CLP Group

Review urged on NT power monopoly after blackout

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 August, 1998, 12:00am

China Light & Power's (CLP) control over the New Territories' electricity supplies should be reviewed after its failure to compensate Tai Po consumers for last month's blackout, a district board member says.

Green groups have also called on the Government to review CLP activities.

Some 10,000 households were hit by the 19-hour blackout on July 28, which cut water supplies and all electricity.

Lifts, lights, air-conditioners and refrigerators were disabled as temperatures hit 36 degrees Celsius. The blackout was caused by interconnector and cable faults, 'not negligence', CLP said.

CLP's performance pledge of 99.9 per cent reliability of supply and 95 per cent on restoring power within four hours of a failure had been broken, said Tai Po District Board member Yau Fook-ping, even though the company had promised a 50 per cent discount to businesses.

Totally ignoring the inconvenience to residents was also unfair, unacceptable and irresponsible, Mr Yau said in a letter to CLP managing director Ross Sayers.

Fellow district board member Dr Yau Wing-kwong said residents and the power company had met three times without a satisfactory result.

He called for the monopoly to be reviewed because consumers had no choice of alternative supplies.

Friends of the Earth researcher Eric Walker said CLP's claims it was more reliable had been proven wrong. CLP had overexpanded and overestimated its growth and the consumer was paying for some 'very bad decisions'.

A CLP spokesman said: 'No electricity company can achieve 100 per cent reliability. There are situations and elements outside our control.'