Regulator censures Mazoon Electricity over Samayil power supply outage

The Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) has published a report on the investigation undertaken of the extended supply outage that occurred during the Eid al Fitr holiday on the Mazoon Electricity Company network in Al Afiyah in the Wilayat of Samayil on June 15, 2018. The outage was attributed to a fault on an 11kV cable that resulted in an extended supply outage affecting 453 customers from 6 am to 7:30 pm with over 2MW of load lost.
Having reviewed the investigation report submitted by Mazoon Electricity Company the Authority determined that the report did not appear to fully reflect the facts surrounding the incident. Therefore, the Authority appointed an independent specialist consultant to review the report submitted by Mazoon Electricity Company and undertake a detailed investigation of the incident.
The investigation highlighted failures in the application of operational safety procedures during the incident, in addition to the lack of experience in customer service issues, which led to customers experiencing an extended period of interruption to the electricity supplies. The investigation also revealed that the Mazoon Electricity Company processes for unplanned outages are not fit for purpose.
The final report of the investigation identified that Mazoon Electricity Company failed to rectify the problem as the Control Center engineers could not see the affected 11 kV network in the SCADA System and single line diagrams were not available in the system. Supplies could have been restored within a shorter span of time if a more planned and structured approach had been followed for restoration.
Qais bin Saud al Zakwani, Executive Director of the Authority, said: “The Authority concluded that Mazoon Electricity Company allowed their safety rules to be broken without comment or intervention, and were content to allow their staff to carry out the work without giving any sufficient information required to do their job safely and efficiently. It is evident from the results of the investigation that the management of the incident was ineffective and won’t prevent a reoccurrence of a similar incident in the future.”
As part of the investigation, the Authority reviewed the emergency plans and procedures of MZEC including the customer services communication especially during outages. In addition, the reasons for the interruptions were analysed, and the Authority expects a systematic approach to be adopted when dealing with outages which is contrary to what was applied during this incident. It was evident that the Company adopted a haphazard approach when dealing with this incident. The results of the investigation has concluded that the company’s handling of this incident was unacceptable in every aspect, with only the Call Centre team showing any understanding of what customers should expect when affected by an unplanned outage. This incident identified significant deficiencies in certain technical and the customer service aspects.
The Authority asserts that the purpose of investigations into frequent and extended interruptions is to assess the company’s response and address any deficiencies that become evident.
The Authority submitted a copy of the final report to the company, which agreed with the investigation results and recommendations. The Authority has asked the Mazoon Electricity Company management to address failings identified in the investigation report within 3 months. The company has confirmed its commitment to implement all recommendations and failure to implement them within the specified time will necessitate the Authority to take further regulatory enforcement action against the company in accordance with the legal and regulatory framework.”
A copy of the investigation report is available at www.aer-oman.org