens and rehabilitate what have been sabotaged by the armed terrorist groups, electricity is getting better every day. Thus maintenance workshops entered a number of  sites controlled by armed groups such as a Hula area and repaired  over head line 230 kV,  that provides the central and southern regions with electricity from al- Zara power planet".

As for the electricity state in Homs, Mr. Hassan said: "As it is known electricity networks have been damaged and vandalized systematically. A number of  medium and low voltage networks  and distribution  centers were affected by the terrorists' attacks . After the return of stability and security to the regions, our workshops began to work  tirelessly to rehabilitate all the destroyed electricity networks and provide electricity for citizens despite the great difficulties and the strenuous work.

Thus, we can say that electricity status in Homs, in general, is good . It is ranging between increase and decrease in rationing hours according to the amount of fuel needed to provide power plants, especially that most of the railways that were transporting fuel to power plants have become out of service.In addition to that there are a large number of gas fields which have been sabotaged by armed groups. But the strenuous efforts made by the Ministry of Electricity and Oil Ministry, electricity is still provided in supported price to the citizens all over the Syrian governorates.

Performance of the electric network was affected in the recent period as a result of the entirely dependence on the electric power for heat, heating water and even for cooking. This led to big pressure on electricity networks , distribution transformer centers and stations , therefore more electrical faults  and break down in the feeding current are happened".

Concerning the mechanisms adopted by the Company to improve the work performance, al-Hassan said: "Despite the unjust economic blockade imposed on Syria by the hostile states, Ministry of Electricity has secured all the work requirements and materials. We have managed  to make up the shortage, because of the road cuts, by relying on the old material found in the company's warehouses, so we were able to rehabilitate a lot of electrical networks and improve the capacity of a lot of distribution transformer centers. In 2014, more than 297 distribution transformer centers were constructed and 101 capacitor banks were also added to these centers to improve Power factor and reduce the power losses.

We also provided citizens with  more than 8966 new power meters and replaced 5205 meters. Some 1500 meters have also been repaired in 2014".

Regarding the electricity rationing strategy, Hassan confirmed: "Homs is like the other Syrian cities adopted the rationing policy. Nevertheless, the public sector projects and large industrial enterprises did not suffer from power outages during the periods of rationing so electricity was secured around the clock except for the small Factories that share electricity with residential areas.

The biggest task for us,  Hassan goes on to say, is how to enter the volatile areas to repair the affected  power plants and how to secure the lives of our workers.  Thus we  ask the help of a number of peoples' activities, military forces and security  bodies to secure the entry of workers to these dangerous s areas yet unfortunately we have lost until now more than 67 workers as martyrs, wounded and captured'.

"The hard  and unceasing work to serve the citizens is what we seek to and to provide power supply for each house is the goal," Al-Hassan concluded.

 

Amal Farhat – from Homs to Syria Times

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