Following the major fire that was deliberately started by criminals near junction 25A of the M8 on Monday evening (7th November), causing considerable electricity supply problems, ScottishPower has confirmed that the substantial damage to two of its high voltage power cables will take more than a fortnight to fully repair. The company has warned that the electricity network in the Southside of Glasgow will be considerably weaker until the full repairs can be completed.
The Company has also offered a reward of up to £10,000 to anyone who is able to provide Strathclyde Police with information that leads to the conviction of those involved in Monday night’s fire. In fact, the company has pledged to offer similar rewards for credible information against anyone who is involved in the theft or sale of stolen copper and metal from ScottishPower’s electricity network.
ScottishPower engineers managed to restore electricity supplies to all the homes and businesses that were affected by the fire within 40 minutes on Monday evening. The Company is now very closely monitoring the network to ensure it can operate as normal a service as possible without the support of the damaged power lines. However, if further faults were to materialise, the company has said that due to the weakness caused to the network by the criminal damage, it may not be able to restore power supplies as quickly as it did on Monday.
Guy Jefferson, Operation Director at ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “The criminals who started this fire on Monday evening are responsible for major disruptions that have inconvenienced thousands of people across the Southside of Glasgow. Sections of our high voltage power line have been badly damaged and carrying out the repairs is a major job. Our initial assessments indicate that it will take more than two weeks until they are fully reinstated.
“A vital component of the electricity network in the south of Glasgow is now temporarily out of service, and the network is weaker as a result. We need all our equipment to be working in order to guarantee secure supplies of power.
“I would stress that we are operating a near normal service at the moment, but unforeseen damage or faults in the next few weeks will be much more difficult to repair. Our options for diverting any homes or businesses to other sources of power supplies are now very limited. In a worst case scenario, it can take several hours to fully repair certain faults on the underground cable network.
“We already have extra engineers working in the area and, should any faults arise, we will have arrangements in place to work around the clock to manage the situation. We would ask anyone in the Southside of Glasgow to contact us immediately if they experience any problems with their electricity supply.”
Discussing the £10,000 reward that ScottishPower is offering to anyone who is able to provide information that leads to the conviction of any individual involved in Monday night’s fire, Guy Jefferson said:
“Although at this stage we can’t be sure that our cable was targeted in the fire, the issues associated with metal theft continue to increase across the country, and it is costing the UK economy up to £1billion every year. This fire has already caused a huge amount of inconvenience for thousands of people due to the initial power interruption and subsequent road closures. We want to do all that we can to help Strathclyde Police catch those who are responsible.”
Any faults to electricity supplies can be reported to ScottishPower’s 24 hour helpline on 0845 272 7999
Any member of the public with information on the individuals involved with starting Monday night’s fire can call ScottishPower’s security line on 0800 027 1950