Greek Cypriots to the rescue following severe electricity problems in North Cyprus

A deal appears to have been struck with the authorities in South Cyprus to provide electricity to the power grid in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus for a week as emergency cover.

For days, Turkish Cypriots have endured multiple power cuts due to outages at one of its big power stations. The plant has been unable to produce sufficient electricity to cope with excessive demands during the intense summer heat.

Local media reports state that South Cyprus will supply electricity to North Cyprus between 12 and 17 August. Although there has been no formal statement from the TRNC government, Pantelis Pantelides from the Greek Cypriot Presidential Palace told T-VINE the reports were true.

In the meantime, the Turkish Cypriot Electricity Board (Kıb-Tek) announced there will be intermittent power cuts to homes and businesses across the TRNC as it tries to conserve energy and undertakes vital repair work. The aim would be to cut power to each region for an hour, with up to four hour cuts in a few towns including Lefke and Güvercinlik.

Kıb-Tek are giving regular updates on their Facebook page of the places and times most acutely affected.

Earlier today, the TRNC Prime Minister Ersan Saner held a high level meeting with the Economy and Energy Minister Erhan Arıklı, Kıb-Tek Chairman Turan Büyükyılmaz and Kıb-Tek General Manager Gürcan Erdoğan to discuss the issue, and was upbeat all would be resolved.

The Prime Minister said they were taking the necessary steps to deal with the problem. He also explained that vital supplies from Turkey would be dispatched by boat early next week, scheduled to arrive no later than Wednesday, which should enable a long term solution. Mr Saner did not mention how the short-term problem would be resolved.

There was no immediate response to a request by T-VINE to the Prime Ministry to confirm the deal with the Greek Cypriot authorities.

Although the two states in Cyprus do not formally recognise each other, they have co-operated previously over power needs. In 2011, Turkish Cypriots sold electricity to Greek Cypriots after the Vasilikos Power Station was severely damaged by a massive munitions blast at the neighbouring Evangelos Florakis Naval Base in Mari, Larnaca, which killed 12 people. The emergency led to electricity being supplied by the TRNC for eight months.


Main image, top, of Kıb-Tek workers repairing an electricity pylon. Photo © Facebook / Kıbrıs Türk Elektrik Kurumu