Adenis strike as promises – but not electricity – are delivered

National Yemen

Aden Port on loading generators

A number of citizens from Aden city took to the streets after Iftar on the first and second days of Ramadan, blocking roads using large rocks and burning tires to protest continuous electricity cuts.

The general manager of the electricity cooperation in Aden said, “The generators, along with other equipment, will arrive in Aden in two days and the company will start providing electricity at a total of 60 megawatts after one week.”

Engineer Khalil Abdul-Malik said the electricity situation in Aden is miserable, and indicated that the continuous cuts on the first day of Ramadan in were the result of unusable cables at a facility in the Al-Arish area, which is now out of service and is extremely outdated. The cables in question were introduced in the year 1948.

Abdul-Malik said people in Aden were within their rights if they protested in a peaceful manner.

“This is their right, when electricity cuts reach their homes. People are sending a message to the government, to tell it to look after their needs, especially with the high temperatures here.”

The general manager for Aden’s electricity corporation said that huge projects in the electricity sector have been waiting to be undertaken for many years’ time.

“Over the past ten years, they haven’t been worked on, and have only amounted to ink on paper. For example, the Al-Haswa Al-Arish site, which has a capacity of around 132 megawatts, was approved in the year 1994. The study was carried out by a British consultancy firm and the project was renewed in 1997. It has been postponed until the present day. This project cost about $35 million.”

He said another project, that of Khour-Maksr Al-Arish, was funded by Kuwait at a total cost of $13 million and would have had a total capacity of 200 megawatts. If it had been undertaken, the project would have replaced the outdated, over-consuming 30-year-old installation.

The general manager added that the Al-Haswa site hadn’t received any repairs or maintenance in recent years, and added that it never receives spare parts and operates at only 32 megawatts, half of its true capacity.

A source at Aden Port said the second delivery of high-capacity electricity generators, which are expected to enhance the capacity of electricity production in Aden, arrived at Aden Port on Saturday night. The shipment bore more than 30 generators.

The source said, “The second container arrived and found the port very crowded; it shifted its direction to the Kaltex container port, which has seen strikes by its laborers. The shipment wasn’t unloaded as a direct result of the ongoing strike.

The source said that the second shipment moved on to Saudi Arabia to unload other cargo and that it would return to Aden Port after ten days’ time with the sorely-needed generators.