FREQUENT, LONGER BLACKOUTS LIKELY, WARNS PNG'S ELCOM

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 10, 2001 -The National/PINA Nius Online)---The Papua New Guinea Electricity Commission (Elcom) has warned that blackouts might become more frequent and last for longer periods, given the poor state of its equipment and the lack of funds for maintenance or repairs.

Elcom's acting chief executive and general manager, Joe Bariamu, sounded the warning yesterday while explaining the reasons for the repeated and extended blackouts that occurred over the weekend.

"Elcom is not happy that this situation is occurring but without adequate tariffs, there is a risk that such occurrences will become more common and last for longer periods," he said.

Mr. Bariamu recalled that the Price Controller had approved a 10 percent hike in electricity tariffs in May, as against the 44.4 percent increase sought by the Elcom management.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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