VINLEC staff receive training in utility pole restoration, pole wrapping
July 20, 2018
VINLEC staff receive training in utility pole restoration, pole wrapping

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Electrical Services (VINLEC) employees assigned to the Transmission and Distribution (T& D) Department were involved in a five-day training from Monday, July 16 which examined utility pole restoration and pole wrapping. This area of training was designed to aid the T& D Department in the area of preventative maintenance as the majority of VINLEC’s poles are wooden.

According to T& D Engineer, Mitra Malcolm, the poles in the Transmission and Distribution network represent a large economic investment by VINLEC and as such they must be protected against deterioration. He explained that while the wooden poles provide VINLEC with a safe, economic and easy means of delivering electrical energy to all customers throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines, they eventually deteriorate. He noted that VINLEC is making every effort to ensure the assets of the Company are protected.

David Skinner, one of the facilitators from Osmose Utilities Services, said the programme focused on pole inspections and evaluating the health of wooden poles for treatment. He explained that VINLEC utilised the services of Osmose Utilities Services Inc. of the U.S.A., who has over 80 years of experience in managing ageing utility infrastructure, to train its staff.

“We are also making evaluations for maybe later reinforcing them instead of replacing them. The overall goal of the programme is to

help VINLEC save money and to extend the life of their poles,” Skinner said.

The knowledge to be gained from the training will facilitate a safer working environment for persons who work on VINLEC poles and the public, and potentially reduce and prevent property damage. The knowledge and skills acquired will also bring economic benefits to VINLEC.

The 18 participants from locations across St Vincent and the Grenadines were engaged in classroom sessions and a number of field visits in neighbouring communities. The session ends on Friday July 20.