The country’s electrical grid has been in a state of high alert since Wednesday afternoon, owing to the risk of a blackout at any moment.

Grid operator ADMIE was forced to announce a state of emergency for the country’s power network due to a 3.5-gigawatt thermal power deficit resulting from a number of plants being out of operation and to the uncertainty regarding the availability of natural gas. Worse still, two more power stations, whose normal output adds up to 560 megawatts, were forced to stop generating electricity.

With weather conditions deteriorating across the country, the authorities are examining contingency plans and rolling power cuts are not unlikely in an effort to avert a total blackout.

An extra load of natural gas by ship, the fourth within a month, is not due before the weekend, so everything will depend on the reliability of Public Power Corporation lignite plants. ADMIE will be hoping that at least one of the two plants that went offline yesterday will return to operation on Thursday.