BUENOS AIRES – About 18,000 homes in La Plata, the capital of Argentina’s Buenos Aires province, have been without electricity since last weekend, utility company Edelap said on Monday.
“The start of the outage occurred on Saturday night due to a problem with a line that feeds a substation ... An underground high-voltage line at a depth of two meters went out of service,” Edelap spokeswoman Carolina Ortiz told TN.
Several neighborhoods in the northern section of the provincial capital have been affected by the blackout.
Power is expected to be restored in about three days, Ortiz said, noting that that “is the average time this type of repair takes.”
The utility company was able to reroute electricity from the rest of the grid, restoring about 60 percent of the substation’s capacity.
Edelap also deployed 32 portable power units “the size of (shipping) containers” to provide temporary service in the areas affected by the blackout, Ortiz said.
Using this temporary system, all the homes affected by the blackout should have service by Monday afternoon, the Edelap spokeswoman said, adding that the generators were being brought in from Rosario, a city located some 350 kilometers (217 miles) away.
“The power units will stay for as long as they are needed to meet demand until we can finish the repairs,” Ortiz said.
The power outage also affected water service to some of the homes in the area and the utility is working to “determine the causes” of the service outage, Ortiz said.
“We have to conduct thorough tests, isolate the conditions and then put it into operation once again,” Ortiz said, adding that this type of power outage “is not normal or common in the grid.”
The Edelap spokeswoman said utility customers would receive some kind of undetermined service credit.
On June 16, Argentina experienced a massive blackout that also affected Uruguay and parts of Paraguay.
Ortiz, however, said these were “two totally different situations.”