An announcement from the National Gas Company (NGC) late yesterday followed an earlier advisory from the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC), warning of a gas shortage to one of its independent power producers.

The commission, in a brief advisory, pleaded with customers to “conserve electricity”, while NGC warned that its too early to predict the length of repair time to the underground pipeline.

With Christmas one month away and an array of lighted decorations flying off the shelves, citizens have been asked to curb the lights or possibly lose the service.

In addition to Christmas trees, icicle lights have caught on in a big way locally and demand has grown for the various styles put out by international manufacturers every year.

Also now popular are electronically mobile figures, such as a dancing Santa Claus, and a range of glowing Christmas characters for yards and rooftops. A number of homeowners in the Valsayn community also put on an annual light show that attracts hundreds from around the country.

The lights could however go dark with excessive use, the commission has warned.

“The commission is experiencing a developing situation where the gas supply to one of its independent power producers is being severely curtailed,” T&TEC stated in its media release.

“In an effort to avoid load shedding across the country, the Commission is asking customers to limit their use of electricity to only what is necessary. The situation regarding the gas supply is just emerging and further details will be provided as soon as they are available.”

The media were asked to disseminate this information as “an urgent public-service announcement”.
“Load shedding” is a process generally used to described the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load gathering on the plant.

In a statement following T&TEC’s, NGC said an underground leak in its 56-inch cross-island pipeline, which transports natural gas to Trinidad Generation Unlimited (TGU) and Atlantic, had been discovered during a “routine inspection”.
“NGC is in the process of taking the line out of service to effect repair works,” the company stated.

“The natural gas released poses no danger to the surrounding communities and the situation is well under control.”
It further stated: 
“Because it is an underground leak, it is too early to determine the cause and length of time that the line will be out of service. We are working to effect the repairs as quickly as possible and in a safe manner.”

As a result of this leak, gas supply to TGU and Atlantic will be stopped until repair works on the 56-inch pipeline are completed, the company said.

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