no power, but I still have the internet!

23 Aug, '04

Thank you Batelco for having an independent power supply, and for me to have bought a good UPS for the office, now I can surf while the WHOLE OF BAHRAIN has no power!! It went out about 20 minutes ago (around 9am) all of a sudden, so I wonder who screwed up…

No matter, heads will NOT roll for this one, it’s an all too common a scene in the summer here… And of course no one is to blame for the fiasco they call the Ministry of Power and Water.

The traffic lights are all out, so we expect some gruesome accidents and death on the road before the power comes back on. But because so many people get frustrated, the accidents will continue even after it is established. We’re not the best drivers in the world when there are traffic lights, so just imagine the situation now. Anyway, frustration will rule, traffic signs are going to be completely ignored for a few hours after the power is established, and we will hear of a few more accidents and deaths tomorrow in the local rags.

And of course the traffic dept will not be blamed, and no heads will roll there either.

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  1. anonymous says:

    no power, but I still have the internet!

    We made it onto BBC World TV news too 🙂


  2. anonymous says:

    no power, but I still have the internet!

    I don’t know why it happens, we are a small country that could not have enough electricty and good roads, i think thats coz the government spends alot to develop the infrastructure of some big shot people and forget whats important. we need to think where all the millions went and to whom!!!

  3. anonymous says:

    no power, but I still have the internet!

    [b]I wonder where the loan went???

    Kuwait provides loan for Bahrain for electric grid
    Bahrain-Kuwait, Economics, 5/21/1999

    The Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development said it is presenting a loan of 7.5 million Bahraini dinars ($25 million) to develop Bahrain’s electricity network.

    The fund said in a press statement that the project aims at meeting the increasing demand for electric energy in Bahrain, especially in residential, commercial and industrial areas, and that the total cost of the project is estimated at 27 million Bahrain dinars.

    The statement added that the Kuwaiti loan covers almost a quarter of the project’s costs and is to be repaid over a 20-year period, including an allowance period of five years, to be paid in 30 semi-annual installments, the first of which is due in 2002 while the last will come due in February, 2019.

    The interest rate on the loan is 3% annually, and the project is expected to be started in the first half of the coming year and completed during the year 2002.[/b]

  4. anonymous says:

    no power, but I still have the internet!

    I hope after they fix this big mess they did, they should give all houses a UPS for free that lasts at least for one day so that when it happenes again (( and i think it will happen alot coz we are spending our money in the right place always)) we get prepared and be online always.

  5. anonymous says:

    no power, but I still have the internet!

    A total power blackout has hit Bahrain, leaving the entire country without electricity and air conditioning at a time when temperatures have risen above 50C.

    The power cut occurred at 08:36 (05:36 GMT) on Monday due to a technical problem between Aluminum Bahrain (Alba) and the state electricity company which are linked in by a power loading share system, said a statement by the ministry of electricity.

    It said work was under way to restore power in the country “within a few hours”.

    By the afternoon, power had been restored to small parts of the capital and the rest of the country.

    Bahrain radio quoted an official as saying the power would be back on within hours and that technicians were working to fix the problem.

    The ministry of electricity, meanwhile, asked residents to limit their usage of water.

    Relying on generators

    Some people needed help after getting stuck in elevators while shops and other businesses closed and many people returned home from work.

    Some buildings, including hospitals, are relying on their own generators, which most residents do not have.

    Bahrain’s biggest hospital, Salmaniya medical centre, appealed to people over the radio to only visit the hospital if their condition was serious since it had no air conditioning.

    The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which has its home port in Bahrain, said it was using its own generators and that it had been largely unaffected by the blackout.

    Power cuts are common in Bahrain during the summer, when capacity is not sufficient to meet the added demand of air conditioners and refrigerators.

    Bahrain is 700 square kilometres in size and home to about 650,000 people, including 378,000 Bahrainis.

  6. anonymous says:

    no power, but I still have the internet!

    Tsk Tsk .. such cynicism …

    The US Grid went down completely a few years ago. I dont remember anyone crying foul play. Sometimes people, a technical f**k up is exactly that .. a technical f**k up ..

  7. anonymous says:

    no power, but I still have the internet!

    We’ve made the news!!

    Posted 8/23/2004 4:08 AM Updated 8/23/2004 4:38 AM

    Electricity goes off across Bahrain as temperatures soar

    MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Electricity went out across Bahrain on Monday, leaving people without air conditioning on a day when temperatures were expected to reach 130, snarling rush hour traffic and sending businesses and the U.S. Navy to their generators.
    The cause of the outage was not immediately clear. But this hot, humid Gulf country, home to some 600,000 people, often experiences power supply problems in the summer.

    The power went out just before 9 a.m. in the capital, hub of the main population center.

    Police were deployed to major intersections to fill in for traffic lights, but cars still sat bumper-to-bumper throughout the city. Firefighters were dispatched to rescue people stuck in the elevators of high-rise buildings. Temperatures were fairly mild in the morning, but expected to soar by midday to around 130 when wind and humidity is factored in.

    Managers at banks, hotels and the phone and mobile phone companies said they switched to their generators, but many said that was not enough to sustain all their regular services.

    Lt. Bill Speaks, spokesman for the Bahrain-headquartered U.S. 5th Fleet, said the Navy experienced a “short blip” without power before turning to generators.

    Reports from elsewhere in Bahrain indicated the outage was nationwide. Bahrain’s main oil refinery, which has its own power generator, was not affected.

    Power consumption goes up drastically in Bahrain during the summer, when the strain on the system sometimes results in breakdowns or power outages.

    Bahrain last month signed agreements for the construction of a new power plant to be equally owned by Belgium-headquartered Tractebel EGI and Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corp. The plant, expected to be working at full capacity by mid 2007, was to produce 950 megawatts per day, meeting one-third of the power requirements of the country.

    Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  8. anonymous says:

    no power, but I still have the internet!

    Is it all back to normal now? I’ve been trying to call and cannot get through! All OK now?


  9. mahmood says:

    Re: no power, but I still have the internet!

    The very least that should be done due to this situation is firing the Minister of Power and Water, if has any sense at all he would resign. But this is Bahrain and this is not to be.

    What we have instead is the formation of yet another committee, the Minister of Power and Water is a member of course, to “look into the situation”.

    I, like some 700,000 people, have looked into the situation and can give the committee our conclusions: The Ministry of Power and Water is a shambles, the Minister is innefective, the management is ineffective, and they should all be replaced forthwith.

    Want it plainer than that? Fire the biatches!

    Once that is done, privatise the bloody thing. Even if we pay more, at least we won’t suffer these blackouts and brownouts every single bloody summer.

  10. mahmood says:

    The real reason there was a blackout

    according to my 11 year-old son Arif:

    They didn’t pay the hamsters so they went on strike!

  11. mahmood says:

    BD 700 million to upgrade the network

    for the conspiracy theorists out there, the Minister of Power and Water has asked for BD 700 million (US$1.86 billion) to upgrade the power grid and add some water plants as well.

    Q: Has the Ministry asked for this figure before the blackout?

    Q: If not, why all of a sudden?

    Q: something smells fishy.

    A: Invest a fraction of that amount into privatisation of the Power and Water networks and be done with it!

    [Modified by: Mahmood Al-Yousif (mahmood) on August 26, 2004 12:43 PM]

  12. fekete says:

    no power, but I still have the internet!

    they did start privatizing generation – the first plant is due to come onstream 2006. i think bahrain is too small to privatize the distribution, transmission system though. although, there is probably lots of room for operational efficiencies. the problems also lie in the old plants .. they need to be replaced and it aint cheap. i think the standard benchmark is about 1/2 million dollars for 1 mw.

    you know what I worry about? our demographics. if we continue to have the birthrate and population growth that we do have, then the costs of ensuring that we have the right infrastructure in place for everyone are just going to increase and increase! and, we all get subsidized power and water rates. in fact, i would bet that the average bahraini does not know how much the govt is subsidizing these rates.

    i personally think its time for economics 101. i wish our turbanites in parliament would start looking at these issues … i wish our media would start writing about this issues.

  13. mahmood says:

    Re: no power, but I still have the internet!

    that’s true, the Hidd power station is supposed to be a private enterprise. I forgot about that, but in essense I was referring to bringing in efficiencies on-stream and I in no way advocate haphazard steps in privatising such essential services as power and water.

    as to the population explosion and it’s economic impact again I fully agree with you. Yet, I have no hope whatsoever that parliament is going to tackle that subject. The number of times I heard people (especially Shi’as) talking about the “need to breed” in order to “correct” the “shi’a demographic” does not indicate that the idea of controlled birthrate will take any hold.

    They earnestly also say that should a Shi’a woman elect for sterilisation then “they” do it immediately, however a sunni woman is not allowed to!!

    Go figure…

    Still, we might need something like this somewhere on the Bab Al-Bahrain road!

    downtown Toronto on Yonge Street.. the kids found this hillarious! 🙂

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