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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 December, 2003, 20:05 GMT
Power restored after NI blackouts
Repair crews have come under attack while at work
Parts of the province were left without power

Power has been restored to thousands of homes and businesses in Northern Ireland after supplies were cut due to problems at two power stations.

The province's main power station at Kilroot, near Belfast, was shut down following a technical problem with generators and the other power station at Ballylumford, near Larne, was only partially working.

Northern Ireland Electricity said it had been left without 25% of the power it normally needed to supply demand on Thursday evening.

The worst affected areas were parts of counties Down and Antrim, including parts of Belfast where traffic lights were hit.

However, in a statement at about 1900 GMT, NIE said power had been restored to all customers.

It added that in order to ensure all customers received some supply it had been necessary necessary to introduce a series of programmed interruptions.

Robin Greer of NIE said: "Supplies have been restored to all areas throughout Northern Ireland following the problems we had earlier.

"We are not anticipating any further supply problems tonight.

"The vast majority of customers would have been restored by about 6.15pm and the last customers, and I believe it was the Newry area, were restored at 7pm."

Robin Greer of NIE
Robin Greer of NIEsaid no further problems were anticipated

The problems began at about 1600 GMT on Thursday, when both generators at Kilroot power station went out of action.

That co-incided with scheduled maintenance at Ballylumford power station, where output was reduced by a fifth.

NIE said the interconnector from Scotland was operating normally and it had brought additional electricity to the province to counter the problems.

Anyone still requiring information should contact NIE's customer helpline on 08457 643 643.

The General Consumer Council said if anyone had difficulties contacting NIE they could contact the council's complaints team on 0845 601 6022, who would forward their details to NIE.

Robin Greer of Northern Ireland Electricity
"It is causing ourselves and our customers an awful lot of distress this evening"

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