Widespread blackouts in the north are continuing, while a tense situation arose between employees of the Turkish Cypriot El-Sen union, and the private Turkish company Aksa, which the ‘government’ instructed to fix a problem at a power station in Kyrenia.

On Thursday night, tension prevailed at the power station, when the private company intervened to fix a fault that had been caused earlier.

The crew of Aksa entered the station accompanied by vehicles and police officers.

Upon hearing the news, members of El-sen gathered outside the station gate. The workers lit a fire at the entrance of the station and protested the ‘invasion’ of the power plant by the private company’s workers.

At the same time, the ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel made a statement.

“Long-term energy policies that will prevent the problems we face today in our country have not been implemented for years. Currently, seven generators are out of service. Unfortunately, sabotage is again suspected. For this reason, we have enlisted the help of teams of experienced engineers who are experts in their field. We have asked for help from the private sector,” Ustel said.

On Friday morning, the electricity authority in the north Kib-tek said that six generators were actually up and running, after the work done by Aksa.

According to the Kib-tek, “An Aksa team entered the power station last night and completed its work in the morning. Thus, the number of generators in operation increased from 2 to 6 and the production of electricity increased from 30 to 90 megawatts.”

However, El-sen insists that the energy crisis in the north could only be effectively dealt with if the ‘government’ withdraws the disputed bill concerning electricity, which is seeking the immediate interconnection of the north power grids with Turkey’s via subsea cable.

The ‘government’ and unions have been exchanging accusations over power supply in the north, a week after protests broke out.

The head of El-sen, Caglayan Cesurer, said that the unions would hold a meeting to discuss the developments of the night.

Noting that three units of the power plant have stopped working, Cesurer fired on the ‘government’, accusing it of causing a crisis by insisting on the disputed bill.

Meanwhile, main opposition CTP leader, Tufan Erhurman said that the ‘government’ needs to work with together with Kib-tek and the employees to seek a common solution to the problem of power supply.

Turkish Cypriots have been suffering from daily electricity cuts since the beginning of this year.

The cuts make life difficult especially for the young and the sick, as well as impacting every sector. The cuts – sometimes lasting up to seven hours – are due to lack of investments in the electricity infrastructure, fuel shortages and the inability to buy some very expensive spare parts for failed turbines.