The powerhouse on the northern island of Bileyfahi in Shaviyani atoll has been completely destroyed by a fire that broke out late Saturday night.
All three generators were damaged beyond use, according to Fenaka, the state utility company that operates the powerhouse. The police and the military’s fire department are investigating the incident.
“We’re hoping to provide electricity by sunset. We’re currently experiencing delay due to a technical problem,” Ahmed Shareef, Fenaka’s managing director, told the Maldives Independent.
“Our plan was to transfer the engine on Shaviyani Feydhoo to Bileyfahi. But people on Feydhoo are trying to stop Fenaka officials from taking the generator. We’ve asked for assistance from the Police on this matter. It is our property, therefore we should be able to take it out.”
Shareef noted that transferring the generator would be a temporary solution.
“This afternoon 30 to 40 employees from Fenaka will go to Bileyfahi to build a temporary hut and a temporary powerhouse,” he said.
“The temporary hut will be built to provide electricity tonight, and the powerhouse will be completed in about two weeks time.”
The island council was unavailable for comment. Ahmed Shareef, the council’s vice president, told newspaper Mihaaru that the fire incident occurred after the official on duty left the powerhouse due to an outage.
The powerhouse was completely burnt down when they returned.
The northern island is home to around 700 people who have been without electricity since midnight.
In late April, a Fenaka employee died in a fire at the powerhouse on the island of Fiyoari in Gaaf Alif atoll. The 26-year-old technician was alone at the powerhouse when the fire broke out.