BCM power outage after substation blowout

A mystery voltage blow-up that took place at Queens Park Zoo Substation this afternoon  left some parts of the city without electricity.

Queenspark Zoo substation had a technical blow out today which caused several electric in some parts of the city. Picture: Michael Pinyana

The technical fault was the second one the substation had experienced in recent months when one of the voltage transformers (VT’s) on the 135 kB line blew up.

The affected areas include Quigney, Southernwood, Selborne, lower part of Vincent, Bunkers Hill, Selborne, lower Berea, North End, Belgravia, Parkside and Braelyn. Due to the extent of the damage, all the areas will only be on by 10pm tonight.

While the reason for the blow up is still unknown, Buffalo City Municipality electrical and energy senior operations manager Johan Olivier told the Daily Dispatch he had contacted the company responsible for installing the lines.

“This is not a common thing and we are a bit worried because this is the second blowout we had in a couple of months now. We are a bit worried as to why this is happening because normally a voltage transformer doesn’t pop.

“We are getting a truck in to clean up all the oil on the bars and we have to take the voltage transformers off the line and switch it back on at a later stage,” Olivier said.

He said the electricity should be restored today as his team will ensure that the problem be fixed. “Our guys will work until it is fixed and the electricity is back on.”

There was a fire on the boundary wall of the substation but Olivier said it had not affected or caused the blowout.
The voltage transformer measures the voltage on the line and regulates it to ensure no blowouts from happening.
Olivier explained that Queens Park substation feeds a big area which includes Nestle factory on the line as well as West Bank and Arcadia.
BCM spokeswoman Bathandwa Diamond said: “We urge residents to be patient as this will take a couple of hours to restore power. Kindly switch off electricity appliances and treat them as live all the time.”